Securing NDIS Funding For Bathroom Mobility – Showerbuddy

Securing NDIS Funding For Bathroom Mobility

Securing NDIS Funding For Bathroom Mobility

Showerbuddy |

The NDIS or National Disability Insurance Scheme was introduced in 2013 to provide support to Australians with costs associated with managing their disabilities. This scheme funds equipment and support to make everyday life more manageable. This is a really important initiative for our disabled community, who’s needs can be complex and specific to their particular impairment.
Are you interested in utilising the NDIS to provide you the equipment support you need for day to day life? We’ve got some information to help you below, including how to get funding for bathroom mobility like Showerbuddy.

Who can apply for NDIS support?

The NDIS can be accessed by Australians with a disability who meet requirements in key areas including:

  • Age
  • Residence
  • Disability

The scheme is designed for helping those under the age of 65 (those older will be supported through Aged Care programmes in Australia). Recipients of NDIS support will need to be a citizen, permanent resident or hold special visa provisions enabling access. The disability requirements are quite detailed but do cover a broad range of impairments from cognitive to physical and other areas.

Want help working out if you or your loved one is eligible? Head to NDIS’ ‘Am I Eligible’ checklist.

What’s the process involved with NDIS funding?

Getting funded through NDIS consists of a number steps:

  • Determining your needs and criteria.
  • Making an access application through NDIS either by phone or form.
  • Providing supplementary information with application or during the application review process.
  • Getting a decision from NDIS as to whether you’re eligible.
  • If successful, working with the NDIS and support team (e.g. GP, Occupational Therapist etc) to discuss and confirm your funding requirements.

If, after providing all supporting information to NDIS and you don’t get approved, there are avenues to reviewing or appealing the decision. In some cases you may need to make a new access request with new information.

Why Showerbuddy makes sense under NDIS

The Showerbuddy range of bathroom mobility chairs are eligible for NDIS funding under the scheme’s Assistive Technology category. As of 2020, the threshold amount eligible for equipment from a non-registered provider (ie Showerbuddy and our distributors in Australia), was increased to $5,000, meaning most standard solutions and even many with accessories are able to be fully funded.

Typically the request for equipment will form part of a wider support plan that an OT and others will put together. For example, there may be a goal of ‘showering independently’, where the action required is purpose-built equipment that enables transfer and bathing functions without bathroom modification enabling the individual to stay in their home. The solution to this plan may be a Showerbuddy SB2T, or any one of our other products as appropriate. Many of our users have purchased their transfer chairs through this approach.

For many with disabilities the Shower transfer equipment will be part of an NDIS plan that also includes OT, in home support, physio, housekeeping etc. Plans can have different time periods: 6 months, 1 year and 2 years.

How do I get funding via NDIS for a Showerbuddy chair?

There’s three main ways an NDIS plan is managed:

  • Through an agency (non-government) who manage the care and solutions.
  • Through a government agency.
  • Self-managed – you and/or your family arrange equipment and care and deal with NDIS directly.

Typically a trial is required which your Showerbuddy distributor can provide in tandem with your home support. If successful, and you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for a NDIS-funded Showerbuddy solution within the $5,000 threshold.

Govt-managed and Agency managed

Has the plan allowed for “cash by a non-registered NDIS service provider”? If yes, then has the allowance of a shower/toilet chair been requested in the plan?


Has the shower/toilet chair been allowed for in the plan?

Once your NDIS access is approved, the next stage of assessing your needs is typically when you’ll apply for the assistive technology like Showerbuddy. Plans periods renew as well, allowing access to Showerbuddy as mobility needs evolve over time.

Make payment

A self-managed plan will usually mean you are provided the funds within 2 – 5 days of the plan being accepted. This allows you to buy the Showerbuddy equipment directly from your local distributor.

Alternatively, a public or private agency managing your care will need to make sure the correct box is checked on the plan allowing you to access the funds and purchase the equipment once accepted.

I would like help finding a registered NDIS provider

NDIS has a database of approved registered providers that support people with disabilities including help around the home, OTs and transportation. See the lists of providers by region here.

The financial benefit of going through NDIS

What makes Showerbuddy a game-changer for disabled Australians is the fact it provides uncompromised bathroom mobility without drilling a single hole or lifting a tile. There is no permanent modification required to your bathroom. This is big for a few reasons:

  • There are tremendous savings by not having to remodel a bathroom which can get into the tens of thousands after reconfiguration, materials and supports.
  • Australians have more choice around the homes they live in – including renters. The bathroom’s fit for purpose or ability to be modified is no longer an issue.
  • A Showerbuddy chair while designed and engineered with medical grade precision and components, is nowhere near the cost of a typical bathroom modification.

So, with the $5,000 NDIS threshold, many Australians enjoy a fully-funded Showerbuddy chair. Get in touch with one of our local distributors who can provide guidance on the cost of different models to help you plan a solution that fits you and your NDIS plan.

Do I still get product support?

Yes – you will still purchase your Showerbuddy chair through a distributor within Australia who will provide all the standard benefits of Showerbuddy ownership – ongoing support, accessories, and installation.

Further reading

The information in this article is intended as general information only and is not a replacement for official health guidance by your local medical providers. Please always consult an occupational therapist and/or local healthcare for more specific guidance.