NDIS modifications for rare conditions

NDIS home modifications can make life easier, safer and more comfortable for NDIS participants who have a rare condition or disability. Rare conditions can impact a person’s mobility and movement.

NDIS minor home modifications cost less than $20,000 while NDIS complex home modifications result in more significant changes to a home. This article outlines the types of home modifications that might benefit an NDIS participant with a rare disability.

What NDIS modifications are available?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the main support system for people with disabilities in Australia. Following an eligibility assessment, participants develop their individualised NDIS plan. This plan outlines the services, supports and home modifications that are required.

The NDIS will fund home modifications to support participants to access and use their home. Modifications may be minor changes or significant structural remediation or building works.

There are many rare conditions that are likely to meet NDIS disability requirements. Lists of rare conditions are classified on list A and list B. Types of rare conditions include:

  • Lysosomal storage disorders

  • Episodic and paroxysmal disorders

  • Demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system

  • Extrapyramidal and movement disorders

  • Chromosomal abnormalities

  • Neurological disorders

NDIS considerations for home modifications

In assessing your requests for a modification, the NDIS will want to ensure that you have chosen the best and most effective modifications for your requirements. They will need to ensure that modifications will be cost effective and offer good value for money compared to other solutions. The NDIS will only fund reasonable home modifications, changes and equipment that are suitable for you.

Before they fund your modifications, the NDIS will consider if your proposed changes are:

  • associated with and relevant to your disability

  • going to help you achieve your goals

  • going to help you you take part in community life or gain or maintain employment

  • going to be of benefit for you

  • legal and safe

Rare neurological conditions in the NDIS

Many types of rare disabilities are neurological. A neurological condition is a disorder that affects the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.

As at 31 March 2021, there were 449,998 active participants with an NDIS plan. Of these participants:

  • 2,258 (0.5%) had Muscular dystrophy

  • 945 (0.2%) had Huntingdon’s disease

  • 789 (0.2%) had Motor neurone disease

  • 8,263 (1.8%) had Multiple Sclerosis

  • 2,134 (0.5%) had Parkinson’s disease

Home modifications for people with Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can cause weakness due to damaged neurons in the brain. MS is typically diagnosed when a person is aged between 20 and 40 years of age. Three out of four people with MS in Australia are women.

Minor home modifications that can benefit people with MS include:

  • bathroom modifications to reduce the risk of falls

  • responsive air conditioning systems to assist with temperature sensitivity

Home modifications for people with Muscular dystrophy

There are different forms of Muscular dystrophy (MD). Some forms present later in life, with others impact children. Muscular dystrophy causes the deterioration of muscle, which causes weakness that becomes more significant over time.

People with Muscular dystrophy can benefit from home modifications including:

  • widening of doorways and hallways so that a wheelchair can pass through and access all rooms in the house

  • hoist equipment so that family members and carers can assist with safe transfers to the toilet or bed

  • access and entry modifications that enable a person to connect you with supports or get out into nature

Home modifications for people with Parkinson's

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder. Parkinson’s causes a person to experience trembling or shaking in the hands, arms, legs, jaw or face. Some people with Parkinson’s have difficult walking and this can increase a person’s risk of falls.

People with Parkinson’s may require minor home modifications including:

  • assistive technology to enable a person to prepare food safely

  • lowering of benchtops or inbuilt desks so that a person can enjoy writing or reading in a study or lounge room

Home modifications for people with Huntington's disease

Like many neurological disorders, Huntington’s disease is an inherited condition. It causes emotional, cognitive and motor challenges. The NDIS will fund home modifications to benefit a person with Huntington’s disease including:

  • bathroom equipment, like a shower chair, to support personal care

  • structural changes to the home to address safety concerns

  • changes responsive to people having difficulty achieving their social, community or work related goals

Home modifications for people with Motor Neuron disease

Motor Neuron disease causes the nerve cells that control muscles to degenerate and die. This can cause muscle twitching, cramps and spasms.

People with Motor Neuron disease may require changes to help them manage at home, for example:

  • installation of nonslip flooring on the bathroom floor

  • ramps to support a person who has difficulty moving into or around the home

  • modifications suggested by an occupational therapist

Nursed Care for complex home modifications and minor home modifications

Nursed Care is an experienced and accredited NDIS service and support provider. As well as providing home, community and social supports, Nursed Care has a dedicated building and modifications team.

If you have questions regarding home modifications, then contact Nursed Care. We can help you answer tricky building and modifications questions, for example:

  • how could funding be used to help me achieve my goals?

  • how much funding can i get for my home modification?

  • do I need to ask the landlord before organising a home modification?

  • will home modifications impact my lease agreement?

  • do I need a contract with the builder?

  • is my request considered minor home modification or a complex home modification?

  • should I appoint a building works project manager?

  • how to get modifications approved?

  • will the NDIS fund my home modification?

  • how can I improve access to rooms in my house?

  • how to get building certification for an NDIS home modification?

  • what funding is available for my project?

  • what is the cost and value of my required modifications?

  • do I need to use my own money for home modifications?

Organising home modifications can be confusing and challenging, but once completed can give you a new outlook and lease on life. Connect with Nursed Care to discuss your building project.

Related questions

If you are an existing NDIS participant and you require a home modification to be carried out, speak to your support coordinator in the first instance. Your support coordinator can help you arrange an assessment for home modifications. These assessments are generally carried out by an occupational therapist. Complex home modification assessments must be carried out by an accredited home modifications assessor.

During the assessment, you can talk about your current challenges and your goals for the future. The assessor will look at how you move around the building and make recommendations about improving access and use of each room.

Funding home modifications is a key deliverable of the NDIS. The total cost and value of the resources required for the modifications will be presented in the contract for works.

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At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

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Our friendly staff are eager to help you live your best life. Whether you need new accommodation, supports, home modifications or simply want to join our day programs we’ll ensure you’re looked after. 

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