Joanne Mendes, Manager of the Scooters Australia Dandenong branch has been getting used to the NDIS and all its quirks. One issue pops up more than it should – people are forgetting to include ongoing costs in their NDIS plans, which has been coming back to bite them.
“Servicing, battery, and possible repair parts all should be included in your original plan for a scooter or electric wheelchair,” says Joanne.
Unless an NDIS plan includes provision for these, it becomes very difficult to claim funding when something goes wrong or your scooter needs a regular check-up. The turnaround on funding applications has been notoriously long.
“Most electric mobility scooters and powerchairs need a regular service, and it can become expensive for someone on a low income to afford it,” she said.
“Being stranded while waiting for more funding that may or may not come can be extremely frustrating,” said Joanne.
The NDIS has provision for servicing, tyres, repairs and battery replacement, but these costs must be factored in to the plan application prior to receiving funding for the product, or in the twelve months review plans.
“Including these costs as part of a plan is something that people can easily forget or overlook – but it’s accepted and indeed encouraged by the NDIA. We’re trying to keep people independent and mobile all year round,” she said.
In most cases batteries last about 2 years, even less if the person is a heavy user, and depending on the size of the batteries, replacements might cost as much as $500.
“This has been coming up so often that we actually have a system to help applicants. With this issue in particular, but also with the entire NDIS plan.” she said.
Scooters Australia has been servicing NDIS applicants since the start of the NDIS rollout.