Weekly Q and A - 28 July

Posted on 28 July 2017

I keep hearing the NDIS is meant to be needs based, not diagnosis based, however it appears for adults this is not the case?

Anyone aged 6 years and older will need to provide a formal diagnosis of their disability as part of the access requirements to become an NDIS participant. However, once you are accepted into the Scheme your NDIS package will be based on your individual needs.

Children aged 0-6 years who have a developmental delay or disability can access Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) to develop the skills they need early on. Access to ECEI does not require a diagnosis to receive support. However, when your child reaches 7 years old they will be re-assessed to either move to the NDIS (where a formal diagnosis is required), or transitioned to other government support services (find out more about mainstream services in this factsheet).

The NDIS is designed to support 460,000 Australians with permanent and significant disability, and every single person has different needs and goals. Each package will always look different and may even include a mix of NDIS and support from other government services. Click here to read more in the About the NDIS factsheet.

What can you use core funding for? I haven’t used it yet and I don’t want respite

Core funding (or core budget) is allocated in your plan for everyday living activities and working towards your longer-term goals. It is made up of different categories of support such as:

  • Consumables (e.g. purchasing everyday use items such as continence aids)
  • Daily Activities (e.g. support with self-care activities during the day or evening)
  • Assistance with Social and Community Participation (e.g. supports to enable you to engage in social or recreational activities)

As your day-to-day living activities and long-term goals are very specific to you, your core budget is the most flexible part in your funding. What you use your core budget for can look different for everyone. However it is important to remember that this part of your budget is centred on everyday living activities and long-term goals, so how you decide to use this funding must align with your goals. There is more information on understanding your plan and supports, as well as downloadable resources on managing the different parts of your budget on the NDIS website. You can also find out more about NDIS plans in the “Your plan, your budget” video (external link).

Would NDIS early intervention fund an iPad app? I already own an iPad. Our plan is all paid to the speech so there is no paperwork on my end.

Yes – if the app directly relates to your child’s support needs,  and there is professional recommendation to evidence the app will be beneficial to support your child reaching his/her goals, the cost of an app can be funded by your ECEI plan. It is all about what is reasonable and necessary, which is why the NDIA requires evidence from an early childhood  professional to ensure the app will assist your child’s functional outcomes.  If you are unsure what is suitable, have a chat with your Early Childhood Partner.

Another thing to consider when purchasing something like an app is how you are managing your plan. If you have chosen for the Agency to manage your provider payments, the business where you purchase the app needs to be registered as a NDIS provider. There are a number of different ways you can manage your funding, including a mix of Agency-managed and self-managed. Find out more about options for managing your plan or again, bring this up with your Early Childhood Partner and find out what will be suit your needs.

What address do I send doctors and specialist documents to?

Doctors reports can be sent via mail, email or you can take it to your local NDIS office.

To send it by mail: GPO Box 700, Canberra, ACT 2601

To send it by email: NAT@ndis.gov.au

To find your nearest NDIS office check out the locations page of our website.

My child has Autism and behavioural issues, and has destroyed furniture in the bedroom. Under the NDIS, can we modify the room to meet needs?

Where home modifications have been included in your plan, you need to first obtain an assessment to determine the most appropriate solution to address your needs from a suitable assessor of your choice.

The home modification would be considered by the NDIA on a case by case basis.

Check out the Assistive Technology FAQs about Home Modifications which provides information about the current arrangements for home modification supports under the NDIS and criteria for selecting an assessor. There is also handy info on the NDIS Assistive Technology page relating to home modification assessment.

Another helpful document is the Operational Guidelines on including specific types of supports – Home modifications which outlines broadly how the NDIA approaches home modification supports.

Can you buy weights blankets or pressure clothing with your NDIS funding?

All requests for equipment or assistive technology must meet the reasonable and necessary supports criteria. A request for a weighted blanket would be considered alongside any available evidence and research as to whether a weighted blanket would be effective and beneficial for the participant, having regards to current good practice.

Reasonable and necessary supports are designed to help you to reach your goals across different areas of your life, such as education, employment, social participation, living arrangements and your health and wellbeing. You can discuss this with your ECEI or LAC Partner or Service Provider. Rules made under the NDIS Act also tell us which supports will not be funded by the NDIS. You can read about what is and isn’t funded under reasonable and necessary on the NDIS website, or check out Section 34 of the NDIS Act (2013) (external) to find out more about the rules we operate by.