Renting assistive technology (AT) can be a better option than buying it, particularly if you are only seeking a short term solution. Some AT providers may also require you to pay to trial AT before you buy from them.
Whether you’re trialling or renting AT, it helps to know what you can do when it comes to using your NDIS funds.
Read on to find out when it might be best to rent AT and get some helpful tips on using your NDIS funds for this purpose.
For a quick recap on assistive technology, check out NDIS assistive technology approvals: All you need to know!
When to rent assistive technology with your NDIS funds.
The decision on whether to rent or buy assistive technology you need for your disability related supports is up to you in consultation with your AT provider.
Keep in mind that there may be additional costs for delivery (particularly to regional and remote areas) and device set-up or customisation for your needs.
Why rent assistive technology:
- It’s cheaper in the short term
- The expense is spread over time
- Your needs frequently change
- You want to try before buying
- There’s no need to pay maintenance and replacement costs
- You may want it for a short period of time such as if you are on holidays.
Types of assistive technology that may be suitable for renting.
There is no limit to the types of AT that you can rent with your NDIS funds, providing it is ‘reasonable and necessary’ for your needs, and related to your disability.
These may include:
- Lifts and slings
- Personal mobility items such as wheelchairs and walkers
- Specialised computer equipment and tablets
- Hearing and vision aids
- Prosthetics and orthotics
- Assistive products for respiration support.
Trialling assistive technology and other short term rentals.
While some places will allow you to trial an item without any charge, others will need you to pay for a trial.
Sometimes, a longer trial is required or the provider may need to travel to adjust the item for your trial, which may cost money. You can use your NDIS funds to pay for these costs.
If you only need to use an item for a short time, such as for a holiday or your needs are likely to change, it may be more cost effective to rent or hire rather than buy the item. You can use your NDIS funds to pay for these costs too
Guide to NDIS pricing for trials or rentals.
Below are some NDIS price examples for items commonly rented with NDIS funds. Prices can be adjusted up or down according to your needs.
Trial of specialised AT (eg. child mobility)
- $100 for testing different items during a clinic session
- $150 per week for two or more items.
- $100 per week
- An extra $100 per week if you need a transfer hoist.
- $50 per week (manual)
- $100 per week (powered)
- A quote is required for higher cost rentals and trial of specialised power wheelchairs.
- $120 per week including delivery. Extra weeks $70 per week.
Electronic communication and sensory impairment AT
- $300 for two weeks
The full guide is available on the NDIS website.
How to rent assistive technology.
If you need funding in your plan to trial low cost AT, you won’t need a quote. However, you need to explain the reasons for the proposed trial and how long it will last. Funding for short trials such as an hour is included in the Core – Consumables budget.
If the item costs less than $15,000 to rent, you can give evidence from your assistive technology advisor on the cost of rental. If the item costs more than $15,000 to rent, you’ll need a quote first.
Check out What if you need to rent assistive technology items? for details. If you’re looking for information about fixing a broken item of assistive technology, check out Will the NDIS pay for repairs and maintenance to assistive technology?
Obtaining advice on using AT.
If you have assistive technology funding in your NDIS budget, you’ll also receive funding in your Capacity Building budget to help you choose AT or learn how to use it.
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Originally published 21 May 2021. Updated on 6 February 2023.