Following initial confusion, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released a statement clarifying Assistive Technology (AT) funding support between $1,500 and $5,000, while confirming the low cost and risk threshold will remain at $1,500.
Last October a new funding and supply option for nominated AT supports between $1,500 and $5,000 was announced. This funding option is limited to nine categories that included prosthetics/ orthotics, personal care accessories, beds and hygiene, AT relating to vision, recreation and sport as well as vehicles/transport, personal mobility/transfer and home modifications/access. These items must be itemised as a reasonable and necessary item within a participants NDIS plan.
This new approach means that funds can be put directly into a participant’s Capital Support Budget. While participants are being encouraged to seek assistance from an AT specialist with written advice prior to purchase of AT, the funds should already have been put into the Capital budget meaning that the participant will not need to submit an AT report and quotes for approval from the NDIA.
According to services provider, NDS there has not, to date, been any change to the funding for low cost/low risk AT that can be purchased through the Consumables budget within Core Supports. There are some new support line items within the Support catalogue however this remains largely the same for Level 1 and Level 2 AT. The change has been in the process and administration around the approvals for low cost/low risk AT.
“NDS welcomes the Agency’s announcement, which should mean that access to equipment should not be held up by administrative processes,” CEO David Moody told F2L. “It will, however, be important that participants are able to get adequate funding in their plans to access Capacity Building Supports for AT specialist advice.”
Moody said further work is not required to ensure the efficient processing of reports and quotations for more complex, higher costs and/or items outside the above nine categories. “For example, if changes are made that do not need the whole plan to be reviewed to make these changes, this should help to expedite what are currently unduly prolonged processes.
“NDS has been receiving reports from members in some parts of Australia of changes where applications are being processed more quickly. However it is worth noting that administrative delays can have negative impacts on the ability for children to participate fully at home, in the community and at school and the quality of life and independence of many others,” he said.
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