Jing’s disability means he has trouble breathing and keeping his airways clear and free from infection. He needs to regularly use life support equipment. He lives in an area that can have an unreliable power supply.  Jing asks for funding for a generator to back up his power supply.  This is because he’s worried that without the life support equipment he’ll get sick and need to go into hospital.

Would we fund this?

No, we would not typically fund a generator for Jing.  This is because supports related to the provision of power sources are the responsibility of the states and territories. This includes backup generators to run assistive technology for people who live in areas that may have unreliable power supply. Under section 34(1)(f) of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, we don’t fund supports that are more appropriately funded or provided through other general systems of service delivery or support.

Why wouldn’t we fund it?

The states and territories are responsible for making sure everyone has a power supply. This may include backup generators where supply can’t be guaranteed.

Also, there are registers for emergency medical essential power to make sure the power suppliers are aware of people with disabilities who have specific power needs. Please talk to your myNDIS contact if you need help to get on to another government scheme. For more information about emergency medical essential power in your area please refer to the links below, or your state or territory government website:

When we work out whether a support is reasonable and necessary for you, we consider the information you’ve provided against the NDIS Funding Criteria. Under our funding, a back-up generator is not likely to meet the reasonable and necessary criteria. This is because it’s more appropriately funded or provided through other general systems of service delivery or support.

Some assistive technology devices, such as respiratory equipment, are supplied with backup batteries for emergencies or to make them easier to carry on short trips. We may provide funding for batteries for some types of assistive technology, to support the operation of the equipment.  

Case example

Jane is 7 years old. She has an acquired brain injury and is paralysed on one side of her body. This means she has difficulty breathing. Jane relies on suctioning equipment to keep her airways clear and prevent aspiration pneumonia. The suction equipment is powered by electricity and she needs access to it wherever she goes.

There have been a series of power disruptions in the area where Jane lives. Her mother, who is Jane’s child representative, asks us for funding for:

  • a back-up generator
  • petrol to fuel the generator
  • a replacement rechargeable battery for Jane’s 2 year old suction equipment as the existing battery is no longer charging effectively. 

To work out whether funding for the generator and its operating costs is reasonable and necessary, we’ll look at the information Jane’s mother provided against the NDIS Funding Criteria. Along with other reasonable and necessary criteria, we think about whether:

  • the need for the generator is solely and directly due to Jane’s disability needs,
  • the generator is most appropriately funded by the NDIS and not by other general systems of service delivery

In Jane’s case, the planner decides that a generator is not reasonable and necessary because:

  • states and territories, not the NDIS, are responsible for the provision of power supply and to provide support for emergency medical essential power.
  • the need for the generator is not solely and directly as a result of the participant’s disability needs. This is because a generator will provide power for the household in the event of a power outage.

The planner then looks at the request for the replacement battery and decides:

  • as we funded the direct cost of the suctioning equipment due to Jane’s disability, the replacement battery is an additional cost of maintaining it. It’s a reasonable and necessary support that keeps the suctioning equipment in good working order. The back-up battery also provides sufficient power to allow time for Jane to get help if there was a prolonged power outage.
  • The rechargeable battery will help Jane go to school and take part in social activities.

The planner decides:

  • the back-up generator and fuel consumables are not reasonable and necessary, and funding was not approved
  • the rechargeable battery replacement for her suctioning equipment was assessed reasonable and necessary, and the funding was approved.

For more information, refer to:

This page current as of
20 April 2021
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