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NDIS Consumables: What It Is, Who Gets It, and How, Examples

Tagged as: ndis agency managed, ndis plan self management, ndis plan management, national disability insurance

Disability in both the old and young can mean that those suffering may struggle to complete everyday tasks we all take for granted.

For anyone who has a disability, or those caring for them, you might be wondering what an NDIS consumable is and why they’re important.

In our helpful guide, we will give some information on what an NDIS consumable is, and the kinds of consumables supported and funded by NDIS.

We will also look at how they can help those affected with disabilities and where you can find them.

NDIS consumables are products and devices that assist eligible Australians (NDIS Participants) with everyday living. Consumables include wound and skin care, protective aids, nutritional and daily living products such as continence pads. Funding for such products is included in the budget component called NDIS Core Supports to help disabled children and adults with everyday living.

With that short answer in mind, so we can get a better understanding of what NDIS consumables are, let’s begin by taking a look at who they can help.

Who do NDIS consumables help?

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a staggering 18% of the population, which equates to around 4.4 million people across Australia, have a disability.

With over half of the above figure relating to those over 65, we often tend to think that disabilities affect only the elderly.

However, 13% of the disabilities in Australia are in the age group 15 to 64. A person under the age of 65 with a significant disability caused by a permanent impairment as a result of a disease or a medical condition may be eligible for financial assistance through the NDIS. The disabilities can be physical, neurological, visual, hearing, intellectual, cognitive or psychosocial.

So with those figures and the wide range of disabilities, it’s simple to see that many people need all kinds of assistance with their everyday lives. For many, this means there is an increased need for specific types of consumables. The NDIA determines what everyday consumables qualify for funding assistance. These consumables are called NDIS Consumables and are covered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

You might be wondering who can benefit from NDIS consumables.

You might be wondering who can qualify for Consumables funding under the NDIS?

Read on to discover what is classed as a disability so we can more easily understand who can benefit from NDIS funding in terms of daily living assistance.

What is classed as a disability?

The severity of the disability is defined by a person’s need for help, type of difficulty, or need to use aids or any type of equipment to carry out daily living tasks.

The three core activities are:

  • Self-care
  • Communication
  • Mobility

These activities are grouped in limitation as:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe
  • Profound

You might have heard of the NDIS or the National Disability Insurance Scheme, but if you haven’t, let’s provide some information on what it is.

Plus, we’ll help you understand how NDIS funds a wealth of consumables such as mobility aids, and help people completing everyday tasks and achieving goals.

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a funding program supporting a better life for those who have permanent or a significant disability. The Scheme is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).  The NDIS provides support to eligible Australians with many kinds of disabilities and for those seeking financial help to manage their disabilities such as:

  • Intellectual
  • Physical
  • Sensory
  • Cognitive 
  • Psychosocial disabilities  

Support is available not only for physical disabilities, but also children who have disabilities in developmental delay.

The support offered to disabled Australians who qualify for NDIS funding is split into categories to accommodate the diversity of individual goals and supports required by NDIS Participants. A Participant can choose how to spend these funds to purchase any approved individual support, assistive technology or consumable within its category, but is not able to move funding from one category to another.

The category that is concerned with consumables is called Core Supports.

What is the NDIS Core Support?

Core Supports is a term describing the NDIS funding used for daily living tasks, activities and items by NDIS Participants to achieve the goals and objectives in their NDIS Plan.

For example, if a participant needs assistance with community access and transport – Core Support may cover the cost of an Independent Disability Support Worker to help the participant get ready to attend goal specific activities, accompany during the activity as well as provide transportation from and back to home.

There are many everyday tasks and personal need requirements which are vital for disabled people to achieve their goals. To allow for flexibility and choice Core Supports is separated into sub-categories or “buckets”, these are:

  • Consumables
  • Assistance with Daily Life
  • Assistance with Social and Community Participation
  • Transport.

The sub-category “Consumables” is also called NDIS Consumable, let’s discover in a little more detail what an NDIS Consumable is.

What is an NDIS consumable?

The term ‘consumable’ is a broad term that covers items used daily and are specifically needed because of the disability.  A consumable is an “off the shelf” item that you might use every day to manage personal activities.

NDIS consumables can range from specialized food supplements, and syringes right through to translation services. These consumables are those that NDIS funding eligible disabled Australians might require for their Core Support Needs.

Core Support needs might include a range of aids for daily living products such as:

“A consumable is an item that you might use every day to manage personal activities.”

What is NDIS Capital Support?

Not only does the NDIS cover consumables for the more general needs of the disabled, in terms of mobility, the NDIS can also cover larger equipment such as wheelchairs. This is a different category called NDIS Capital Support.  Capital Support incorporates assistive technology products that are usually high-cost items such as wheelchairs, communication equipment, or toilet and bathroom aids.

The types of items available can include:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Seating
  • Pressure mats
  • Patient lifters
  • Mobility scooters
  • Hospital and home beds

This specialist equipment can either be purchased or hired with NDIS funding. Currently, in the majority of cases, those receiving NDIS funding can pay providers directly. Generally, any items required that cost under $1,500 AUD will not require a quotation. For those items above $1,500 AUD, you will be required to obtain one or two quotes.


What is included in NDIS consumables?

As everyone is unique, their individual needs and requirements for consumables will vary.

To make it easier to understand how consumables work, NDIS has clear categories that can be bought using NDIS funding:

  • Continence supplies
  • Wound care products
  • Nutritional aids
  • Skincare
  • Daily living
  • Protective aids.

Some people ask if assistive technology is included in items you can purchase with NDIS funding.

Read on to find out.

Assistive Technology

Some of the more expensive assistive technology items are things like:

  • Electric wheelchairs
  • Hoists
  • Cochlear implants
  • Electric beds

As these types of items are often made to measure as they are specialised, and often customised, you will need to go through the NIDS Approval scheme, for example to use your funds for an electric bed. You may also need to have a formal “prescription” from an Occupational Therapist to support your request.

Once approved, you can purchase that type of equipment EITHER as a line item from the assistive technology budget or as part of the consumables budget.

“As everyone is unique, their individual needs and requirements for consumables will vary.”

So now we’ve explained what a consumable is, who might need it and why, you might be wondering where you can purchase or hire them.

Who can provide NDIS consumables?

Anyone who provides NDIS consumables has to meet strict government quality and safety requirements. Providers who are registered with the NDIS are called “NDIS registered providers”.

There are many different types of businesses that can offer NDIS consumables. It is helpful if the providers are registered with NDIS but can also include:

  • Large businesses
  • Smaller not-for-profits
  • Charities
  • Sole traders

And finally…

Here at Findacarer, we are proud to be a supportive online community that offers you a range of care and assistive options through local independent disability support workers, carers and partner service providers.

We can offer you a range of consumables to meet your needs. You do not have to be a NDIS Participant to shop at our easy to navigate product portal!

Published 01 May 2021


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