Reasonable and Necessary Support across the Lifespan: An Ordinary Life for People with Disability

The Independent Advisory Council to the National Disability Insurance Scheme in 2014 prepare a report that is certainly worth exploring for those wanting to gain a greater understanding of NDIS’ reasonable and necessary.

  • Explore enablers of an ordinary life by summarising literature about promoting
    independence, genuine community engagement and a good life to identify signposts of an ordinary life to which the NDIS must assist participants to aspire.
  • Explore barriers to an ordinary life at the societal, service and individual levels as well as identifying barriers that could be addressed by the NDIS.
  • Identify special considerations to recognise and compensate for challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people of culturally and linguistically diverse communities and people living in rural and remote areas.
  • Identify what an ordinary life might look across the lifespan and in specific domains of life.
  • Explore the extent to which the NDIS cluster structure could be used to promote supports that build an ordinary life; and
  • Conclude with general recommendations about reasonable and necessary support and other areas of provision over which the NDIS has responsibility.
  • There are six elements of reasonable and necessary that the NDIS will consider when deciding what supports to fund for a person with disability.

When considering what is reasonable and necessary, the NDIS takes into account informal supports, such as support provided by family members as well as other formal (mainstream) supports, such as those provided by the health and education systems.

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Reasonable and necessary supports must:

  1. Be identified in your NDIS plan as helping you to achieve your goals and take part in the community: If your NDIS goal is to make new friends, the funding you receive in your NDIS plan will support you to achieve that goal. This might mean funding to support you to attend Community Hubs or various recreational activities where you can meet new people.
  2. Be related to your disability: For example, the NDIS may not cover the cost to purchase an iPad, as it is not directly related to the disability, however you may receive funding for the purchase cost of communication and assistive technology applications for that iPad.
  3. Not include day-to-day living costs not related to your disability: The NDIS may not fund a myki card to pay for your public transport journeys, as this is an everyday living expense for some, however it may fund travel training to build capacity to travel.
  4. Represent value for money: It is more cost-effective for the NDIS to fund hydrotherapy services at an establishment, rather than building a swimming pool at the participant’s home.
  5. Be beneficial to you and be proven to work (tried and tested): Funded supports in a NDIS plan need to be evidence-based, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy. Alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy may not be funded.
  6. Take into account informal family, carer and community support that is available to you: The NDIS will consider other unpaid supports you may receive, such as support from family or friends and other community groups.

Find out more about what the NDIS will and won’t fund.

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