Aisha feels that she needs a dishwasher and a washing machine to help her manage better at home, and be more independent. She asks for these to be included in her plan.
Would we fund this?
No, we would not typically fund ordinary household items like a dishwasher or a washing machine, as they’re not likely to meet our funding criteria for supports. This is because it is:
- reasonable to expect you to fund the cost of ordinary household items in the home
- not a disability-related support (Rule 5.1(b))
- a day-to-day living cost that is not attributable, or caused by, your disability support needs (Rule 5.2(d)).
Why wouldn’t we fund this?
Any assistive technology that we fund must relate to your disability. We don’t fund general items that everyone needs, whether or not they have a disability. This includes things like everyday household items, which are seen as a day-to-day living cost that all households have to pay. Ultimately, we won’t fund a support if it’s not related to your disability.
Usually, household furniture and items are unlikely to be an “additional living cost” that you have to pay “solely and directly” as a result of your disability. Household items are also not usually an ancillary cost to another funded support, which you wouldn’t otherwise have to pay for (Rule 5.2).
To work out whether a support is reasonable and necessary for you, we’d look at the information you’ve provided and compare it to the NDIS Funding Criteria.
What else do we think about?
In some circumstances we may fund household furniture or items. For this to happen you would need to give us evidence that the item is a disability-related support (Rule 5.1(b) ).
You’ll also need to prove that the cost of the item is due to your disability support needs (Rule 5.2(d) ), such as:
- an additional living cost that you have to pay solely and directly as a result of your disability support needs
- costs that are ancillary to another funded support that you wouldn’t otherwise have to pay (Rule 5.2 ).
While we’re generally unlikely to fund a household item, we may consider things like;
- funding for adaptive devices such as a reach and grab stick to help you load and unload the washing machine, or a height adjustable clothes line to make it easier to hang up washing at a lower height
- funding for home support to help you with daily living activities such as doing the laundry.
Maali is 24 years old. She has a kidney malfunction and significant bone abnormalities which means she has shortened forearms and fingers. Maali lives at home with her mum who supports her with her weekly laundry tasks. One of Maali’s goals is to be able to complete the household tasks independently and reduce carer stress for her mum.
To support Maali’s funding application, she gives us a report from her therapist stating that she can’t reach the bottom of a standard top load washing machine. The report also says she has experienced lower back pain from trying to do this unsuccessfully by herself. The report indicates that Maali can’t hang clothes up on the line because of her disability.
The therapist recommends that due to Maali’s disabilities, we should provide funding for a front load washing machine that does both a washing and drying cycle. A quote is given for a model that would meet the family’s washing needs.
When working out whether the funding for the washing machine is reasonable and necessary, the planner thinks about the information Maali has given, against the framework of the NDIS Funding Criteria. In doing so, the planner looks at whether:
- the need for the washing machine is solely and directly as a result of Maali’s disability needs
- getting a washing machine for the whole family is something Maali’s informal supports should reasonably be responsible for
- evidence has been given that the washing machine will be properly installed and safely operated
- a trial of the front loader washing machine has been done to confirm that Maali can successfully reach and use it to increase her independence
- the washing machine is value for money when compared to other adaptive devices that could be used to support Maali’s independence in doing laundry.
In Maali’s case, the planner decides that a washing machine is an everyday household item, not a disability-related support. While Maali may need to use the machine more often due to her kidney malfunction, the need for a washing machine is not due to, nor caused by Maali’s disability support needs.
The reasons are:
- it’s not an additional living cost that Maali has to pay solely and directly as a result of her disability needs, nor an ancillary cost to another support
- it would be reasonable to expect a family to pay for a washing machine to be used by the whole family in the family home
- it wouldn’t be value for money to fund the washing machine, when Maali already receives funding for home support care which could include help for laundry services
- there’s no evidence to show that Maali can use the front loader washing machine.
Maali’s request was assessed as not reasonable and necessary, and funding for the washing machine was declined.
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