What are reasonable and necessary supports?
When we discuss NDIS funding we not only hear the words choice and control but also reasonable and necessary. This article will focus on the discussion of reasonable and necessary supports as it sometimes causes confusion to some. In its simplest definition, reasonable and necessary are supports and services that you need as a participant to assist you due to the impact of your disability. It covers living arrangements, education, employment, and social participation. During your Plan Meeting with your Local Area Coordinator, information of supports and services will be gathered and assessed if they are reasonable and necessary with the following considerations:
· Is it related to your disability?
You should be able to demonstrate the practicability of the NDIS supports, meaning the support you are requesting is necessary due to the impact of your disability. Take for example you cannot maintain the cleanliness of your house /unit due to mobility limitations, then this request may be funded by the NDIS as it clearly shows that your disability is impacting your day-to-day function.
· Will it help you achieve your NDIS goals?
This is where the role of preparing during your plan meeting plays an important role as it has a direct impact on the supports that will be granted for funding. If the support/s you are requesting is directly related to your NDIS goals, then most likely the NDIA will see it as reasonable and necessary. Take for example you stipulated that one of your goals is to be able to freely express yourself in a creative way then you may be able to access support/s like art therapy, dance therapy, or music therapy.
· Does it help you become more active in the community?
If the support will be able to increase your community participation, then the NDIS may be able to grant funding.
· Is it reasonably priced?
This means that the support should be able to provide value for money. This does not mean that a participant should always choose the cheaper option, but should consider the quality of the service as well.
· Is it only funded by the NDIS and not by other Government services or programs?
It is important to know ahead whether the support/s you are requesting is not funded by any Government services or programs as it may not be necessary anymore for the NDIA to grant the funding when it is already covered by another program.
· Is it safe?
The support/s you will be requesting will be assessed if it is safe or not. Take for example when you need to purchase a specialized AT, assessments will be needed as part of the requirements for your application. A portion of the assessment will talk about how the product is safe to use and that it will not in any way inflict harm to you and to the people around you.
Supports that will NOT be funded by the NDIS
According to the NDIS Act, support will not be funded if it:
is not related to the participant's disability
duplicates other supports already funded by a different mechanism through the NDIS
relates to day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant's support needs, or
is likely to cause harm to the participant or pose a risk to others
In addition, the NDIS will not cover course fees, rent, utility bills, groceries, movie tickets, and the likes.
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