Understanding your AT supports and managing your plan
NDIS participants can choose how to manage the funding for the supports in their plan. You can also choose the providers who will deliver your supports. You should first understand your plan and supports.
What is the process for purchasing AT?
The process for purchasing your AT will depend on:
- what your needs are
- how complex your needs may be; and
- how you are managing your AT supports
If you are self-managing your AT supports, you are able to choose and negotiate directly with a supplier to get the best value for money in line with your goals and budget. Unlike other management types, you are not restricted to suppliers who are NDIS registered providers but you are responsible for paying the invoice,claiming from the NDIS and keeping appropriate records. Find out more about self-managing budgets in your plan.
NDIA Managed Supports
If the NDIA is managing your AT supports, your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or Support Coordinator (if funded in your plan) will work closely with you to find and access a NDIS Registered Provider who is able to provide you with the right AT solution for the best value for money.
Your LAC or Support Coordinator (if funded in your plan) will help you engage with NDIS Registered Providers of your choice, and will assist you create service agreements and issue service bookings. The NDIS will pay your support provider directly.
Plan Management Provider Managed Supports
If a Plan Management Provider is managing your AT supports, your Plan Manager will assist you in identifying and/or sourcing the right AT solution for you. Your Plan Manager is able to access both NDIS Registered and non-registered providers on your behalf. Your Plan Manager may help you engage with providers of your choice.
Your Plan Manager will assist you with establishing service agreements and issuing service bookings. The NDIS will pay your Plan Manager directly for these supports, and your Plan Manager will be responsible for paying your support providers.
Where to buy AT supports
Generally, you can choose to purchase your AT supports from a suitable provider of your choice. These can include providers you know, providers you find and the State/Territory government AT provider schemes.
For simple, low risk items, you can often go to a local store or the internet to find suitable AT that meets their needs. You are able to claim these supports using the Daily Adaptive Equipment (03_131_0103_1_1) support item under your Core budget.
For more complex AT supports, you may need help to source the right AT solution for you (see the Complexity Level table here). You may also be referred to your State/Territory government AT provider scheme to establish the reasonable and necessary level of funds you will need to purchase your AT solution. You may also source quotes from other providers you know.
You can search for providers using the myplace participant portal or by other means similar to how you buy other goods and services outside of the NDIS. This includes via the internet, word-of-mouth, advertising, social media and marketing, or via other brokers and markets which may emerge under the NDIS.
Finding and buying AT supports
You are able to use your NDIS funds to:
- Purchase the AT outright; or
- Access the AT through a rental or other arrangement – this includes arrangements to access refurbished and reissued AT.
Whichever method suits you, you should check who has responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the AT. Generally if you lease or hire the item, the organisation that provided it to you would help fix it or, if necessary, give you a replacement. If you bought it outright, Australian Consumer Law gives you warranty rights on the supplier if something is wrong with the item. Read about your consumer rights here.
Repairs and maintenance are usually your responsibility and you should plan for those costs and, if necessary, create a service booking with a suitable provider if you purchase AT outright. The NDIS does not own your AT, and doesn't have an equipment repair service like some of the state/territory AT schemes.
Additional features and other sources of funding
You are able to use your own money to purchase additional features or access additional services which are unlikely to be funded reasonable and necessary supports in your NDIS plan. This may be special higher cost paint or upholstery you prefer, or an accessory that you want for convenience.
Where you may need the same (or similar) AT for multiple purposes (for example at home and at work) you may also wish to discuss with your LAC or the other funding source (for example JobAccess) whether you may be able to combine funds for the additional or complimentary features needed for each role. This may mean you don't require two different pieces of similar AT (for examplet prosthetic upper limb).