Can disability-related toys be funded through the NDIS?

All children love toys, but they can also be an important support for many children with disabilities. In fact, there are certain toys that have been purpose-designed to assist a number of children with their disability including:

  • Sensory toys for Autism
  • Toys for speech impediments
  • Therapy toys for counselling
  • Toys to teach relevant social skills

These types of toys may be funded through the NDIS provided they meet the necessary conditions.

Why would NDIS approved toys be beneficial for my child?

Depending on the needs and goals of your child, the NDIS may fund toys that have been purpose-designed to:

  • Improve their confidence
  • Teach appropriate social skills and behaviour
  • Help regulate their emotions
  • Assist with speech development
  • Engage their senses and help them remain calm

What things do the NDIS consider?

The NDIS will only fund something if it is reasonable and necessary to meet your needs and goals. Some questions they ask when deciding whether to fund equipment include:

  • Is this an additional living cost that is needed directly because of the Participant’s disability?
  • Is there evidence that this will be effective for the Participant?
  • Is there evidence that the equipment would potentially be harmful?
  • Does it provide value for money?
  • Does it provide better support than other alternatives?

Items that cost more than $1500 or that may be perceived as high-risk, are not claimable without direct NDIA approval.

Keep in mind that certain items like balls and fidgets can be difficult to distinguish from the everyday household items that most people are likely to have. If the NDIS deems that your toy is a day-to-day cost, then it will not be able to be funded.

Do I need a therapist’s recommendation?

The necessary supporting documentation can vary on a case-by-case basis. Before purchasing an item, make sure you consult with your plan manager.

In many cases, it is useful to get a recommendation from a therapist to support your claim. The NDIS will want proof that the toys are likely to be beneficial for the Participant. Trialling similar equipment and providing evidence of positive results may be particularly useful when claiming from the NDIA.

Disclaimer: There are several factors that the NDIA will take into account when considering your claim. Even if you get a therapist’s recommendation, this does not guarantee your claim will be successful.

Can the NDIS fund other recreational equipment?

Recreational equipment is not typically funded by the NDIS. However, certain recreational equipment may need modifications before it can be used by a Participant. Some cases include:

  • Modifying a bicycle or tricycle to adapt them for specific functional needs
  • Modifying the interface for gaming equipment to allow access for a person with a disability

In these cases, NDIS funding may be provided for costs that are incurred beyond the cost of the equipment itself.  This is subject to the reasonable and necessary criteria and whether the modifications can be linked to the goals set out in the plan.

Want more information?

Please note that it is always a good idea to consult your plan manager, Support Coordinator or Local Area Coordinator before purchasing an item.

Everyone’s situation is different. If you have any queries or questions, please give us a call on 1300 800 110.