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Medico-Legal Matters

NDIS and the occupational therapist

by | 3 Dec 2018 | All, NDIS, Occupational therapists

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) gives people with a disability who are aged under 65 years old the choice and control over the support they receive. To be eligible for support, the ‘participant’, must have a permanent disability that significantly limits their ability to do everyday activities.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) assesses eligibility to become an NDIS participant and how much funding they will receive. From the funding, the participant can allocate this accordingly to supports and services that can help them achieve their goals. Goals include —

  • becoming more independent
  • getting or keeping a job
  • learning new skills
  • enrolling in education
  • becoming more active in their local community
  • improving relationships and making friends.

Participants have often stated that funding through the NDIS has allowed them to find themselves and become more independent.

The role of the OT in the assessment process

The role of an occupational therapist (OT) is deriving person-centred assessment on how an individual’s performance, engagement and participation in occupational roles may be limited due to an accident, disability or another factor.

For example, under the NDIS, OTs review the participant’s functional performance and comprehensively investigate different options to assist them to use their home environment (for example, the kitchen). The OT may suggest an alternative strategy to help a participant become more independent with meal preparation. Further, OTs can provide the prescription of simple and complex home modifications under the NDIS to support independent living.

The role of the OT report in creating an NDIS plan

A major part of the NDIS is creating a plan for the participant to achieve their goals. The OT plays a part in this as their report helps determine what support is necessary (for example, home assistance). A report by an OT can help identify how the participant’s disability/condition affects daily life and in effect can help clarify achievement towards goals.

Further, OTs play a role in identifying what entails reasonable and necessary supports under the NDIS in relation to the ‘participant’ per guidelines of the NDIS Act 2013. Per the NDIS guidelines, ‘reasonable’ refers to something that is fair whilst ‘necessary’ means something a person requires. This may involve —

  • providing recommendations based on personal support needs
  • coordinating respite care
  • housing assessments for participants requiring Specialist Disability Accommodation
  • transport assistance
  • employment evaluations.

At Prudence OT, we can offer person-centred evaluations for participants under the NDIS. To enquire further and set-up an assessment today please email officeadmin@prudenceot.com.au or call us (02) 9283 5557.

Do you think the NDIS is a step towards supporting independence for those who are participants?

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