Can I Buy It?

The short answer to the ‘Can I Buy It?” question is if it supports your disability support needs, yes.

In reality, it’s not quite that simple. Nor is there a black and white, one-size-fits-all answer for some of the common questions our Plan Management team get asked.

The Nope, not the NDIS responsibility bit…

The NDIS won’t pay for goods or services that are the responsibility of another government department.

So, any health-related supports that are covered by Medicare are not funded by the NDIS. This includes doctor appointments, and medication. If you have a condition or illness that is ‘treatable’ then it is still the responsibility of our health system to support you. 

Same for school and education associated costs – the education department is responsible for making sure you have the same access to an education as somebody without a disability. 

Housing and accomodation is also something that the NDIS won’t fund, unless you’re part of the very small percentage of people eligible for SDA (Specialist Disability Accomodation). There are other services that are supposed to help people access safe and secure housing. 

Some everyday life stuff, like food, rent, bills, internet, a mobile phone, toys, ordinary furniture or exercise equipment, a car, a computer, are not things the NDIS would normally pay for but…

The Maybe, Depending on, Bit…

Everyday life stuff? This is the maybe, depending-on-all-sorts-of-things, answer. It gets confusing, and really is dependent upon your individual circumstances. You’re not supposed to spend your NDIS funds on things that everybody needs, regardless of their ability. 

But, if you need a modified car, or specialised communication device, home modifications for accessibility, modified clothing, or things that are only necessary because of your disability,  then they will fund some or all of the associated costs. Normally, they will require a relevant professional, such as an occupational therapist, speech therapist or physiotherapist, to make a recommendation on your behalf. 

In relation to Consumables and Assistive Technology, depending on what it is you need, what the associated risks are and the cost, you may need to get a recommendation from a therapist and submit a quote to the NDIS before they will fund something.

 Yep, a pretty safe bet 

Most Allied Health therapies are covered by the NDIS provided that they are supporting you to build and maintain your functional capacity (your ability to do stuff), and that they are recognised as evidence-based interventions.  The NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits has a really good summary of all the different types of therapy they will typically fund under the Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living section. 

Support workers help you with your everyday daily activities that you can’t do on your own because of your disability, this includes helping you out with personal care and domestic tasks, as well as accessing the community and social participation. You may need this type of support all the time, or only a couple of times a week. It’s designed to help you live as ordinary a life as possible.

Need Help?

So what to do if you’re not sure about spending your NDIS funds on something?  Ask your Support Coordinator or  Plan Manager. If you don’t have one of those, check out the ‘Can I buy it?’ Checklist from the NDIS Participant Information Booklet 3 – Using your NDIS plan. Work through this to work out if it’s something that should be funded by the NDIS.  There’s a link to a copy here.

Need a Plan Manager or Support Coordinator to help out? Get in touch and we’ll get you started. 

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