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How to guide: Get a tablet or iPad with your NDIS plan during COVID-19

A woman sitting looking at an iPad

The NDIA has made some changes to the rules so that you can use your plan funding to buy a device (like an iPad, Galaxy Tab or other tablet) that will help you access online support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a quick guide on what you need to know:

– The item shouldn’t cost more than $750. You can also get a standard protective case for the device, but other accessories typically aren’t included.

– It is only available if you need it during COVID-19 to keep getting your NDIS supports – and you don’t already have access to a device. This is for all supports, not just for therapy (for example, Auslan interpreting or social activities provided via video conferencing).

– This is only available until September 2020 and the NDIA will review the policy at the end of June 2020.

  Getting set up for online supports

If your arrangements have changed during COVID-19 and you want to access your supports online, here’s what you can do:

1. Confirm with your provider or support coordinator whether there are ways to continue supports and services online. Ask them to pop this in an email or letter to you.

2. Do you already have a device you can use? If you do, you’re all set! This means you don’t need to use your funding to get another one.

3. If you do need to buy a device, check if you have enough available funds in your plan’s core supports budget. If you’re plan managed with My Plan Manager, you can check this in the My Plan Manager app or portal – or call us on 1800 861 272 for help checking your budget.

4. If you’re plan or self managed, you can buy your device from any provider or store. If you’re agency-managed, you’ll need to get it from a registered provider.

5. My Plan Manager clients can ask the provider or store to send the invoice to [email protected] for payment, or you can pay and claim a reimbursement from My Plan Manager through the app or portal, or by emailing the receipt to [email protected] with the subject line ‘Reimbursement”.  If you are self-managed you can claim reimbursement via the NDIS portal. If you’re agency-managed, the provider will claim through the NDIS portal.

6. When you get your new device home, you’ll need to set it up. Have a chat to your provider about what apps you need to download to connect with your online supports.

To increase the flexibility for participants during COVID-19 the NDIA has made it easier to switch to plan management.

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2 Comments

  1. Oliver

    Can we buy a laptop/notebook instead?
    Or can we pay a little more out of pocket and buy a laptop up to $1000?
    I dont have a computer at all and borrow my sisters.
    We are always fighting for pc time….and if I am going to use my own funds to buy such an expensive tablet
    why not pay a little extra and have a 2 in one?
    If its possible , please let me know because i would love to use a nice 15 inch screen to use for your app .
    My eye sight is terrible.

    Reply
    • Sophie

      Hi Oliver
      Great question! You can absolutely buy a laptop or notebook – this policy applies to any assistive technology that will help you to keep your supports during COVID-19 restrictions. But … the NDIS doesn’t allow you to buy something more expensive and ‘top up’ using your own funds – so when it comes to tech to help you through COVID-19, you need to look for something under the $750 limit in order to use NDIS plan funding. If you have specific needs that mean you need a higher specification, or you can’t find any available devices under $750 (we know this has been an issue for a lot of people) you can always give us a call on 1800 608 298 and we can discuss your options.

      If you need the device because of something unrelated to COVID-19 (but related to your disability) then you can use core funds for low cost assistive technology up to $1500. See http://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/home-equipment-and-supports/assistive-technology-explained

      This is just general advice, and every situation is different so we recommend getting in touch, that way we can talk through the options available for your situation.

      Sophie @ MPM

      Reply

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