ADHD and the NDIS is a topic that we are often asked questions about here at Leap in!
About 5% of Australians display symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) so it’s no surprise there is a lot of interest in funding for treatment and supports.
But does a diagnosis of ADHD qualify you for the NDIS? No, it doesn’t. It is a little more complicated than that.
Today we’ll look at when you might be eligible for the NDIS if you have ADHD and the types of supports that may be available.
What is ADHD?
According to Better Health Victoria, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, one of a group of disorders that affect the development of the nervous system. It can impact how a person pays attention, controls impulses and behaves.
The severity of ADHD, the impact it can have on your life and the type of treatments can vary from person to person.
For some people, it can be managed well through early interventions or medication, while for others it is a lifelong condition.
ADHD and NDIS.
On its own, ADHD is not usually covered by the NDIS. That’s because it can be hard for someone with ADHD to meet the NDIS eligibility criteria for a severe and permanent disability.
If you have ADHD and are likely to recover or are being successfully treated with medications, then you are unlikely to be eligible for the NDIS.
Where ADHD occurs alongside another condition, such as an intellectual disability, autism, learning disability or global development delay, you may be more likely to obtain NDIS funding.
Is ADHD covered by NDIS? How NDIS eligibility works.
ADHD may be covered by the NDIS if you meet the eligibility and disability requirements. In addition to general criteria such as age, you must be able to prove that you have a disability causing an impairment that:
- Is permanent or likely to be permanent
- Results in substantially reduced capacity to undertake day-to-day activities
- Affects your capacity for social or economic participation
- Means you are likely to require support throughout your lifetime.
Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis rather than a specific diagnosis. so having a diagnosis of ADHD alone does not mean you will be automatically eligible.
For more information about NDIS eligibility, including the disability requirements, check out the Leap in! NDIS Eligibility Guide.
Things to consider before applying for the NDIS.
- You are most likely to obtain NDIS funding if your condition is stable and you have exhausted all other treatment options, confirmed in writing by a doctor
- You’ll need to demonstrate how the impairment affects your daily life
- The NDIS looks at 6 different areas of functional capacity including communication, social interaction and learning. A functional assessment from a qualified doctor or therapist addressing how your life is affected in each of these areas will support your application.
- Include letters and reports from treating doctors, social workers, family and friends about how the impairment affects your life.
If you have ADHD which results in a psychosocial disability (a disability that arises because of a mental health condition), you may be eligible to access the NDIS. Your treating practitioner will need to complete an Evidence of psychosocial disability form as part of your NDIS Access Request.
NDIS funding for ADHD.
If you have ADHD and meet the NDIS access requirements, you may receive funding for a range of supports in your NDIS budgets. These supports will be tailored to your individual needs. Some of the supports that the NDIS may fund for participants with ADHD include:
- Capacity building supports to assist with social skills, being active in the community, self-management and communication
- Positive behavioural supports
- Cognitive therapy to help with thinking skills
- Support workers to assist with daily routines and household tasks
- Assistive technology such as screen readers and speech recognition programs.
Getting help if you are not eligible for the NDIS.
We recommend visiting the following organisations for more information and help to find the right support for you.
How Leap in! can help if you or your child have ADHD.
Having a plan manager like Leap in! means you get someone to pay NDIS providers on your behalf and help you manage your NDIS budgets. Parents of children with ADHD tell us that having Leap in! as a plan manager helps them navigate the NDIS and reduces the admin associated with managing an NDIS Plan. One of the other benefits of plan management is that you get to use registered and unregistered providers.
Originally published 26 June 2020, updated 17th November 2021.