There is much confusion about NDIS funded low-cost assistive technology (AT). What it can be used for, how much is it, what doesn’t it cover and how to access it are just a few queries. Hurdle specialise in Support Coordination and have extensive knowledge in low cost AT and how best to use it effectively and correctly.
When NDIS talk about assistive technology, they mean equipment, technology and devices that help you do things you can’t do because of your disability, or things that help you do something more easily or safely. Assistive technology involves things designed to improve your daily life.
But not all equipment or technology you use is assistive technology. For example, a radio to listen to music, or a microwave to cook food. Assistive technology is only the equipment you need because it helps you to do things that you normally can’t do because of your disability – it must relate to your disability. NDIS do not fund general items that we all need whether or not we have a disability. This includes things like general household furniture, clothing and food.
There are 3 levels of assistive technology funding.
|Level 1 Low-cost AT||Level 2 Mid-cost AT||Level 3 High-cost AT||Level 4 Complex AT|
|Under $1,500 per item||$1,500 – $5,000 per item||Over $5,000 per item||At made for you (Speciality items)|
If low-cost assistive technology is included in your NDIS plan, it will under CORE budget. However, mid-cost and high-cost assistive technology funding falls under capital budget in your NDIS plan and requires a support letter or assessment from a medical professional or occupational therapist.
Does low-cost AT need approval or a quote?
No approval or quote is necessary. However. when purchasing low-cost assistive technology, you need to ask yourself if your purchase meets the following NDIS guidelines:
- It meets the “reasonable and necessary” criteria.
- It meets your needs.
- It helps you to pursue and achieve your goals.
If not, your purchase will not be paid for by NDIS or your plan managers.
Low-cost AT that you might be able to buy:
- A computer / tablet so you can take part in online activities or supports. Valued up to $750. You can’t spend more than $750 on an electronic devise.
- Fitness equipment.
- Safety items such as nonslip bathmats, handrails and personal alarms.
- Mobility cane, walking stick or walking frame.
- Speciality cutlery – forks and spoons for example, to assist you to eat.
What is NOT included, and you can’t buy with assistive technology?
- Items not related to your disability.
- More than 1 electronic device.
- Smartphone, Smartwatch or tablet with 3G or 4G connection. If you want this connection, you can use your own money to pay the difference.
- You can’t use your AT funding to replace previously purchased AT that is lost or damaged.
- Extra parts or peripherals for a computer, for example, mouse and printers.
- Pay for internet connection; no mobile phone data or wi-fi.
- Pay for software, courses/activities or online courses.
- Pay for screen protectors, chargers, selfie sticks and extra cables.
- Items for treatment or rehabilitation.
- Built environment that is used by all, for example, ramps, pathways and lifts.
- Medicine and training.
What if there isn’t enough money in my NDIS plan?
You can only use money already in your budget to pay for assistive technology. This money can be taken from your CORE budget, Capital budget or Capacity Building Budget. NDIS will not give you extra money to pay for low-cost assistive technology. If you have not been funded for low-cost assistive technology, you can ask NDIS to review your plan.