The complex home modification process can be a daunting and convoluted process for clients. It takes multiple visits for an Occupational Therapist to gather all information required to ensure a successful long-term prescription. The NDIS tend to only fund complex home modifications once for each client, therefore extra care is required by the Occupational Therapist to consider current and future needs of the participants in all areas of the home. Even if a certain part of the home may not require modifications at present, the NDIS require it to be added into the submission and identified as a potential future need so that they can determine if the overall home modifications and expense recommended are considered Reasonable & Necessary.

Complex Home Modifications can take anywhere from 15 hours plus to be ready for submission.

As an example, I have detailed below an approximate timeline with hours of work required for a full bathroom modification:

  • Initial assessment required to identify functional capacity, prognosis and long-term needs. Complex Home Modification needs will be identified and may or may not be discussed depending on time

(Approximately 1.5 hours)

  • Write up initial Functional Capacity Evaluation report

(Between 2-3 hours depending on client complexity and need)

  • Home visit to discuss and plan for Complex Home Modifications with client and take photographs and measurements, sign builder Service Agreement for Joint Site Visit with builder

(Between 1-1.5 hours)

  • Occuapational Therapist draws up current and proposed bathroom floorplans
  • Send signed builder Service Agreement to Plan Manager for payment
  • Send completed bathroom floorplan drawings and Service Agreement to building company
  • Once building company receives payment, they contact the Occupational Therapist to organize a suitable day and time for a Joint Site Visit

 (Approximately 1.5 hours)

  • Conduct a Joint Site Visit with builder for client, Occupational Therapist and builder to collaborate and determine official modification plan

(1 hour)

  • Builder completes quotes and sends to Occupational Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist must seek out a second comparable quote for all jobs over $15,000
  • Occupational Therapist draws up final modification plans including wall elevations, specific location of fittings (e.g. grab rails, taps, light switches etc.)

(2 hours)

  • Occupational Therapist completes CHM report and any other supporting documentation required in readiness for NDIS submission

(3 hours)

  • Follow up visit with client to go over final plans and report and gain client’s approval and a signature

(1 hour)

  • Submission to the NDIS

The total for this job is 14.5 hours. There is usually extra time required for the builder and Occupational Therapist to liaise behind the scenes regarding specific fittings and placement of fixtures. And, as we all know, things do not always go to plan! People change their minds, or think of extra additions required along the way, so a bit of flexibility in time frames and workload must be provided.

Other considerations to take into account could be:

  • Requiring multiple joint site visits. For example, the need for a builder (bathroom mod) and a company delegate/equipment specialist (stair lift)
  • Extra assessment visits and Assistive Technology trials with the Occupational Therapist if new Assistive Technology is being acquired to determine suitability in the space proposed for modification


If you would like more information on home modifications, talk to our Occupational Therapists about how we can help you!

Written by Occupational Therapist Casey Morrison

Casey graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy (Honours). She is passionate about community care and enabling people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, whilst maintaining safety and independence. A strong focus on safe mobility, reducing falls risks and home modifications enable Casey to help her clients reach this goal. Casey has a keen interest in pressure injury prevention, fatigue management, dementia, brain injury, and cognition rehabilitation. Casey studied Occupational Therapy as a mature aged student after running a successful business as a Personal Training and Massage Therapist. She prides herself on her holistic approach to healthcare which focuses on psychosocial wellness and collaboration with all care providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for her clients.