If you need disability-related health support but couldn't claim support costs before, you may now be able to claim funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Why? Because from 1 October 2019, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) extended the number of disability-related health supports that Australians can purchase through the scheme.
Below, we go over the key changes to help you identify if you're now eligible for financial support, and advice on accessing this support.
NDIS key changes
The main change to the NDIS is the inclusion of new types of disability-related health support. This change makes it easier to claim for ancillary support that is necessary to improve quality of life and help patients thrive. While not exhaustive, the types of support available can generally be grouped into eight categories.
• Continence - e.g. insertion, change, and removal of catheters
• Nutrition - e.g. preparation of nutritional meal plans by a qualified dietician
• Epilepsy - e.g. seizure monitoring
• Podiatry - e.g. daily maintenance and devising of an appropriate podiatry care plan
• Dysphagia - e.g. meal time management plans, consumables to reduce the risk of choking
• Diabetic management - e.g. developing an appropriate plan
• Respiratory - e.g. provision of air humidifiers and ventilators
• Wound and pressure care - e.g. dressings and pressure injury management plans
You can read more about each category here.
What's important is that the disability-related health support directly relates to your functional impairment. In most cases, this will mean that it's ongoing support that's medically necessary.
Since you can choose how your supports are provided, you can pay for these disability-related health supports through your core NDIS budget. Remember, your plan is unique to your situation, and you can flexibly allocate your budget accordingly. You can look over the 2019-20 price guide here.
If you're now eligible for NDIS support, it's time to look into applying to the NDIS and working out a support plan. If the disability-related health supports are necessary and reasonable for your care needs, you can include them with your first support plan.
Together with your provider, you'll work out what disability-related health supports you can apply for. Once you create a plan, it's approved and registered online. It'll be periodically reviewed like any other NDIS care plan.
What happens if you're already on an NDIS plan
If you're already on an NDIS plan but it's not yet time for your annual review, there are still options open to you. You can either:
• Ask for help from your State and Territory health service and tell them you're an NDIS participant
• Put any surplus support budget from your NDIS plan towards disability-related health supports (with the exception of Assistive Technology valued over $1500, which must be specifically included as part of your plan at review)
Once it's time to review your NDIS support plan, you can go over these additional health supports and include them in your revised plan if they're reasonable and necessary for you.
What to ask if your plan is being reviewed
If you're due to have your NDIS plan reviewed or you're already in the process of reviewing your support plan, you can include these extra disability-related health supports in your new plan. For the NDIA to approve these supports, they must be reasonable and necessary.
About Bright Plan Management
Whether you're unsure if you can claim for disability-related health supports or you're looking to review your NDIS support plan, the friendly and experienced team at Bright Plan Management can help you every step of the way. Contact us today to find out more about our planning services.