If you have been around the NDIS block a few times you’ve probably heard the term “reasonable and necessary” until it becomes part of the jargon that consumes the NDIS. But to the newbie, the term can be an intimidating aspect of navigating a new plan. What is reasonable and what is necessary, and how on earth do you decide what relates to you as an individual?
Basically, deciding what is reasonable and necessary to you then decides the choice and control that your NDIS plan can provide you. According to the NDIS, “reasonable and necessary supports for people with disability should:
• support people with disability to pursue their goals and maximise their independence
• support people with disability to live independently and to be included in the community as fully participating citizens; and
• develop and support the capacity of people with disability to undertake activities that enable them to participate in the mainstream community and in employment”
(If you want to check out the actual terminology, check out this link) https://www.ndis.gov.au/…/supports-funded-ndis/reasonable-a…
The whole point behind funding support that are reasonable and necessary is to help you reach your goals and to be able to participate in activities that increase your presence (or strut your stuff) in society. And they need to tick a few boxes. They need to:
• relate to your disability
• not be a ‘normal’ living cost unrelated to your support needs
• Not be ridiculously expensive (needs to provide value)
• Be beneficial to your needs
So what do you look for? We will explore supports that are funded by the NDIS another time, but essentially something has to be one of these two things:
Reasonable: something that is fair
And/or Necessary: something that you have to have
because of your disability
These requests can be found in areas such as:
• Support workers to help with daily activities or personal care
• Therapy supports
• Aids and equipment
• Home modifications
• Mobility equipment
But be prepared to think outside the box! What do you want to do that you can’t do at the moment. And how could something help you achieve that? Have a look at the examples below to get an idea.
NDIS planners will look at different information when deciding if something is reasonable and necessary. And everyone is different. What may be necessary for someone with a particular disability may not be seen as necessary for someone else with that same disability. Why? Because other factors are included in the assessment. Planners will look at things like your informal supports, such as family members, or other social networks. And they’ll assess each need or reasonable request individually. So be prepared to argue your case! You’ll need evidence that what you’re asking for is
Reports help! Seek out info from allied health professionals or any mainstream supports that can assist in justifying your request before you submit your request to your planner.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Joe loves going to music concerts and believes going out regularly to concerts, especially with a group of friends. Joe would need to fund the ‘normal’ costs of attending the concert, including the tickets, food and drink, and buying the band’s t-shirt. But for Joe to attend the concert, it is reasonable for him to ask for
• A support worker to accompany him
• Transport costs to and from the venue (depending on mobility)
Jane works at an office twenty minutes from her home. She uses a motorised wheelchair and is able to efficiently negotiate her office space, but needs to work from home part-time due to fatigue. It is reasonable for Jane to request
• Transport to and from her workplace
• Modifications to her office work station
• Equipment to enable her to work from home
It can be tricky to decide if a cost is something mainstream (and therefore not funded) or reasonable and necessary for someone with a disability. Would someone without a disability be expected to pay for this? The whole point is providing choice and control and it never hurts to ask the question!
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