FAQs

How does PAL work?
What is the NDIS process for AT equipment?
What is the order, supply and delivery process?
Can equipment be trialled?
Do products need maintenance?
Should equipment be insured?
What happens when my child grows?
What should I know about getting a car seat?
How is PAL responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
How can I submit a complaint or provide feedback?

How does PAL work?

PAL supplies and supports a comprehensive range of Assistive Technology to assist children and young adults with a variety of activities. These products are specially designed to provide postural support from mild to complex needs.  Most of our equipment suits children and young adults with disability or developmental delay, but some of our products include adult sizing as well.

When you contact PAL, our clinicians will work with you to gain an understanding of your child’s needs.  A trial appointment is then arranged. In most cases, we can bring several options to provide comparison and choice.  At this appointment, our staff will demonstrate the features and accessories of the equipment and where possible, fit the equipment to your child.

If requested, PAL will then provide a detailed quote for the product  – and after funding is approved, the product will be ordered. Once available, PAL staff will deliver, set up and provide training about the ongoing use of the product.

Note the quoting and supply of AT equipment may be subject to NDIS processes.

When working with you and your family, there is some information you should know about PAL, our policies and procedures. Our customers are encouraged to read the following easy read guides:

> Customer Charter: your rights and responsibilities
> Feedback and Complaints: how to let us know about your experience
> Incidents and Safety: how we can work together safely
> Privacy and Confidentiality: how we collect, keep and use private information

What is the NDIS process for AT equipment?

In October 2019, a revised system for AT was adopted by the NDIS to remove some of the red tape in accessing new equipment for Participants. The NDIS has a system of classifying AT complexity. Most of the equipment supplied by PAL is classified as level 2 or 3.

Read more about about AT complexity levels

There are a couple of ways AT products listed in a new plan can progress through the quoting and ordering stage.  The products must be recognised as a reasonable and necessary support that will help you meet your needs and pursue the goals listed in your NDIS plan.

Since October 2019, most products under $5000 should be able to be approved at a local level by the planner.  For level 2 equipment, a prescription from your regular treating therapist is recommended for purchase. For all products in the level 3 or 4 category (specialised and complex equipment), an AT form and a quote will still be required, but funds should be accessible soon after a plan is released, once the documentation has been submitted and reviewed. If the request process was commenced prior to October 2019, it may still require higher approval from a specially selected NDIS delegate.

For products in the level 3 or 4 category (specialised and complex equipment) over $5000, the two-step process is required. Firstly, the product must be approved as reasonable and necessary and listed on the NDIS plan. The second step an AT form and a quote and once this documentation is received by the planner, the application must then be approved by a specially selected NDIS delegate for funding to be released.

PAL is required to wait for this second step to occur before supply of quoted equipment can proceed. It can seem a little confusing when a plan is initially approved with AT listed, so please contact us or your planner if you have a new plan which lists any higher cost AT products.

If the AT is listed as agency managed in your plan, a service booking for the funding will then be visible to us on our portal, which confirms the order of the equipment. If the AT is plan or self managed, we will submit an invoice to confirm availability of the funds. Further details will be available on the invoice.

What is the order, supply and delivery process?

The first step in our process is to ensure the equipment meets the customer’s needs. This includes any accessories, which may be required.

Once this is determined and funding approved, we can process the order. While we hold some products in stock, others will require us to complete the order with the manufacturer. Many of the products we support are made overseas, so there can be a wait while products are despatched. During the quoting phase, we will be able to advise an approximate delivery timeframe. We will keep you updated with any news from the manufacturer as we await delivery.

As soon as the product is available, we will arrange an appointment for delivery, set up and training.

Can equipment be trialled?

Yes! PAL always recommends a product trial be conducted to ensure the product is suitable for the child. This is often a good opportunity to compare two similar products to see which one is more beneficial. In some circumstances, a quote may be provided without a trial taking place; however, we may recommend a trial takes place before ordering equipment.

Do products need maintenance?

Yes. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the manual provided with your equipment piece.

Regular servicing and repairs is important to keep equipment functioning optimally.  Funding support costs should be included in your NDIS plan when an AT product is approved. If not, talk to your planner.

We encourage you to check equipment regularly for any signs of wear and tear, particularly moving parts.

If a component breaks, or a regular service is required, please get in touch with us to arrange an appointment. Our technicians can review the equipment, repair any minor breaks or order spare parts where required. All new equipment is supplied with a warranty, but for equipment outside the scope of warranty, charges will apply for repairs.

Should equipment be insured?

Some equipment can be a substantial investment. Under the NDIS, the scheme provides the funding to enable the participant to access the equipment; however, the participant is the owner of the equipment.

It is reasonable to include the equipment in household contents or vehicle insurance policies, in case anything should happen to the equipment, such as damage or theft.

Participants should always think about how the equipment should be cared for and if they require support to do this, discuss it with the NDIS planner. Participants should always take active steps to care for equipment and ensure its longevity.

What happens when my child grows?

Kids have a habit of growing – so it’s a good idea to regularly check equipment to ensure the correct set-up and fit. Checking overall height and weight may also be needed if your child is close to outgrowing any products.

A review can be booked with our clinicians to ensure equipment is adjusted to accommodate any growth and check any changes in posture. This will ensure the equipment continues to provide optimal support.

In the event your child is outgrowing a piece of equipment, we can work with you to advise what new options are available and commence the quoting and approvals process for a new product.

What should I know about getting a car seat?

Car seats designed for children with special needs can only be used after a strict process. Australian law specifies that all car seats must meet Australian Standards. However, special needs seats are not AS approved. Parents must seek an exemption and an independent assessment by the Department of Transport before using a specialised seat. Read more about this process.

How is PAL responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The team at Professional Assistance for Living is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and advice from Government and Health officials. We are actively seeking to minimise any disruption to our services; however, we do prioritise the health and wellbeing of our team members and customers.

At this stage, scheduled appointments will go ahead. We will get in touch with you prior to your appointment to ensure you and your family are well. Please do get in touch with us directly to reschedule your appointment if you are unwell, have been in close contact with high-risk individuals, or in self-quarantine (due to travel or exposure).

We have in place strict action plan guidelines to follow during this time, which can be read here. We will also take extra precautions, such as additional hygiene measures for our team members, and trial equipment undergoing thorough cleaning and sanitisation.

How can I submit a complaint or provide feedback?

PAL is committed to ensuring excellence in customer satisfaction, so we encourage our customers to lodge a complaint if they feel that we have not acted in a manner that we said we would. Complaints or feedback can be submitted directly to us via phone or email, or alternatively submitted by post if you wish to remain anonymous. If you do not feel comfortable to raise the matter directly with us, we encourage you to contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

As a registered NDIS provider, we uphold the NDIS Code of Conduct and follow registration requirements from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. We have policies and procedures in place to ensure we follow best practice principles. All complaints will be investigated and resolved as per our Feedback and Complaints Policy.

> Download our easy read Feedback and Complaints guide

Resources

For more information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme visit www.ndis.gov.au.

Videos on Postural Care