10 March 2022
The NDIA has announced changes to the way Assistive Technology purchases are approved – making it easier for participants to get the equipment they need.
The limit for mid-cost funding for Assistive Technology has been lifted from $5,000 to $15,000. NDIS data shows that only 5% of Participants requiring equipment costing more than $15,000, so most will come in under the new rules.
This means that for most AT users, once equipment is in their NDIS Plan and budget structure, they will be able to liaise with a NDIS Registered AT Provider and AT Advisor, (ie their therapist) pick the correct equipment for their needs, and can purchase it immediately. They will still need written evidence that the equipment they have selected meets the stated needs as outlined in their Plan. This can be a letter or email from their therapist.
The most-commonly purchased AT within the $15,000 price range includes manual wheelchairs, specialty beds and bathroom chairs/stools.
The changes were welcomed by NDIS Provider Astris PME managing director, Steve Joyce.
“This move towards pre-approval is an excellent step forward for our clients, and for thousands of Australians looking for funding for Assistive Technology up to $15,000,” he said.
“Once they have the funding allocated to their Plan, they can go out and review the different providers, and trial a range of equipment, until they find the solution that suits them and their personal circumstances the best. This is great for choice and control, and in most cases will strip out unnecessary red-tape and delays in Participants securing their life-changing equipment”.
The NDIA have automatically added equipment funding to the plans of 15,000 Participants that had already trialled equipment and had submitted a funding application via their therapist for equipment that costs less than $15,000. Any Participant that has received notification as to this can now liaise with their preferred supplier and purchase their equipment. For high-risk equipment, their Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist must be present during the delivery and fitting.
Participants that have not received a notification from NDIA, and would like to get an update, should contact the NDIA directly on 1800 800 110, or via email [email protected]