Have you been tossing up whether to buy an iPad or other tablet? The NDIS have recently approved the use of NDIS funding to purchase these devices. This decision is based on acknowledgment of the importance of these items and how they have allowed participants to engage with their providers online since the start of the pandemic. In recognition of this, the flexible approach to purchasing low cost Assistive Technology (AT) will continue and be monitored as participants and providers adapt to COVID normal.
What will my NDIS funding cover?
The item should cost a maximum of $750. You are covered for a standard protective case for the device only within this allowance.
Am I eligible to use my NDIS funding?
Participants can use their existing NDIS funding to purchase an item if all of the following conditions are met:
- it will maintain or improve delivery of funded NDIS supports like a program, therapy or requirement
- the provider of supports has confirmed in writing the device is necessary to continue supports and services while maintaining physical distancing and other health requirements as advised by government
- it is the lowest specification of device that will maintain funded supports
- you do not already have the item, another suitable item or access to the item
- the item has not been funded by another organisation
the item or circumstances are not specifically excluded.
Low cost AT in your plan budget
Participants can use their funding flexibly to purchase low cost AT using funding from their Core – Consumables budget.
Plan-managed or self-managed participants can purchase these items from any provider.
Following an amendment made in 2020, participants are now able to use their Core budget more flexibly, including to purchase low cost AT under the consumables category. If you only have funding in your Capacity Building budget, you are able to use the Low Cost AT – to support Capacity Building support delivery line item.
It is important to note the NDIA will not increase plan funds to allow for the purchase of a device under this policy.
What is excluded from this policy?
The following items and circumstances are excluded from the flexible low cost AT policy:
- items that do not relate to the participant’s disability
- items with extra specifications above the basic model
- smart phones, tablets or iPads with mobile-only 3G, 4G or 5G connections (you can upgrade to one of these devices using your own money)
- the purchase of multiple devices for the same participant
- internet connection and data
- apps or software. Apps which have been specified and approved in a plan can be paid for with NDIS funding
- additional hardware or accessories, other than standard protective cases
- additional hardware and accessories may be purchased if they relate to using the device because of the participant’s disability, such as wheelchair mounting for a person with limited grip.
Replacement of items would generally only apply where the existing device is no longer suitable to meet the participant’s needs at that time. It does not include upgrade because a new model or version is released.
The NDIS has put together some FAQs on purchasing low cost AT here.