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Understanding Physiotherapy Under the NDIS

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Physiotherapy can provide a positive outcome in personal, social, educational and employment aspects of your life. Whether you need short-term or long-term support, engaging a physiotherapist can be a great help to your health and wellbeing, as well providing you with the tools you need to achieve your goals.

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a therapy and rehabilitation practice that works to improve a person’s ability to move and function. Physiotherapists in Australia must be university qualified and are required to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA). Their expertise are in anatomy and physiology of the body, which involves assessment and treatment.

Physiotherapy can benefit people who may require treatment for things like physical disabilities, stroke, brain injury, cerebral palsy, and neurological disorders.

Physiotherapy and accessing NDIS funding

Physiotherapy can be covered by the NDIS to help provide individualised care, health and wellbeing management, while helping participants achieve their goals. Funding for physiotherapy will be assessed based on your goals and what is determined to be reasonable and necessary by the NDIA. If NDIS funding for physiotherapy has been included in your NDIS Plan, it will be allocated to ‘Improved Daily Living’ under the Capacity Building Supports category.

For the NDIA to consider funding physiotherapy, supporting documents will need to be provided alongside any goals you may have.

Your supporting documents should include an evidence-based report from a professional physiotherapist, relate to your goals and showcase how physiotherapy will help you to reach these goals over a 12-month period.

The report should include:

  • A breakdown of how many hours of support is needed to meet each goal within the 12-month plan

  • Information on how the diagnosis impacts your daily life and how therapy can help overcome these barriers

  • How the support would be considered reasonable and necessary

  • How it provides value for money

  • Any previous strategies implemented and their outcomes (for an annual plan review)

Along with your therapy funding request, you should also consider any potential extra funding you may need, including things like physiotherapist travel time, report writing, and equipment fitting.

Can physiotherapy make a difference?

A physiotherapist can make a huge difference in the lives of people with disability. They can work with you to develop the right type of treatment plan and support that can improve quality of life and independence. They can help you to work towards and achieve occupational, recreational and social goals to develop new skills and abilities or maintain existing ones.

What support can a physiotherapist provide?

Physiotherapists can assist people with disability to engage with their community and become more independent.

Some of the treatments a physiotherapist may be able to provide are:

  • Pain management

  • Movement and postural skills

  • Coordination and mobility

  • Breathing exercises

  • Muscle strengthening

  • Home exercise programs

  • Support to take part in leisure, sport and recreation

  • Advice on the management of specific conditions

  • Recommendations for equipment and mobility aids that may increase function and enhance your independence

They may also be able to provide further assistance with:

  • Helping with getting out of bed, showering, bathing, dressing and eating

  • Moving around the home and within the community

  • Doing daily jobs, sports and activities

  • Manage pain and chronic conditions

  • Weight control

  • Choosing and learning to use new equipment and mobility aids i.e walking frames, orthotics and wheelchairs

Physiotherapy and Plan Management

The NDIS is all about providing you with choice and control over your life and your supports. If you have been provided with funding for physiotherapy in your NDIS Plan, the physiotherapists you can access will depend on how your plan funding is managed. If you are Agency Managed by the NDIA then you will be limited to physiotherapists who are registered as NDIS providers. If you are Self or Plan Managed, then you will be able to access both registered and unregistered service providers and ultimately have more choice and control over who you would like to engage as your physiotherapist.

Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or



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