What is NDIS assistive technology?

NDIS assistive technology can be a game changer for people with disability, allowing them to perform tasks they’d otherwise have difficulty doing. Buy what exactly is NDIS assistive technology and how can it be funded under the NDIS? 

What is NDIS assistive technology?

Assistive technology (AT) is basically any piece of equipment that lets you perform a task you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do, or makes it easier and safer for you to perform a task.

There’s almost no limit to the kinds of equipment and assistive technology that could make your life easier. And there are lots of exciting pieces of assistive technology out there with new ones coming out every day. So, think creatively about what your NDIS goals are and how technology can help you achieve them. You can also ask your Occupational Therapist (OT) or physiotherapist for suggestions.
 
Non-slip bathmats, adaptive can openers, electric wheelchairs and stair lifts are just some examples of NDIS assistive technologies that can support you to live a more independent life.

What’s the difference between NDIS assistive technology and low cost assistive technology?

Yes. While they’re both a little similar, there are some major differences for how they’re funded under the NDIS. Low cost assistive technology is equipment that costs less than $1,500 and requires no modifications. These items can be purchased off-the-shelf using your Core budget.

Assistive technology costs more than $1,500, is generally more complex, and may require customisation. Because it can be quite expensive, the process for buying it with your funding requires you to provide some extra information.

How do I get NDIS funding for assistive technology?

Assistive technology is categorised as a Capital support. To get budget included in your NDIS plan for a piece of assistive technology, you’ll need to submit a quote to the NDIS.

Once the quote is approved, you’ll receive funding for that specific item along with additional funding for ongoing costs, such as maintenance.

How do I buy NDIS assistive technology?

There are several steps involved in purchasing assistive technology. While it can appear overwhelming at first, you’ll have a lot of support along the way.

Get Support

The first step to take is to engage an OT or an AT Advisor. These experts will work closely with you to gather the supporting evidence the NDIS needs to give you funding for your equipment. 

If your equipment costs less that $15,000... 

Provide a written report. Your OT or AT Advisor will give you a report or letter that basically states why it’s reasonable for the NDIS to fund your new equipment. Provided this report comes from a genuine OT or AT Advisor and meets the usual reasonable and necessary standards, your request will be automatically approved. You’re then able to buy your new item from your choice of retailer. 

If your equipment costs more than $15,000…

Get a quote

With the support of your OT or AT Advisor, contact an equipment provider and ask them to provide you with a quote for the item you want.

Submit this quote to the NDIS, along with a written report or letter from your OT or AT Advisor telling them why the item is reasonable for you to purchase. As each state has a different process for submitting quotes, it’s best to ask your OT for assistance with this step.

Get an invoice

Once the NDIS has approved your quote, contact the provider and ask for an invoice for the equipment. You can then submit this invoice to the NDIS for processing and payment.

If you have a plan manager, simply give your invoice to them and they’ll ensure it’s processed correctly.

Get your equipment

After your provider’s invoice has been paid, they’ll be able to get you your equipment. Because a lot of assistive technology is made to your specifications, this step often involves them ordering your equipment from the manufacturer. This can take some time, so be prepared for delays and ask your provider for a timeframe. 

What about ongoing costs?  

Once you receive your Assistive Technology, it’s very likely there will be some additional costs over the course of its life. Things like regular maintenance and repairs can be funded by the NDIS. You can also receive funding to hire a temporary piece of equipment while you wait for yours to arrive from the retailer, or if your OT would like you to ‘test it out’ before you purchase.