Renting assistive technology (AT) can be a better option than buying it, particularly if you only seek 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 with your NDIS funds.
Our friends at Leap in! plan management explore when it might be best to rent AT and offer some helpful tips on using your NDIS funds for AT rentals.
Renting assistive technology
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
- Spread the expense over time
- You want to try before buying
- Your needs frequently change such as in the case of a growing child
- There’s no need to pay maintenance and replacement costs
- You may want it for a short time such as if you’re on holidays.
Types of assistive technology that may be suitable for renting
You can rent a wide range of assistive technology with your NDIS funds, providing it is ‘reasonable and necessary’ for your needs, good value for money 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.
Keep in mind that you can’t use your NDIS funds to pay for AT that should be provided by another organisation. Examples include equipment that you need at home to help you recover from surgery or that your child’s school should provide.
Trialling assistive technology
With so many different brands and options for AT, sometimes you’ll want to test an item before you buy or rent.
Some providers will let you try a product at no cost. Other times, an extended trial is required, or the provider may need to travel to adjust the item for your trial, which may cost money. You can generally use your NDIS funds to pay for these costs.
Guide to pricing for trials or rentals.
The NDIS has developed a guide that outlines the expected prices for items commonly trialled or rented with NDIS funds. The prices are examples that can be adjusted up or down according to your needs.
Trial of specialised AT (eg. child mobility or posture related equipment)
- $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 rental or trials of specialised power wheelchairs.
- $120 per week including delivery. Extra weeks $70 per week.
- $80 per week for an alternating pressure mattress.
Electronic communication and sensory impairment AT
- $300 for two weeks
The full guide is available on the NDIS website.
How to rent assistive technology.
Low cost AT
Once funding is applied to your NDIS Plan, you can buy or rent low cost AT (costing less than $1500). If you use a plan manager like Leap in! or self manage, you can use the provider of your choice. If you are Agency managed, you need to buy or rent the item from a registered provider.
Mid and high cost AT
Even if you choose to rent AT, you will need to consult with an AT provider and undertake an assessment before you can purchase or rent medium cost (between $1500 and $5000) or high cost AT (over $5000). High cost AT requires a quote.
Check out How do we consider the cost of assistive technology? for details.
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.
Leap in! is here to help.
Do you have questions about how to make the most of your or your child’s NDIS Plan? Leap in! plan managers can answer your questions and make your whole NDIS journey easier. By choosing a plan manager like Leap in! you can use registered or unregistered providers for purchasing NDIS supports including assistive technology. Make the switch to plan management today. Give Leap in! a call on 1300 05 78 78 or email [email protected].