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05 January 2023

NDIS Consumables budget guide 2023

When it comes to getting the most out of your NDIS Plan, understanding the different budgets and what they can cover is really important.

You may recall there are three main budget areas – Core, Capital and Capacity Building. Need a refresher? Check out our previous article NDIS Plan budget categories explained.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at NDIS Consumables, which falls under Core supports.

NDIS Consumables funds the purchase of “reasonable and necessary” everyday items required to manage your personal disability-related needs. Most of these items will be “off the shelf” and readily available from a store or online.

3 things you need to know about the NDIS Consumables budget.

  1. It’s for items that cost less than $1,500. Your NDIS Consumables budget can be used to purchase reasonable and necessary everyday items valued at up to $1500. This may include single-use disposable items such as absorbent pads, eating aids like modified cups, specialised food supplements and some personal care items.
  2. It’s flexible. The best part about the Consumables budget is that it’s flexible. Once an amount is allocated in your plan, you can choose how you spend it, providing it relates to your disability support needs and meets the reasonable and necessary test.
  3. It’s important to track your expenses. Your Consumables budget can go a long way if you manage it carefully. It’s good to have an idea of how you’d like to spread your Consumables funding over the life of your plan. When you have Leap in! plan management you can use the Leap in! app to keep track of your expenses, so your funding lasts throughout the year.

NDIS Consumables examples.

Some examples of the things you might be able to purchase with your NDIS Consumables budget include:

  • Continence products (subject to meeting the age requirements)
  • Catheters
  • Absorbent products and pads
  • Disability-related wound and skincare
  • Pumps and syringes for home enteral nutrition purposes
  • Food preparation products
  • Modified eating aids
  • Specialised mattresses and pillows
  • Personal care and safety products
  • Auslan or signed English training
  • Telephone or video interpreting
  • Vision or hearing-related low cost assistive technology.

You cannot buy general food and grocery items unrelated to your disability needs, prescription medications, toiletries or cosmetics with your Consumables budget.

Can I buy nappies with NDIS Consumables funding?

If nappies are required solely and directly because of your disability, are needed regularly and the expense is good value for money, you may be able to purchase nappies from your Consumables budget. The NDIS won’t fund nappies if they relate to a chronic health condition rather than a disability.

There is some confusion around whether it’s ok to purchase nappies and other continence products for children using NDIS funding. The NDIS won’t cover day-to-day living costs that most people have to pay. As Australian families typically pay for nappies, pull-ups and wipes for young children, whether you can use NDIS funds to pay for nappies for children depends on age.

For children under five: The NDIS may only fund nappies, wipes and other associated items if the child has a disability which means they have higher needs than children of similar age or require urinary catheters.

For children aged five and over: As most children are toilet trained by this age, a child may meet the criteria if continence supports are still needed because of a developmental delay or disability.

For more details, check out Early childhood continence consumables.


Does Consumables funding cover vitamins and medications?

No. The NDIS does not usually fund everyday vitamins, medicines or prescription medications. Supports for health issues unrelated to a disability, including eating disorders, food allergies and diabetes are not covered either.

However, if a health professional prescribes nutritional supplements or thickener products related to a disability, you may be able to claim them on your NDIS Consumables budget. The NDIS may also fund Home Enteral Nutrition (HEN) formula and associated equipment if you get all or part of your nutrition from HEN. For details, see the NDIS information about nutrition supports.


Where to buy Consumables products.

Consumables can be purchased from retail shops such as chemists, supermarkets and hardware stores or online.

Leap in! also has several provider partners that specialise in Consumables including:

  • Aleva® Australia: a company dedicated to providing technically advanced, high quality, affordable products for incontinence and kid’s bedwetting
  • National Australian Necessity Supplies (NAN): one of Australia’s top suppliers of children’s nappies, adult continence, wet wipes, gloves and paper products
  • Surgical House: offers a full range of medical consumables, medical equipment and patient care equipment.


How to purchase Consumables.

NDIS consumables providers can be registered or unregistered. If you choose plan management for your NDIS Plan or self manage, you can use any provider, including a shop or online store. If you are Agency managed, you can only purchase consumables from NDIS registered providers.

In most cases, NDIS participants can pay providers directly. Items under $1,500 do not require a quote. 

When purchasing low cost and low risk assistive technology under $1,500 with your Consumables budget, the NDIS recommends getting advice from an AT advisor. 

For higher risk low cost AT, you will need written advice from an assistive technology assessor, even if the item is under $1,500.


Where to get more information about Consumables.

The NDIS Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide lists the most common Consumable items purchased with NDIS funds. It also explains how some low cost assistive technology can be purchased using your Consumables budget. The NDIS Consumables Operational Guideline also has useful information.


Leap in! can help.

If you have any more questions about Consumables and the NDIS, would like to be connected with a Consumables provider or would like help preparing for your NDIS Plan meeting, we’re here to help. Call us on 1300 05 78 78 or email crew@leapin.com.au.

Originally published 12 February 2020, updated 4 November 2021, 27 April 2022, 15 August 2022 and 5 January 2023.


Further reading.

NDIS Plan budget categories explained.

Core supports budget: A closer look.

Top 5 reasons why people don’t spend their NDIS budget.

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