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15 January 2020

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI): How the NDIS can help.

Up to 700,000 Australians have an Acquired Brain Injury that affects their ability to undertake daily activities or participate in everyday life.

Today, we’ll take a look at how the NDIS applies to Acquired Brain Injury and the types of supports available.

What is Acquired Brain Injury?

The term Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) describes any damage to the brain that occurs after birth. It may be as a result of a fall, stroke, accident or infection. ABI can also be caused by a disease of the brain such as Parkinson’s disease.

People with ABI can experience changes in memory retention, personality and behaviour, sensory and physical abilities and the ability to process information.

Having an ABI can significantly impact people’s lives, relationships, ability to work and do the things they usually do.

ABI and the NDIS eligibility requirements.

Access to the NDIS is determined on a case by case basis. Check out the NDIS eligibility checklist here. Whether someone with ABI is eligible will largely depend on their ability to meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a disability that will not go away. This can include intellectual, cognitive, sensory, physical impairments or mental health conditions.
  • The disability makes it difficult to do the following things and you need support in one or more of these areas:
    • Communication
    • Learning
    • Mobility
    • Social interaction
    • Self-care
    • Self-management.

How the NDIS can help if you have an Acquired Brain Injury.

The NDIS can help people with ABI to build skills and become more independent. Supports come from one of three main NDIS budget categories which you can read more about in our previous article, NDIS Plan budget categories explained and include the following:

Therapeutic supports

These can help with managing the impact of a condition, aid mobility and assist with overcoming challenges related to daily living. Therapeutic supports include occupational therapy, physiotherapy and psychology.

It’s important to note, that supports required for rehabilitation generally come from the mainstream health system, not the NDIS.

Living independently at home

If having an ABI makes it difficult to do everyday household tasks or care for yourself, the NDIS can help by funding a support worker to do things you cannot do. It can provide capacity building funding to help you learn to do tasks yourself such as paying bills or budgeting.

Study, work and community-based activities

The NDIS can provide assistance for people with ABI to learn new skills, find a job or participate in the community. In most cases, the NDIS won’t fund the cost of a course or activity but may fund the cost of a support worker to take you to an activity, or assist you to take part.

Depending on what is deemed to be ‘reasonable and necessary’ the NDIS may also fund Assistive Technology (AT) to aid learning or communication. Other forms of AT, such as walking sticks or wheelchairs, may be available to assist people with mobility issues  to undertake activities in the community.

We can help.

Here at Leap in! we help people navigate the NDIS every day. If you or someone you care for has an Acquired Brain Injury, we are here to answer your questions.

Give the Leap in! Crew a call on 1300 05 78 78, email, or you can sign up for Leap in! plan management.