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How the NDIS funds therapy services

Updated 28 October, 2020
Physical therapy

Therapy is a common support included in most NDIS plans. But how the NDIS actually funds different types of therapies can be confusing. In this article we look at some of the types of therapies that can be funded under the NDIS and how you can get them included in your NDIS plan. 

What types of therapy are covered by the NDIS?        

There are many different kinds of therapy. These can include speech therapy and physiotherapy right through to art therapy, music therapy or sex therapy.

Because of the broad range of therapies that are available, we encourage you to think creatively about which might help you achieve your NDIS goals.

One of the most frequently used therapies is Occupational Therapy. An Occupational Therapist (or OT) can work with you to build your independence and develop your skills. OTs also do assessments for people wanting to purchase Assistive Technology, receive Supported Independent Living funding or move into Specialist Disability Accommodation. They can also provide written evidence if you’re going into a plan review meeting.  

Will the NDIS provide funding for my therapy?

To use your NDIS funding for a specific type of therapy, you must be able to show that it’s reasonable and necessary. As a general rule, if you can show that a therapy will deliver an expected outcome and is aligned with the goals and objectives in your NDIS plan, the NDIS should fund it.

How is therapy funded under the NDIS?

The NDIS groups therapy into three categories, which are all Capacity Building supports. Each category of therapy has its own maximum price limits, which can be found in our NDIS Price Guide Navigator.

1. Improved Daily Living (category 15)

This is usually the most common support category that covers generic and major therapy services in your NDIS plan. As the name of the category suggests, it covers all therapy that can ‘improve your daily living skills’, from speech therapy to dance therapy. It also includes Occupational Therapy. 

 2. Improved Health & Wellbeing (category 12)

This category covers funding for activities which can help you support, maintain or increase your physical mobility, health or wellbeing. It can include funding for supports like dieticians, exercise physiology and personal trainers. 

3. Improved Relationships (category 11)

Therapies that are covered under this category are intended to support you to make positive changes to your ability to socialise and relate to others. It can include supports like psychologists and behavioural therapists.

Recently, funding for therapy has become more flexible. If you’ve used all the relevant Capacity Building budget in your plan, you’re able to use your Core Supports budget to pay for sessions instead. A Plan Manager can help you determining how to best do this. Contact our team if you’d like to find out more.

How can I find the right therapist for me?

There are several ways of finding a therapist:

  • If you have a Support Coordinator, they can connect you with a therapist that’s suited to your needs and situation
  • A Local Area Coordinator should also be able to provide you with advice
  • There are also  are many online directories that list therapists in your area to help find the right service providers.

Have a question?

Would you like to discover more about accessing therapy under the NDIS? We're here to help. Give us a call on 1300 333 700 or chat with us online.

Top tips

  • There are many kinds of therapy, so be sure to look around and think creatively about your goals.
  • An Occupational Therapist can provide reports to the NDIS that state your need for a particular support – this can be especially useful for plan reviews.
  • As with all supports, the criteria of reasonable and necessary applies. If a therapy is grounded in evidence and will help you achieve your NDIS goals, you should be able to use your funding to access it.
  • Funding for therapies can be flexible. This means that if you’ve used all the funding available in your plan for a specific type of therapy, you can move on to use your Core Supports budget to pay for it. Price limits still apply however, so be sure to check out of Price Guide Navigator tool.
  • You should always try and use the relevant budget first before using your Core funding. This helps you avoid running out of Core budget while still having Capacity Building funds left, which aren’t able to be used as flexibly.  
  • Finding the right therapist for you is important. A Support Coordinator can connect you with one that suits you and your needs, however your LAC can also provide advice.
  • Speak with an expert, like Plan Partners, if you have any questions around getting a specific therapy covered in your plan.
 
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