Will NDIS Funding Cover Maintenance and Care of an Assistance Dog or Guide Dog?
It is highly possible. To book assistance with the care and maintenance of your Assistance Dog, see PetCloud’s page on NDIS Pet Care. In order for ongoing costs such as food, toys, veterinary bills, training, pet insurance, and pet-related household tasks such as washing, nail clipping, and backyard poo patrol, to be covered by the NDIS, a goal of Self Sufficiency or Independence needs to be included in your NDIS Plan as a goal, along with the costs of your Guide Dog. It is vital that you discuss your current and future needs with Guide Dog’s NDIS Planning Team before finalising your plan.
Advice received directly from the NDIA: Part 5 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Supports for Participants) Rules 2013 advises that a support cannot be funded if it relates to day-to-day living costs that are not attributable to a participant’s disability support needs. If however, the support is identified as a support and a cost that is ancillary to another NDIS funded support then this may be considered.
If you need to have your NDIS Plan reviewed the NDIA advise: A ‘Change in Circumstances’ plan review request can be made directly to the NDIA to ensure requests for supports are considered within the legislative framework. A participant’s Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Partner or Support Coordinator can assist with this process as required and they can also provide any advice requiring an immediate short term response.
The NDIA encourages all participants to discuss all support requirements at their plan review meeting so that support needs can be accurately assessed. These assessments are made in relation to section 34 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Act 2013 and part 5 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Supports for Participants) Rules 2013. More information about reasonable and necessary supports can be found on our website.
What does an Assistance Dog Do?
Assistance Dogs are specially trained for a number of years to do specific tasks to help their human companion with day-to-day living. Assistance dogs can do things such as:
- Open and close doors, drawers, cupboards and fridge
- Take washing out of a washing machine
- Press a pedestrian button at traffic lights
- Pick up dropped items
- Remove items of clothing
- Pay Shop Assistants at a store.
- Warn their companion of Danger with an Alert Bark
Are Assistance Dogs and Service dogs the same thing?
Yes. Assistance Dogs is the main category that the four subcategories of Assistance Dogs are grouped under:
- Guide dogs
- Hearing dogs
- Mobility dogs
- Psychiatric assistance dogs
Will the NDIS fund an Assistance Dog?
Yes – if your Dog has already been Assistance trained and has passed your state or territory’s Public Access Test then the NDIS may fund it in line with their “Assistive animals operational guideline”
No – if your Dog has not done specialist training and has not passed your state or territory’s Public Access Test yet.
Other Organisations may fund the cost of an Assistance Dog such as Assistance Dogs Australia where their dogs are placed completely free of charge with humans who need them across Australia.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will also pay for a trained dog if you are an ex-defence service person and if you qualify for an Assistance Dog.
Where can I find NDIS Assistance Dog Providers?
Try Assistance Dogs Australia
How much does an Assistance Dog Cost?
It can take 2 years to train and costs over $40,000 to provide a qualified Assistance Dog. This covers all training, food, veterinary treatment, kennelling costs and placement with a client. Speak to Assistance Dogs Australia.
Will the NDIS pay for a companion dog?
To decide if a support is reasonable and necessary for you, we think about the information you give us against the NDIS funding criteria. We fund assistance animals, but we don’t fund pets or companion animals. In most cases, animals you buy to give you companionship, fun and emotional support are seen as pets.
Will the NDIS fund an Emotional Support Animal?
No. Read about Emotional Support Animals.
Would NDIS fund a dog?
No, they don’t fund the purchase of dogs.
Will the NDIS fund a Therapy Dog in Australia?
Therapy animals have to be guided by a qualified allied health professional. Read more about Animal Therapy in Australia
Can my dog become a Therapy Dog?
Does the NDIS pay for Pet Sitting and House Sitting?
Usually not, but there are certain circumstances where it may be considered.
5th October 2021 NDIA Response to PetCloud: Please note the NDIA are only able to provide general advice in relation to this query, as a participant’s individual circumstances guide the supports that are able to be funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
All pet owners have the responsibility of caring for their pets regardless of whether or not they are a participant of the NDIA. Pet sitting is not regarded as a disability specific support and would not be considered a reasonable and necessary support in the majority of requests for it to be included in a participant’s statement of supports. Part 5 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Supports for Participants) Rules 2013 advises that a support cannot be funded if it relates to day-to-day living costs that are not attributable to a participant’s disability support needs.
If however, the support is identified as a support and a cost that is ancillary to another NDIS funded support then this may be considered. In the case of a Participant being admitted to hospital or institution they can complete a ‘Change in Circumstances’ plan review request form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with any supporting evidence to ensure requests for supports are considered within the legislative framework. A participant’s Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Partner or Support Coordinator can also assist with this process as required and they can also provide any advice requiring an immediate short term response.
The NDIA encourages all participants to discuss all support requirements at their Plan Review Meeting so that support needs can be accurately assessed.
You will need to provide supporting evidence in your application to help the NDIA make a decision based on the guidelines provided on the NDIS website.
What NDIS Assistance can I get for my Pet?
To book assistance, see PetCloud’s page on NDIS Pet Care. Pets play an important role in supporting NDIS Participants to achieve their goals and improve their physical and mental well-being and happiness!
As a national NDIS Registered provider, PetCloud offers Assistance with Household tasks for all Participants with all kinds of pets. No matter how your plan is managed. (Self Managed, Plan Managed or NDIA Managed). This mostly means assisting you with your pet-related goals of self-sufficiency and independence.
Clients usually book PetCloud’s specifically trained NDIS Support workers for 3-5 hours of weekly assistance. Our clients include those with physical disabilities, and mental psychosocial disabilities, and we welcome those with all types of disabilities.
Examples of Assistance:
- Home Visits to assist you with de-matting, clipping nails, and brushing fur, and doing basic eye and hygiene area trims for pets.
- Flea shampooing pets with your chosen flea shampoo in your bathtub, shower recess, or backyard and towel drying pets.
- Home Visits to assist you with hygiene tasks like changing kitty litter, backyard poo patrol, changing puppy training mats, hosing toileting off a back deck.
- Home Visits to assist with watering and feeding pets.
- Assistance with reducing allergies by de-fleaing the household by vacuuming pet bedding, and putting pet bedding in the washing machine and drying on the line.
- Watch Video: How PetCloud supports Ashleigh to achieve her Goals
Notes for Dog Grooming: We don’t do full blown dog breed grooming style cuts – as that is not the purpose of your NDIS funding. What we do offer is value, to help your funding go further, and basic, no frills, assistance and care in your home to make your pet more comfortable, manageable, happy and healthy so that they in turn can provide you with many years of happiness.
Case Studies which involve Dog Walking:
- We have helped Plan-managed psychosocial NDIS Participants with Community Participation by accompanying them to their local park to get to know other Pet Owners.
- We have helped NDIS clients overcome challenges such as an unsocialised dog that easily triggers and reacts to other dogs when out walking, causing the Owner to have a panic attacks, cutting their own exercise short to immediately head home.