NDIS Capital Support: Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is any item or equipment that helps a person living with a disability to live more independently and enjoy the life they want. It could be as simple as a spoon that’s easier to grip that helps you eat independently, or it could be as complex as a custom electric wheelchair. Your NDIS budget can be used to purchase many different types of assistive technology, depending on your goals and your needs. Any technology you purchase with NDIS funds must help you meet your goals, and it must not be eligible for funding from another source. 

The NDIS Assistive Technology category falls under the purpose of Capital Supports, and major assistive technology will be purchased with this budget. The NDIS Capital Support categories provide funding for specific, one-time purchases that will improve a participant’s ability to meet their goals. Capital support items must be approved in advance, and they are generally higher cost items (more than $5,000). However, not all assistive technology needs to be approved and claimed through your Capital Support budget. Some assistive technology items can be purchased directly without approval and reimbursed from the Consumables budget. 

Factors that Affect How Assistive Technology is Funded  

In order for NDIS to fund assistive technology, the technology needs to meet several criteria. It needs to help you achieve the goals you set in your NDIS plan. This means that the assistive technology needs to be useful to help you overcome the disability-specific barriers that stand between you and your goals. In addition, it needs to be safe for you to use, and it needs to meet Australia’s safety standards when applicable. It also needs to be right for you, which means it will accomplish the functions you need it to do, and you’ll be able to use it in all the situations where you need it. In addition, it needs to be ‘value for money’, which means that the cost is reasonable and appropriate for the item. Finally, the equipment must not be eligible for funding by any other organisation such as a hospital or another federal agency. If a particular item of assistive technology meets all of these criteria, then it is likely to be funded by your NDIS budget. 

Although there’s an NDIS budget category specifically for Assistive Technology, or AT, some will be funded from other categories of your budget. Two factors determine which part of your NDIS budget you can use to purchase assistive technology: cost and risk. Technology that is low cost and low risk can be purchased without prior approval using your flexible Consumables budget. Technology that is high cost or high risk must be pre-approved and funded through your Capital Supports budget. 

Examples of low-risk, low-cost technology include bathmats, eating utensils, and shower chairs. Examples of high-risk technology include transfer aids (because they can increase the risk of falling), bed rails and weighted blankets (because they restrict voluntary movement), and devices to support breathing (because they can cause harm if used incorrectly). 

Low cost assistive technology is usually defined as costing less than $1,500, and items in this price range can be purchased with your Consumables budget as long as they are also low risk. Mid cost technology costs between $1,500 and $5,000, and high cost technology costs over $5,000. Any technology in these price ranges needs to be approved and funded through your Capital Supports budget. 

Risk is another important factor that determines which budget you use for AT. Low-risk technology can be purchased with your Consumables budget, but high-risk technology must be included in your Capital Supports budget. Risk is determined by two things: First, is the item likely to cause injury or harm? Second, do you need advice or training by an allied health professional in order to select, set up, or use the item correctly? If either of these are true, then the item is considered high risk, and it needs to be included in your Capital Supports budget. 

How to Get Approval for an Assistive Technology Purchase 

Although you don’t need specific approval for all assistive technology purchases, you do need to have assistive technology in your NDIS plan before you can use your funding to purchase it. 

To get AT added to your plan, you’ll need to tell your planning manager how the technology will help you meet your goals. Most of the time, it’s recommended that you talk with your GP or an assistive technology advisor about the equipment you want and how it will help you. Even for low-cost technology, it’s helpful to get advice about what technology will work best for you. However, this isn’t required for low-cost, low-risk technology. 

For mid-cost technology, you’ll need to upload a letter of assessment about the technology you need. The letter can be written by your GP or by an assistive technology assessor or advisor, which could be an allied health professional such as a therapist or a nurse. It doesn’t need to be a full assessment of your needs; it can simply be a statement about the technology you’re expected to need. However, you should have an assessment of your needs done before you purchase the equipment. 

For high-cost or high-risk technology, you’ll need to upload a recent assessment about your assistive technology needs and a quote for the cost of the equipment. The assessment must be performed by a qualified practitioner such as an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist. The NDIS provides AT assessment templates on their website. In addition to the assessment, you’ll need to get a quote from a provider for the specific type and model of assistive technology that you need and upload that to your myPlace portal. After you’ve uploaded all the required information, NDIS will make a decision about funding for your assistive technology within 10 days for low- or mid-cost technology or within 30 days for high-cost technology. 

Pricing Recommendations for Assistive Technology 

The 2020-21 NDIS Pricing Arrangement does not include any price limits for assistive technology, although it does include price guides for services related to assistive technology. However, there are documents that provide guidelines regarding what assistive technology is likely to cost. The NDIS provides these guidelines to help you budget for assistive technology you need and to help you request reasonable funding for items you need. 

NDIS Guide for Low-Cost Assistive Technology 

If you are purchasing assistive technology using your Consumables budget, you’ll need to purchase items yourself from a retail store or through your agency plan manager. You will also need to track your budget to make sure you don’t spend too much of your budget on assistive technology. Although there are no price limits in the NDIS Pricing Arrangement for low-cost assistive technology, the NDIA does provide guidelines to help you determine whether a price is reasonable. These prices are simply guidelines – depending on your situation, you may need to spend more or less than these prices for the equipment you need.

Basic domestic assistive technology

Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Basic domestic AT – $50 Laundry and washing line adaptations.
Assistive items and devices for dishwashing.
Basic domestic AT – $150 Kitchen trolley.
Assistive utensils and devices for household tasks. For example, cleaning, food and drink preparations.
Basic domestic AT – $250 Kitchen stool.
Over bed tables.

Basic Seating

Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Basic seating – $50 Bed or chair raiser 40mm or 100mm height.
Basic seating – $300 Standard chair adjustable height.

Basic transfer equipment

Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Basic transfer equipment – $50 Removable handle on the car pillar.
Slide sheet.
Swivel disc.
Basic transfer equipment – $150 Slide board.
Car transfer pad.
Transfer belt.
Basic transfer equipment – $300 Hoist sling replacements.


Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Communication – $100 Talking buttons.
Picture Exchange Communication Symbols (PECS) books, small number of symbols.
Communication – $200 Low tech visual schedules.
Electronic switches. For example, button or finger switches.
Communication – $500 Low technology communication books and boards.
Small electronic communication devices. For example, “BIGmack”, “Step by Step” communicator.
Communication – $1000 Picture Exchange Communication Symbols (PECS) Books 100+ symbols.
Communication – $1500 Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) books.


Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Continence – $100 Incontinence alarm (not for infants and toddlers).

Daily living solutions

Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Daily living solutions - $50 Everyday use products with specific features that address functional limitations for the individual. For example, medication management devices, nonslip bathmat, long-handled or adapted grip equipment, cutlery and similar supports for daily living.
Small devices to assist with dressing and undressing, eating and drinking.


Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Hearing – $500 Doorbell and phone alerting system.
Hearing aid remote control.
Wireless communication accessories for Cochlear implant speech processors.
Streamers for the TV, mobile phone or as a remote microphone.
Hearing – $1000 Alerting system e.g. vibrating/flashing smoke alarm.


Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Mobility – $50 Replacement mobility sticks/cane, replacement covers.
Walking sticks and canes.
Quad stick.
Mobility – $150 Tactile sticks or white canes.
Elbow crutches.
Mobility – $500 Rollator/4 wheeled walker frame.

Prosthetics and orthotics

Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Prosthetics and Orthotics – $200 Other Low Cost consumables (e.g. lubricant) that may be required to extend the working life of the AT.
Replacement socks or soft covering between the residual limb and the prosthesis, or specialty limb covering under an orthotic. Standard socks (pair) normally worn in boots/shoes are not NDIS funded.
Prosthetics and Orthotics – $500 per item Extra depth/extra width footwear (orthopaedic footwear).
Replacement knee sleeves for a year.
Prosthetics and Orthotics – $1500 Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFOs).
Foot orthoses.
Pre-fabricated orthoses.
Custom made footwear.
Replacement silicone liner.

Simple bathing and toileting

Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Simple bathing and toileting devices – $150 Bath-board.
Shower stool.
Adjustable toilet seat raise.
Basic over toilet frames supports.
Simple bathing and toileting devices – $250 Hand-showers with diverter.
Shower chair adjustable with arms and/or back.
Note: This does not include shower chairs for infants and toddlers.
Simple bathing and toileting devices – $350 Toilet rails fixed to toilet. For example, throne toilet rails.
Basic static bedside commode.
Simple bathing and toileting devices – $500 Bath transfer bench no back.


Category and price range Example assistive technology items
Vision – $50 Some vision specific apps for a smart phone. For example, blind square ($40).
Replacement canes or cane tips throughout the year. This is ONLY for replacement canes/tips to a device recommended after a mobility assessment.
Vision – $100 Low risk activity of daily living equipment. For example, liquid level indicator, talking kitchen scales.
Vision – $150 KNFB reader.
Rental of an Audiobook player.
Note: Renting helps you test whether the Audiobook player is going to work for you.
If the you have an iOS device (iPad/iPhone/iPod) you can listen to talking books for free through the Vision Australia connect app.
Vision – $250 Penfriend 2 labeller. You will usually need some training to use this.
Vision – $300 Replacement magnifier.
Vision – $350 Vision-related software upgrade. For example, JAWS or Zoomtext.
Vision – $500 Purchase of an Audiobook player.
Note: You should trial the Audiobook player before buying it. There may be lower cost AT which meet your needs. You may also need training to learn how to use an Audiobook player.
If you have an Apple (iOS) device (iPad/iPhone/iPod) you can listen to talking books for free through the Vision Australia connect app.
Vision – $1500 Replacement electronic portable hand held magnifier.
Note: If you need an electronic magnifier you should get advice/assessment from an orthoptist. They will help to decide if this is the best AT for you. There may be other supports that will give you the same outcome at a lower cost. For example, a magnification app on a smart phone.

NDIS Guide for Assistive Technology Rental Costs 

If you’re not sure whether a particular assistive technology is right for you, or if your needs for assistive technology are likely to change over time, then you may want to rent rather than purchasing equipment. You can also trial assistive technology to see if it will work for you before you purchase it. The same guidelines apply to renting or trialling equipment as buying it: you can rent low-cost, low-risk equipment using your Consumables budget, and you can rent high-cost or high-risk equipment with your Capital Supports budget after it’s been approved. 

There are no price limits for renting or trialling assistive technology in the NDIS Pricing Arrangement, but NDIA does provide a pricing guide for assistive technology rentals. This guide may help you determine whether a rental you’re considering is reasonably priced. However, there may be situations in which a reasonable price is different from the guideline.

Assistive Technology Type Guide for a trial or loan/rental
Trial of specialised AT.
Often linked to child mobility and posture.
$100 for testing different items and designs during a clinic session. This includes travel by the provider.
$150 per week for two or more items.
Bathroom equipment $100.00 per week for bathroom equipment.
An extra $100 per week if you need a transfer hoist.
Wheelchairs $50 per week (manual wheelchair)
$100 per week (power wheelchair)
You will need a quote for higher cost rental and trial of specialised power wheelchairs.
Bed (height adjustable) $120 for a week (includes delivery). Each extra week is $70 per week.
$80 per week for alternating pressure mattress.
Electronic communication AT
Electronic sensory impairment AT
$300 for two weeks
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