The NDIS is now funding smart devices – here’s what you need to know

The NDIS is funding smart devices
01 June 2020

Social distancing and government requirements to stay at home have had a big impact on our lives recently. Service providers and health professionals like your local GP’s are now offering virtual consultations as a measure to keep patients safe, and similar adaptations are being made within disability support services.

The NDIS has made it a little easier for you to access health, support and online learning services by allowing you to use your NDIS funding to purchase a smart device.

In NDIS speak, they are referring to these devices as “low cost assistive technology”. In real speak, it’s a basic smart device – most commonly a tablet.

In this blog, we’ve included everything you need to know about this latest change.

 

How do I know if I can get one?

Like anything with the NDIS, it comes down to what’s reasonable and necessary.

The smart device is necessary if:
  • You need it to access disability support.

  • You don’t already have a device.

    Do you have a laptop, smartphone or tablet at home that you can access? If so, you probably won’t be eligible.

  • It’s the ‘lowest specification’ necessary to get the job done.

    This basically means that it’s not the fanciest model, but good enough for you to access your supports.

The smart device is reasonable if:
  • It costs less than $600

    There are a few exceptions to this rule. Maybe the device needs to have a feature that is not available on a standard tablet, or maybe your disability prevents you from using a standard tablet and you need something more specialised.

 

Do I need to use existing funds?

Yes, you will need to have the funding already in your plan to take advantage of this change. The NDIA are not increasing plans to cover the cost of these devices. It’s also worth noting that they won’t do a review if all you’re looking for is a smart device.

 

What funding categories can I use?

Good news here – the NDIA have been quite flexible with how you can purchase a smart device. You can use your core budget, or your consumables budget.

If you don’t have enough funding in either of those you can use your capacity building funds. There has been a handy new line item in the latest NDIS Price Guide to cover this:

COVID-19 Low Cost AT to support Capacity Building support delivery 15_222400911_0124_1_3

It’s been done like this so you can be a bit flexible with your budget.

 

What is the process to get one?

  1. You need a letter from a provider, confirming that the device is necessary

    With this letter, you can either upload it to the portal or email it straight to the NDIS. Their address is enquiries@ndis.gov.au and the subject line should be ‘Low cost AT flexibility evidence’.

  2. You will need to purchase it.

    The process to get a smart device is the same process to get consumables – and it all comes down to how your plan is being managed.

If you’re plan managed or self managed you can buy from any provider.

If you’re plan is agency managed you will need to buy through a registered provider. If you have a Support Coordinator you might be able to buy one through them, otherwise a few of the big electronics retailers are registered NDIS providers.

 

Is this a permanent change?

No, unfortunately this is just temporary to help get us all through the pandemic. This rule will no longer apply after September 2020.

 

What about internet? Will the NDIS pay that?

Unfortunately the NDIS will not cover the cost of your internet access.

Contact us to find out how we can support you

Share:    



Other blogs and information you maybe interested in

Answering your questions about the 'my NDIS App'

With nearly 84 per cent of the world's population now owning a smartphone, mobile applications have become an efficient way to manage your finances, communicate, and connect with your community. So, it’s no wonder that you can now also manage your NDIS plan through your mobile device.

Introducing the my NDIS app, designed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to give those who self-manage their plans a more accessible and user-friendly way to manage their account.

Respite and NDIS plan

What is respite and how can you include it in your NDIS plan?

Respite is essentially time you spend outside of your usual living arrangements, whether that’s living with family, friends or housemates. Respite is a service that can be used for just a few hours or up to a few weeks.

NDIS is good for the economy

How a strong NDIS is good for the economy - why Teamwork works

Did you know that for every dollar spent on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the scheme delivers $2.25 to the broader Australian economy?

Woman contemplating on a laptop

What does an 'average' NDIS plan look like

Whether you are starting out on the NDIS Plan journey or looking at making some changes, sometimes it’s good to have something to compare to that might help you assess the value you are getting from your own plan.

Man sitting on coach thinking

The SIL (Supported Independent Living) process explained

This blog is going to cover the process in a way that’s (hopefully) easy enough to understand.

SIL is Supported Independent Living. It’s how the NDIS helps people with a disability live independently. We get asked this question so often that we made a blog just about this. You can check it out here. This blog is a great place to start to get a bit of background information.

Independent Assessment

What you need to know about NDIS independent assessments

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘independent assessments’ in the recent months.

If you’re not sure what an independent assessment is, or how it will impact you, then this blog is for you.