National Disability Insurance Scheme – FAQs & Getting Started

Automobility is a proud supporter and Registered Provider of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The scheme is run by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

If you’re not familiar with the scheme, it’s a way of providing support to Australians living with a disability (as well as their family and carers), with the aim of helping them to live a happier, more independent life.

Automobility partners with the NDIS to help people in wheelchairs live a more independent life.

Automobility partners with the NDIS to help people in wheelchairs live a more independent life.

The NDIS aims to give people with disabilities access to a range of mainstream, community and government initiatives. The NDIA also works with the community to promote awareness about people with disabilities, ensuring they have the same fundamental rights and opportunities as all members of the community.

The NDIS helps Australians with disability acquired before 65 years to access:

  • Mainstream services and support such as therapists, doctors, public housing and legal aid
  • Community services and support like sports clubs, community groups and libraries
  • Reasonable and necessary funded supports (for things like wheelchair accessible vehicles!)

As an industry leader in Wheelchair Access Vehicle conversions, our customers often ask us for information and advice about seeking reasonable and necessary funding via the Scheme, along with how best to deal with the NDIA. So, we thought it might be useful to share some of our most frequently asked questions with you, to help understand how to get started on the NDIS, and what it can mean for you and your needs.

How will I know if I’m allowed to access and claim via NDIS?

You will need to meet certain requirements to access the NDIS. To find out about these requirements, go to Accessing the NDIS section of the website or talk to your Occupational Therapist (OT).

Where is the NDIS available?

The NDIS has been introduced in stages across Australia since July 2016.  Visit here to find out whether you can access it in your area.

Do I need to buy a car before discussing with a planner?

No, you just need to confirm to the NDIA that you are able to fund a vehicle that meets the guidelines for the application to be processed. If it is approved by a planner, you then need to submit an assessment and quote that’s in line with the support in the plan.

Can I convert a used car to be a Wheelchair Access Vehicle?

Generally, yes, you can. The NDIA guidelines prefer a car of up to 3 years/45,000km. However, we know that the NDIA are presently looking at changing this to 5 years/80,000km, but may also consider other vehicles on a case-by-case basis. The NDIA want to ensure that vehicle and modifications will have a suitable longevity of at least 7 years.

Do I need multiple quotes if I have chosen my provider?

The NDIA will need to be assured that your choice represents value for money, so it is important for your OT to consider other providers or conversions, and relay that consideration as part of their report. The NDIA may request two quotes for substantial work to establish value for money.

Can I add additional items to the conversion?

Clinical justification will need to be provided by the appropriate medical/OT professional to substantiate that the requirement that these items will be of benefit to the NDIS applicant, i.e. how fitting the item will help the applicant, or aid their primary carer. The purpose of the funding is to address the participants’ functional needs and their goals.

How long does the NDIS application take to process?

There is no definitive processing time, however, it is directly linked to being a reasonable request for the participant’s disability related needs, and the OT report and application. The detail of the OT report and clinical justification is the key to quick processing – the report needs to be comprehensive, consider the applicant’s goals, other options, carers and family and then make objective recommendations. The NDIS are committed to a prompt turn around, but this is linked to the quality of the information provided to them.

What can I ask for in my NDIS plan?

You can ask for anything – fancy a beautiful red Ferrari?! However, including an item on your plan definitely does not mean you’re going to get NDIS to pay for that item. Any item to be funded by the NDIS must be supported by clinical justification by your OT. The NDIS will fund your reasonable needs – so luxury items will not generally be funded, and including them in your application could potentially delay the application processing time.

My NDIS application has been declined, what can I do?

If you and your OT feel the decision is unfair or it hasn’t considered all the information, in most cases you can seek a review of that decision. https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/reasonable-and-necessary-supports/decision-review.html .

If you have any more questions you can contact our team here, and we’ll be happy to support and guide you along the way. You should also consult your medical professional or Occupational Therapist. More information about the NDIS can be also found on their website.

At Automobility, our main goal is to give you back your freedom. We’ll work with you to understand your needs, along with your family and/or carer, to offer you a tailored solution and give you the support you need to remain independent.

You can call our dedicated team on 1300 660 773, or contact us online for an obligation-free vehicle demonstration and consultation in your state. Let us help you to become more mobile and experience all that life has to offer!

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