FAQs: The NDIS and assistive technology.
Today we are excited to share all the latest information about assistive technology and the NDIS.
Assistive Technology (AT) is a hot topic right now so the NDIA held a webinar recently to provide details about recent changes and answer questions from participants. The Leap in! Crew tuned in so we could share the most up-to-date information on the topic with our members.
For a reminder about what assistive technology is and some examples, check out our earlier blog post here.
What are ‘low cost/low risk’ items when it comes to assistive technology?
Low cost/low risk items are generally items costing less than $1,500. They are a core support and available under the ‘consumables’ budget. They do not require a quote or specific approval from the NDIA before purchasing.
You may have previously heard the term ‘adaptive equipment’ when referring to certain types of consumable items. This is being phased out, and replaced with ‘low cost assistive technology’.
Most NDIS participants will have the freedom under this part of their budget to find items that address your needs and purchase them as required from your funding (some exceptions apply). Low cost assistive technology might include items such as modified cutlery, walking sticks and non-slip bath mats.
Who do you contact to find out the status of an assistive technology request? Can someone else find out on behalf of the participant?
The NDIA reports that NDIS participants should now be notified when a new request has been submitted.
If your request is urgent, it is recommended you call the NDIA contact centre on 1800 800 110, where staff can view your file and see if a request has been received.
New assessment forms rolling out now will give NDIS participants the ability to provide your consent for information about requests to be given to the assessor or other trusted person.
Who is the best person to help with an assistive technology funding request?
About a quarter of NDIS participants have a capital item in their plan costing $1,500 or more. This equipment is expensive, so you’re required to provide more information when requesting funding.
The right person to assist varies depending on the technology. For simple technology, an AT mentor or independent living centre can provide information stating your goals, the options that have been considered and a clear indication of your needs.
For more complex technologies such as hoists and wheelchairs, the person carrying out the assessment should be a competent professional such as an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist. They will consult with you on your needs and provide a succinct report, including your aims, options and funding requirements.
Can I lodge an appeal if I don’t receive all the funding required for my assistive technology needs?
If you are not happy with a decision about what will be funded in your NDIS plan, you can request a review. Reviews generally take place within 14 days if the correct information is provided (although the NDIA admits there are currently delays in assessing reviews).
Be aware that there are different types of reviews so be sure to submit the correct type for your case. In this case, you would submit an internal review request (also known as a ‘section 100’).
What do I do if assistive technology breaks or needs maintenance?
If you own the equipment and it has recently been purchased, contact your supplier for a warranty repair.
For older equipment, your NDIS plan may include funding for repair and maintenance.
If you have assistive technology in your plan, be sure to check that money is allocated for repair and maintenance at each plan review meeting.
We are here to help.
If you think assistive technology can help you live your best life, book a free NDIS planning session with the Leap in! Crew and we will take you through the steps to ensure you are prepared for your plan meeting.