Claiming Rapid Antigen Test’s (RAT’s) and other COVID related supports through an NDIS plan

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect the way NDIS participants receive supports, it’s important to remember that some COVID related expenses may be funded within your plan.

Below we list some items that can assist participants in staying safe and healthy during the pandemic.

This information was sourced from the NDIS website

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) 

Can I claim the cost of RATs through my NDIS plan?

NDIS participants that need to use a RAT in order to receive reasonable and necessary supports, may be eligible to purchase RAT’s through their core supports. 

For example, if a participant needs to complete a test twice a week to attend their regular day program they may be able to request a reimbursement for RAT’s purchased for this use. 

It’s important to remember that the tests claimed through your NDIS plan can only be used to access NDIS supports and not for personal use. 

What category will RATs be claimed from in my NDIS plan?

The cost of a RAT will be deducted from the core category of an NDIS plan. Funds are flexible within this category. If you’re plan managed with BudgetNet you can check your monthly statement, budget tracking app or contact us on 1300 402 568 to check your funding levels.

If you are concerned about not having enough core funding to cover this purchase, you can contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110. 

How many RATs can I claim through my NDIS plan?

NDIS participants can purchase the necessary number of tests needed to receive their reasonable and necessary supports. This will look different for each person based on the number of supports they receive on a weekly basis and the testing requirements for these supports. 

Can I claim a test for my support worker? 

If your support worker needs to take a test to ensure they are COVID negative and therefore safe to deliver your supports, you may also purchase a RAT for them.

You cannot claim RAT’s for social visitors to your home. The purchase of a RAT is only for NDIS participants and their support workers in order to access NDIS supports. 

I’ve purchased RATs in order to access my NDIS supports, how do I get the money back?

If you are plan managed with BudgetNet, send us your valid receipt and we will reimburse the amount into your nominated account. It’s important to check your core funding level to ensure there are enough funds to cover this purchase before you make the payment.  

Find out more about claiming a refund through your NDIS plan. 

How long can I claim RATs through an eligible NDIS plan?

These measures will remain in place while the pandemic continues to affect the way participants receive supports.  We will continue to update you with any changes made by the NDIS and update our information accordingly.

Accessing free rapid antigen tests (RATs) 

You may also be eligible to receive up to 10 RATs over a 3 month period (Max 5 per 1 month) through community pharmacies. This initiative is through the Department of Health and does not require payment through your NDIS plan. 

As of January 24th, 2022, you can access free RATs if you hold an eligible Commonwealth concession card:

  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card 
  • Low Income Health Card 
  • Pensioner Concession Card 
  • Health Care Card 
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs Gold, White or Orange

Give your local pharmacy a call before visiting to ensure they have supplies and are a participating pharmacy. 

For more information visit the Department of Health website

 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

Can I use my NDIS funds to pay for PPE such as masks, face shields, and gloves?

NDIS participants can use their NDIS funds to make this purchase if:

  • They are using the PPE to access reasonable and necessary supports 
  • The items are being used when your support worker is providing supports and not for personal use such as visiting the grocery shops by yourself. 
  • You’re receiving a minimum of 1 hour a day of face to face supports on average 

Note: You cannot claim more than $50 per week on eligible PPE purchases

How is PPE funded within an NDIS plan? 

PPE will be claimed from the core category of an NDIS plan within the Disability-Related Health Consumables- Low-Cost support line item: 03_040000919_0103_1_1 

Can hand sanitizer purchases be claimed from my NDIS plan? 

Generally, no this would be considered an everyday personal expense. In the circumstance that you receive close personal support and start to use a larger amount of hand sanitizer than you would in normal circumstances, you may be able to claim the costs of the additional hand sanitizer used.   

We suggest reaching out to our team on 1300 402 568 to discuss your individual circumstances. 

Low Cost AT to access telehealth and online supports 

Can I use my NDIS funding to buy a tablet or laptop?

You may be able to purchase a tablet or laptop using your existing NDIS funds if:

  • It helps you access current supports that may have changed to online 
  • The provider must confirm in writing that the item is necessary in order to continue the service in a safe way, considering government restrictions and social distancing guidelines
  • You don’t already have the item or something similar that would do the same job 
  • Tablets/iPads must be wi-fi only, if you would like one with a data connection you will need to pay the additional upgrade fee from your own pocket
  • General apps or software cannot be funded. Apps that relate to your disability and have been specifically approved within a plan may be funded, this is on an individual basis. 

Note: a standard tablet i.e an iPad should generally cost no more than $600 

What category will this funding come from in my NDIS plan?

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the way you purchase Assistive Technology will remain flexible. You may use your Core- Consumable budget for low-cost AT purchases (up to $1500). 

You must not spend more than $750 on electronic devices in order to continue receiving supports in a COVID safe manner. 

For more on flexible low-cost AT for support continuity visit the NDIS website

Here are some helpful links from the NDIS:

Our team of NDIS experts can assist with your COVID related support needs. Reach out on 1300 402 568 or email [email protected].  

Signing up to BudgetNet Plan Management is simple.

Complete our electronic service agreement or call our friendly team on 1300 402 568 and we will complete your set up over the phone.

The information in this article was current on the day of publishing. We try our best to keep the information updated however, the NDIA make changes regularly so it’s best to check with our team or the NDIA if you have any questions.