As of March 2022, the NDIS has made some changes to how NDIS participants are able to access funding for mid-cost assistive technology. Vehicle modifications required to drive a car are a form of assistive technology and therefore NDIS approval for certain modifications may also be impacted by these changes.
NDIS participants with a physical disability who wish to drive a car are required to first undertake an occupational therapy driving assessment. The assessment is conducted by a driver-trained occupational therapist, who determines the functional impact of your disability on the task of driving. For those with physical disabilities, using standard vehicle controls such as a steering wheel, gear stick, indicators, or foot pedals may be difficult. If someone is unable to use standard vehicle controls, the driver-trained occupational therapist may prescribe vehicle modifications for driving so that the person can control the vehicle in a way that suits their physical abilities. The use of vehicle modifications must comply with . The driver-trained occupational therapist only prescribes modifications which comply with legislated engineering standards stipulated by state licensing authorities (such as QLD Transport or the RMS). There are many different types of vehicle modifications for driving that can be prescribed based on an individual’s physical needs and capacities. The driver-trained OT assesses each participant individually to determine the best possible solution, and assists participants to ensure the validity of their licenses for using modifications for driving.
When it comes to funding driving modifications, NDIS participants can choose to fund privately or seek assistance under their NDIS plan. In order to obtain NDIS funding for mid-cost or high-cost driving modifications, the NDIS requires the driver-trained occupational therapist to provide a report, a vehicle modifications funding application, and often a quote for the modifications you require. The NDIS will consider this information and determine whether it meets their operational guidelines. If approved, the NDIS will add the funding for your vehicle modifications into your NDIS plan.
The NDIS has made changes to the approvals process for Low-Cost AT, which includes low-cost vehicle modifications. If a participant requires a modification which costs less than $1500, the participant may be able to fund the device out of their existing CORE-CONSUMABLES budget without needing to apply for additional funding.
In order to gain NDIS approval for vehicle modifications, the participant’s vehicle must meet the NDIS’s operational guidelines for ‘Value for Money’ in order to proceed with modifications using their existing NDIS AT funding. These guidelines state that the vehicle should be less than 5 years old and/or be still under manufacturer warranty. If your vehicle does not meet these criteria the NDIS may still consider funding modifications, but you would need to submit additional documents such as a vehicle inspection report. The driver-trained OT will guide each participant through the process according to their individual situation and NDIS Plan.
If you are a participant (or know a participant) who has a physical disability and wants to improve their community access through driving, give us a call on 0431 894 435 and we can discuss this process with you.