Assistive Technology (AT) will be easy to replace under a simpler process set to benefit National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants.
From April 2019, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will begin a pilot introducing a new process which will mean replacements for standard AT items will be quickly assessed without needing a full re-assessment, only requiring one quote for items valued between $1,500 and $15,000.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher says the new process will enable people with disability to continue to pursue their goals.
“We recognise the importance of Assistive Technology to NDIS participants.
“AT enables people with a disability to live a better, more independent and inclusive life.
“By improving and streamlining the process for approvals, we are cutting back on the red tape to replace items, while also reducing the delays in the assessment process and delivery of AT.”
Executive Officer of the AT industry organisation Assistive Technology Suppliers Australia, David Sinclair (ATSA) shared his support for the new process.
“ATSA welcomes the announcement and looks forward to the improvement it will make to NDIS participants,” he says.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Sarah Henderson says refining the AT process and simplifying the AT replacement process will allow NDIS participants to maximise use of their funding and focus on their goals.
In June 2019, the NDIA will introduce changes that will make it easier for participants to access refurbished or pre-used AT.
Since May 2018, approximately 45 percent of participants requiring have benefited from the NDIA’s move to allow low cost, low risk AT under $1,500 to be purchased without further assessment, quotes or approvals once deemed “reasonable and necessary” in their NDIS plans.
An estimated $1 billion per year will be spent on AT when the NDIS is fully rolled out next year.