What do we mean by disability-related health supports?

All Australians have an equal right to access the health system, whether or not they have a disability. The Australian health system provides health services to treat illnesses or health conditions.

A disability-related health support is a support you may need to help you manage a health condition directly because of your disability. Or, to help you to manage your health or health condition if your disability means you can’t do this on your own.

When we make decisions about what disability-related health supports we fund, we consider the principles we follow to create your plan. These principles explain how we make sure you get the reasonable and necessary supports you need. They also help us make sure the NDIS is financially sustainable. This means we manage our funding so we can meet your disability needs now, as well as your needs and the needs of other people with disability in the future.

We provide supports to help you to be more independent and pursue your goals. The supports must directly relate to the functional impacts of your disability. This means there needs to be a direct link between the disability-related health support you need and your disability.

The support should also help you undertake activities in your day-to-day life. For example, the support might make it easier for you to live independently, go to school or work, see friends and family or do other activities. 

Disability-related health supports may include:

  • funding for someone, such as a support worker, to provide your disability-related health supports
  • training for your support workers or other people who support you such as family or friends
  • consumables – the things you use. For example, continence products like catheter bags, pads, bottles and straps.

We may also fund some assistive technology as a disability-related health support. When we talk about assistive technology, we mean equipment, technology and devices that help you do things you can’t do because of your disability. This could include:

  • pressure care cushions or mattress, if you need regular care to prevent wounds or pressure sores because of your disability
  • a cough assist machine, if you need support to maintain your respiratory health because of your disability.

Remember, we can’t fund health supports that aren’t directly related to your disability. 

What are the disability-related health support areas?

The disability-related health supports we fund, when this is directly related to your disability, include:

  • Dysphagia supports: if you have trouble eating, drinking or swallowing on a daily basis.
  • Respiratory supports: if you need support, care and planning to help you breathe and maintain respiratory health where this is compromised.
  • Nutrition supports: if you need help with the way you eat or understanding the food you need.
  • Diabetes management supports: if you need extra help to manage your diabetes, for example, testing your blood sugar level because you are unable to do this on your own due to the functional impact of your disability.
  • Continence supports: if you need products to maintain your continence or someone to help you with toileting on a daily basis.
  • Wound and pressure care supports: if you have slow to heal wounds, a condition that results in swollen arms or legs, or ongoing loss of feeling in your body or arms or legs, and you need regular skin, wound and pressure care.
  • Podiatry supports: if you need assessment and development of a care plan to help look after your feet, ankles and lower limbs.
  • Epilepsy supports: if you need help to monitor and manage seizures when they occur.

Remember, we can only fund these supports if they directly relate to your disability and help you undertake activities involved in day-to-day life. This means you’re unable to manage your health on your own, or you need the support because of your disability.

You may need other disability-related health supports not covered in this list. Talk to us about what you need. If it’s a reasonable and necessary support we may be able to fund it. If not, we can help find a service to support you.

This page current as of
29 November 2021
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