Assistance animals explained

Some NDIS participants use assistance animals (most commonly dog guides) as a disability support. A study commissioned by the NDIA, completed in 2019, clarified the key terms for animals in disability assistance roles, and assesses the current evidence relating to NDIS participant trained assistance dogs. The reports are available on the NDIS publications page.

Before funding an assistance animal, the NDIA will consider whether an assistance animal is a reasonable and necessary support that will meet your needs and help you pursue your goals.
To consider if an assistance animal is a reasonable and necessary support, the NDIA requires evidence in writing with input from all of the following:  

  • a registered assistance animal provider
  • allied health professional(s)
  • the participant.

Generally, the NDIA will only fund an assistance animal which has passed, or will pass, your state or territory’s Public Access Test. This ensures that the animal is suitable to accompany and support you as you participate in the community.

If an assistance animal is included in your NDIS plan, funding may also be provided for necessary training of the animal and its handler, as well the extra maintenance costs of an assistance animal (over those of an equivalent companion animal or pet). 

For further detail please refer to the Operational Guidelines called 'Including Specific Types of Supports in Plans'.

Further information and resources

Visit the Providing assistive technology (AT) page for more information about:

  • Completing a dog guide assessment
  • Pricing and payments for AT providers.

Contact your local NDIS office

Do you have a question, request or urgent issue relating to assistive technology? You can now email your local NDIA office directly. Find your local office.

This page current as of
9 September 2020