Concept illustration of laptop with provider choice account on the screen
14 Apr

Lifting the mystery of what your NDIS plan can buy

COVID-19 challenges us to find new life routines. An expert NDIS team has built a free online tool to help explain in plain English what people with autism can buy with their disability funds right now.

Coronavirus has made it unsettling for many people with autism do go about their normal routines. The San Remo penne pasta served in the same bowl every evening is not available at the supermarket. The midweek drive to see the speech therapist, along the same city road is no longer taken. The box toys used each week in the therapy session aren’t in the family home.

But, there are solutions and NDIS funding can help a lot. Try the Plan Explainer here.

NDIS funding is much more flexible than families realise. It all comes down to one key question: is it reasonable and necessary? Reasonable meaning the item or service is fair and needed meaning it is a ‘must have’ (of course it needs to be disability-related!).

So can I buy an iPad with NDIS funds? It depends…

Coronavirus has now meant that families should consider a range of eligible items and services for their NDIS funding. Buying a tablet with NDIS money may have seemed unreasonable and unnecessary three weeks ago, yet today it may be a necessary support that you could give to a child with autism to support a new routine and support their life. It needs to be fair, so it’s hard to justify the bells and whistles iPad Pros, and it needs to be a ‘must have’ for things such as online therapy.

“NDIS funding should be used flexibly at this time. We built a tool which scans plans and in a few seconds helps guide families through the reasonable and necessary steps according to their own specific NDIS plan,” says Jonathan Salgo, an NDIS expert, and co-founder of plan management and technology company Provider Choice.

The newly launched NDIS Plan Explainer is now available for all families in the NDIS. It can scan a participant’s plan and, within seconds, turn government jargon into plain English. It means someone with autism or any other disability will see what their budget is, and what they can spend their funding on to improve their specific life situation.

It doesn’t churn out one-size-fits-all information. Instead, it analyses each plan individually and reveals what’s behind its complex terms and categories to help you make sense of it all.

It guides families through questions such as:

“Can I use NDIS money to buy a new iPad?”

“Can I spend the funding on gym equipment to help with exercise at home?”

“Can I employ a family member as an additional carer to help manage the load?”

The Plan Explainer is free for everyone

The tool is free for everyone in the NDIS and updated frequently to account for the latest changes in the scheme including the coronavirus changes.

Try the Plan Explainer here.

Visit the Provider Choice website for more information.

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