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31 July 2020

What does the NDIS pay for? Everything you need to know.

If you’re considering whether the NDIS might be right for you, or starting out with your first plan, it can be hard to find clear information about exactly what the NDIS covers.

You’ll most likely hear supports spoken about in terms of budgets and budget categories. They are the names the NDIS uses for the different supports it funds. You can find more about those in our previous story Budget categories explained.

But this can be hard to understand if you are just getting started. So we’ve broken it down into everyday language to give you have a clearer idea of what may be and will not be covered.

Supports funded by the NDIS must be “reasonable and necessary”.

The NDIS may fund a support or service if it meets the “reasonable and necessary” test.

It should

  • Be related to your disability
  • Represent value for money
  • Be likely to be effective
  • Take into account other supports you receive such as help from family members
  • Not include day-to-day living expenses not related to your support needs.

Your NDIS budgets should be used to fund items directly related to achieving your goals.

Top tip: Some items need to be specified in your NDIS Plan and will require a quote prior to purchase.

NDIS supports in the home.

May be funded

  • Support with personal care such as assistance with showering and dressing
  • Help around the home where you are unable to undertake tasks due to your disability such cleaning, lawn mowing and laundry
  • Supports to help you live more independently such as living skills, how to budget
  • Funding to help you live more independently Respite care
  • Home modifications
  • Costs related to daily living only if the cost is substantially higher because you have a disability. For example, a modified bed to prevent bed sore.

Not covered

  • Rent, board or mortgage repayments
  • Emergency accommodation
  • Household cleaning supplies
  • Day-to-day costs for power, water, internet or phone.

NDIS supports at work and in the community.

May be funded

  • Support worker to help you attend work, school, further education or training
  • Assistive technology to help you with duties associated with work, school or education
  • Personal care at work, school or training (for example, to assist with eating and toileting)
  • Activities that help you learn new skills
  • Transport to and from work, training or community activities.

Not covered

  • Course fees
  • Other costs not related to a disability such as student union fees
  • Entry to events, galleries, cinemas or other activities.

What does the NDIS pay for?

Therapies and services.

May be funded

  • Support workers to help you at home or in the community
  • Allied health services such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychology and physiotherapy
  • Support to achieve health and fitness goals
  • Disability related nursing supports
  • Early Childhood Early Intervention

Not covered:

  • Diagnosis
  • Supports covered by mainstream health services such as seeing a doctor
  • Paying family members as support workers.

Assistive technology.

May be funded

  • Low cost items such as ramps, remote controls, vision and hearing supports, walking sticks and walkers
  • More expensive items such as wheelchairs, pressure mattresses and hoists
  • Complex communication devices
  • Specific apps needed to support a disability
  • Communication devices such as digital picture boards and speech generating machines
  • Customised devices specific to your needs
  • Tablets or devices required to continue supports due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements (temporary – restrictions apply)
  • Repair and maintenance.

Not covered

  • Rehabilitation supports
  • Screen protectors
  • Additional chargers
  • Non-disability related apps
  • General household furniture or appliances.

Top tip: The NDIS will generally only fund the minimum necessary standard level of assistive technology required.

Everyday and consumable items.

May be funded

  • Supports to help with eating or nutrition. For example eating aids, pumps and syringes
  • Adapted cups, spoons and cutlery
  • Some adapted cooking utensils and basic appliances
  • Continence products, pads, pull-ups and nappies.

Not covered

  • Medicines or vitamin supplements
  • Cosmetics or general toiletries
  • Food and groceries.

Support to manage your NDIS Plan.

May be funded

  • Support coordination
  • Plan management.

Let us help you navigate the NDIS.

Leap in! can help you to get the most out of your NDIS Plan. Call us on
1300 05 78 78, contact us via our website (online chat available) or email us at

Further reading

NDIS Plan budget categories explained.

What to do once you get your NDIS Plan.

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