On Monday 27 April 2020, the NDIA has provided further clarification around accessing Low-Cost Assistive Technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with this new policy, Participants wishing to purchase a device need to gain a ‘letter of support’ (also called ‘written advice’) from their therapy provider.
Read our summary of the changes in relation to devices here and explore the full update on the NDIS website here.
When is a ‘written advice’ needed?
If a specific item is required to maintain supports, written advice will be required to support this purchase.
This written advice needs to be attached to the payment claim by self-managing participants, plan managers or providers.
What should the written advice include?
The written advice (which can include an email) should include:
- the participant’s name and NDIS number;
- confirmation that delivery of current supports in the participant’s plan have been significantly hindered due to physical distancing restrictions (or other consequences of coronavirus (COVID-19)) and that alternate solutions to maintain delivery/outcome have been considered, but do not fully address the limitations;
- how the device is necessary to maintain supports and services while maintaining physical distancing requirements;
- the specific technologies and associated accessories required, and that these represent the lowest specification capable of delivering the benefit; and
- that the participant is able to use the device/s to access the support.
Before the participant (or nominee) or provider makes a claim for the selected item, the participant should be sure that:
- the participant does not already have the item, another suitable item or access to the item, and
- a similar or suitable item has not been funded by another service system (such as education), and
- the item or circumstances are not specifically excluded under this policy.