This registration group refers to funding for modifications (e.g. changes and/or installations) to a vehicle that an NDIS participant drives or travels in as a passenger. The goal is to ensure that the vehicle accommodates the participant’s disability, enabling them to travel safely and comfortably. It’s important to note that, generally speaking, the actual purchase of a vehicle will not be covered by the NDIS.
Making a vehicle wheelchair-accessible is a common modification. Other modifications include installation of special hand controls and accelerators.
In general, the NDIS will only fund modifications to vehicles that are under five years old and have less than 80,000 km. However, exceptions are sometimes made for older vehicles if the proposed modifications are shown to be cost effective.
For a modification to be funded, the participant must own or have regular access to the vehicle in question. It must also be shown that the participant has the ability to afford the costs associated with owning or using a vehicle (e.g. repairs and maintenance, accident insurance, petrol, and registration). Finally, the proposed modifications have to be recommended by a qualified occupational therapist, and installed by a professional that meets the government’s regulations and standards.
The NDIS will also cover costs associated with determining whether a participant is qualified to operate a vehicle. This process can be time consuming and typically involves assessments, driving lessons, and testing of various assistive technologies.
If approved modifications result in additional insurance costs for the participant, these (the additional costs, not the cost of the entire insurance policy) will be covered by the NDIS.
Along with the purchase of a vehicle and insurance and running costs, the NDIS will generally not fund costs related to unnecessary non-standard items, driving supervision in preparation for a driving test, or “major modifications” that are done less than eight years after the previous funded modification. The NDIS defines a major modification as one costing more than $10,000.