Can you use international suppliers to purchase NDIS supports?

Although the bulk of NDIS supports are delivered from Australian providers, international suppliers may be used in certain situations. You may wish to use international suppliers to:

  • Purchase NDIS supports when you travel outside of Australia
  • Purchase support from a company that is based overseas while staying in Australia

Purchasing NDIS supports while overseas

Anyone who has an NDIS plan can continue to use their supports overseas for a period of up to 6 weeks. The NDIA refers to this period as a ‘grace period’.

Supports can be provided by either Australian or international providers. If factors that are directly related to your disability make taking a holiday harder or more expensive, the NDIS may be able to cover some of these supports. For more information, see NDIS supported holidays.

Can you use NDIS supports overseas for longer than 6 weeks?

If you wish to remain outside of Australia longer than this you will need to request an extension with the NDIA, otherwise, your plan will get suspended. Some situations where the period may be extended include:

  • If you are overseas for humanitarian reasons
  • If you’re studying overseas
  • If you need medical treatment that is not available in Australia
  • If you are in the army, navy or air force reserves

In these cases, it is best to contact the NDIA before you leave to confirm whether your grace period can be extended.

Can you claim for items that you had delivered from an overseas supplier?

You don’t necessarily have to be overseas to claim for international purchases. Some examples of occasions where items or services may be provided by international companies include:

  • Purchasing assistive technology online
  • Buying accessible clothing from an international store
  • Receiving online therapy from a person outside of Australia

In order to claim for supports from international suppliers, the support must be in Australian dollars and should be reasonably priced when compared to alternative options from Australian suppliers.

The same reasonable and necessary criteria apply to supports delivered by international providers. Due to the extra considerations, you should make sure you check with your LAC or Support Coordinator before using an international provider.

What should I do if the supplier doesn’t have an ABN?

All invoices for supports that are purchased with NDIS funds should include an ABN unless they are exempt.  Typically, international suppliers wouldn’t have an ABN as businesses that are not conducted in Australia are not entitled to one.

In cases where the supplier does not have an ABN, they must complete a Statement by a Supplier form. Once this is completed, the form should be given to your plan manager who will keep a copy on file.

Be mindful to reach out before purchasing supports from overseas companies to ensure that this is completed. Otherwise, the NDIS won’t reimburse the cost of the support

Are you plan managed?

NDIS registered providers usually don’t service people in other countries. For this reason, the NDIA recommends that Participants should be self-managed or plan managed if they are looking to purchase supports from overseas suppliers.

If you are agency-managed and would like to change to plan management, get in contact with the NDIA to schedule a plan review.

 

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