How the NDIS funds sex therapy and family planning
Our team regularly gets questions from people wanting to know if the NDIS funds sex therapy and family planning, so we’ve put together this guide to sex therapy, family planning and the NDIS. We also give you some of our top tips to help you on your journey.
THE NDIS, FAMILY PLANNING AND SEX THERAPY
Recently the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled that it is ‘reasonable and necessary’ for sex therapy to be funded under the NDIS. Sex therapy is a type of counselling that helps people overcome any sexual issues they’re having; either as an individual or as a couple.
A sex therapist may:
- discuss things like attitudes towards sex
- provide sexual education or practical advice, or
- recommend activities that can help people achieve their sexual goals that are otherwise not possible due to their disability.
Similarly, family planners can provide specialist advice on reproductive and sexual health and are also able to be funded under the NDIS. A sex therapist is not a sex worker and they will not engage in any form of sexual activity. At this time, you can’t use NDIS funding for sex workers as the NDIA do not consider their services to pass the reasonable and necessary criteria.
HOW DO I FUND A SEX THERAPIST UNDER THE NDIS?
Sex therapists and family planners are usually funded under Support Category 15 (Improved Daily Living), which covers most kinds of therapeutic supports.
As with all NDIS supports you must be able to make a case that your need for the support is directly related to your disability and it is reasonable and necessary for you to use your funds to receive either sex therapy or family planning.
CAN THE NDIS FUND SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT?
The NDIS generally won’t provide funding for the purchase of specialised sex equipment or devices. However, if your sex therapist or family planner makes a formal recommendation that you require a piece of equipment in order to achieve your goals, you may potentially be able to purchase it using your NDIS funds. You will need to get your therapist to record their recommendation in a letter, and it will need to meet the standard 'reasonable and necessary' criteria: the support should be directly related to your disability and offer a genuine benefit to your health and well-being.
HOW DO I FIND A FAMILY PLANNER OR SEX THERAPIST?
There are quite a number of family planning organisations and sex therapists who have experience with people with disability. To ensure you receive the best support for you and professional guidance, we recommend speaking with your GP or Occupational Therapist. They usually have a lot of experience with this subject and should be able to provide you with a list of reputable sex therapists or family planners in your area.
Most specialised family planning organisations will be NDIS registered, but many sole-trading sex therapists are unlikely to be NDIS registered. Plan Management can help you use your NDIS funds to access the right therapist for you, regardless of whether they are registered with the NDIS or not. However, you’ll need to ensure their rate is less than the NDIS Price Guide’s maximum price of $193.33 per hour.
If you have Support Coordination in your plan, your Support Coordinator can also help you finding and connecting you with the right family planners or sex therapists for your needs.
If you’d like to speak with someone to discuss how you can access family planning and sex therapy with your NDIS funding, just contact our helpful team on 1300 333 700 or leave your details here and we will contact you.
- The NDIS can fund a family planner or sex therapist if it is directly related to your disability and considered ‘reasonable and necessary’ with your NDIS funds. It won’t fund a sex worker.
- Family planners and sex therapists provide lots of useful advice and guidance on how you can engage in sexual activity; either by yourself or with a partner
- Family planning and sex therapy can be funded under Support Category 15: Improved Daily Living
- If your family planner or sex therapist believes that a piece of specialised equipment is necessary, have them record their recommendation in a formal letter. This will give you the best chance of having that approved by the NDIS.
- Your GP can suggest reputable family planners and sex therapists in your area, while Plan Management can help by giving you access to unregistered providers.
- If you’re using a Plan Manager, your family planner or sex therapist will need to ensure they don’t charge more than the NDIS price guide allows (which at the time of publishing is $193.99 per hour).
- Set up a service agreement with your therapist to ensure you’re both in agreement as to how much you’ll be charged.
- There are specialised family planning resources available to people with disability which can be funded under the NDIS.
For more information about the 15 support categories in your NDIS plan, read all about it here.
This is the eleventh article in our ‘Making the NDIS work for you’ series, in which we tackle how the NDIS funds all kinds of supports. Read the other articles here:
- Playing sport
- Meal preparation and delivery
- Gardening, cleaning and home maintenance
- Equipment and Assistive Technology
- iPads, smartwatches and other tech
- Finding and keeping a job
Plan Partners is Australia's leading expert in NDIS Plan Management and Support Coordination, supporting thousands of people all over Australia bringing their NDIS plan to life - and we can help you too.
While we try to ensure everything contained in our articles is accurate, many parts of the NDIS and what it will fund is open to interpretation. We write these articles based on NDIS guidelines, NDIA statements and first-hand experiences of our customers and team. Our formal disclaimer is available here, and if you have any questions or concerns please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.