NDIS Changes for Assistive Technology Make Life Easier!

Automatic approval for Assistive Technology up to $15,000 – No Quotes Needed!

Changes have occurred recently in NDIS which make purchasing mid-cost assistive technology (AT) much easier with your NDIS funding. The upper limit for mid-cost AT has increased from $5,000 to $15,000.

This means that NDIS will approve purchases automatically for items up to this value if you have a budget in your NDIS plan for AT items. You no longer need to obtain and submit quotes for items up to the value of $15,000.

Of course, the purchase must still meet all the guidelines for the purchase of NDIS supports and assistive technology, including the reasonable and necessary test

  • Does the AT relate to your disability and support your needs?
  • Is it good value for money?
  • Will it be effective and beneficial to you?
  • So What is Assistive Technology?

    Assistive technology
    refers to equipment or devices that help you do things you can’t do because of your disability.

    Assistive technology includes items that:

    • help you do things more safely or easily
    • enable you to do things with less help from others
    • helps you to keep doing things you need to do
    • are personalised for you.

    Can a Recumbent Trike be Classified as Assistive Technology?

    Assistive technology refers to equipment that helps you do things that you normally cannot do because of your disability.

    If cycling on a normal bicycle is difficult due to your disability, a recumbent trike may provide you with the additional support you need so that you can cycle! In which case, a recumbent trike would be an example of assistive technology for you.

    For example, if balance is an issue, then a recumbent trike would be perfect as it does all the balancing for you.

    Recumbent trikes can be modified to suit your needs (e.g., rearrangement of the gear/brake controls to one side of the trike, addition of foot supports or seat belts, etc.).

    Because the trike is being personalised and modified to meet your requirements, it allows you to do something more easily, safely and independently – with less help from others. This is precisely what AT is meant to do.

    If Your Plan Already HAS Funding for AT under $15,000 …

    The NDIA will automatically approve the funding for these AT items without the need for a quote.

    To buy a mid cost AT (between $1,500 and $15,000) you will need to:

      1. Obtain written advice, such as a letter or report, from an AT advisor explaining how and why a recumbent trike is safe and right for you. An AT advisor may be an allied health practitioner or qualified practitioner.

      2. Keep a copy of the advice on record in case the NDIS asks for it later. Uploading it to your NDIS myplace portal, and attaching it to your NDIS record, is a good idea.

    If Your Plan Does NOT Already Include Funding for AT under $15,000 …

    … you have two options.

    Option 1. You can request a review BEFORE your plan is due for renewal. At your review meeting, you can request AT funding. You will need to speak to your Support Coordinator if you have one, or your Local Area Coordinator to request a plan review. Or …
    Option 2. You can wait until your plan is due for renewal to request AT funding be included

    What to Take to Your Planning Meeting

    When making a request for AT funding to be added to your NDIS plan, you will need to take written evidence from an AT advisor to your planning meeting. This written letter needs to include:

    • What AT item you need (e.g. recumbent trike)
    • How it helps with your disability support needs
    • Why it is the best value way to help you pursue your goals
    • The approximate cost. However, no quote is needed.

    It may also be helpful to take any other evidence that shows why this item is right. For example, if you have attended a trike trial, you’ll be able to explain from experience how a recumbent trike worked well for you.

    Writing Your Goal that Includes Assistive Technology

    At your NDIS planning meeting, you will need to develop goals. These goals are what your NDIS funding is based on. It is important to word these goals in a way that will allow you to receive the most support you can. This is particularly true in regards to requests for assistive technology.

    One of the main goals of the NDIS is to help people with a disability by providing social and recreation supports. The goal of these supports is to achieve independence, social and economic participation.

    On their website, the NDIS states social and recreation activities can include things like bike riding.

    An Example of What NOT to write …

    If you write your goal as you’d like you (or your child) to “ride a bike”, the NDIS may not fund this because this goal does not relate to increased participation in the community or social activities.

    The focus must be on what you, or your child, will be able to access because you can ride a recumbent trike. For example, you will have increased social participation by riding with family and friends.

    An Example of What TO write …

    Therefore, you need to write something more along the lines of …

    “My goal (or my child’s goal) is to have greater inclusion in the community and to develop social networks by participating in activities such as cycling with friends and family. To do this, I need (my child needs) a recumbent trike from Recumbent Company.”

    It Will Be Well and Truly Worth It

    If you have to request the addition of AT funding to your NDIS plan, it may seem daunting. However, be encouraged! It will be worth it once you have your own recumbent trike to ride.

    Riding a recumbent trike will make such a difference to your life. Riding will provide you with more social and community inclusion as people are often fascinated by recumbent trikes. There are so many other benefits. So don’t give up.

    Please feel free to talk with us about your circumstances and how a recumbent trike can be modified and built to meet your needs.

    We look forward to talking with you so you too will wear the ‘recumbent grin’!