Maximise your NDIS funds
Understanding your plan is an important aspect of achieving your goals. The more you know, the better placed you are to make decisions about your supports. This article is for anyone who wants to be better positioned to make the most of their NDIS funds.
In this handy NDIS fund planning guide, we have collated our top four tips on how to use NDIS funding so that you can tick off those NDIS goals sooner and live the life that you deserve.
It’s important to keep in mind: your NDIS plan is developed based on your individual needs and goals.
So, when it comes to the NDIS, funding isn’t the starting point – your individual needs and goals are.
To ensure you can get the most out of your funding, consider what you need across all aspects of your life. If that seems like too big a place to start, then break it down. You can use what the NDIS calls Outcome Domains, to help stay focussed.
Outcome domains include:
- Daily living
- Health and wellbeing
- Lifelong learning
- Social & community participation
- Choice and control
Think about your needs in each of the following areas, and think about how they apply on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis:
- Where you live
- Relationships you have with others, or want to have
- Your health and your wellbeing
- Education, and other learning opportunities
- Work, both volunteer and paid
- Social and community activities
That way your NDIS funds are more likely to work for you and your individual needs.
Goals are an essential part of receiving NDIS funds, but setting goals can be tricky. To make the process simpler, break your goals up into things you want to do in the future, things you want to improve at, things you want to try, or even things you want to stop doing.
Your goals can be big or small. But as a general rule, try to keep your overall goals big and broad, then detail the smaller steps you’ll take to achieve them.
The supports you use to work towards these goals can be funded (your NDIS plan), informal (your friends or family), or mainstream and community (for example support from a local club, school, or other activity that anyone participates in).
Also, remember that in addition to funding for your needs and goals above, the NDIS will provide you with a budget for consumables and aids and equipment. These items are a means to achieving some of your goals. For example; in order to ‘live safely & independently at home’ you may be allocated funding to modify your kitchen bench or install specialised bathroom equipment, or pathway changes to assist you with leaving and entering your home.
Understand your NDIS funding categories
It’s important to know what NDIS funding is available to you before you start spending it. There are currently three buckets where your funding may be allocated. These are:
- Core Supports
- Capacity Building Supports
- Capital Supports
Core Supports are aimed at helping you in your everyday life. This is broken down into four categories including assistance with daily life, consumables, transport, and assistance with social and community participation.
Capacity Building Supports relate to the short and long-term goals outlined in your NDIS plan. This includes nine categories: support coordination, improved living arrangements, increased social and community participation, finding and keeping a job, improved relationships, improved health and wellbeing, improved learning, improved life choices and improved daily living skills.
Capital Supports are related to assistive support across mobility, personal care, communication and recreation. This includes two categories: assistive technology and home modifications.
Match provider skillset with participant needs
Another tip for participants and their support networks is to do the research about provider specialities and make sure these match what’s needed.
For example, if services for children are required, make sure the targeted provider actually works with children, and not just adults.
Also, right at the start of the planning process, consider the benefits and value of the services on the NDIS Goals.
‘Counselling services’, for example, should be noted along with the benefit to the participant. Because counselling services are billed at a lower rate, participants benefit from more services out of their plan’s funding.
Don’t lose your funds
At the end of your plan, any unspent funds are surrendered back to the National Disability Insurance Agency. You may also be asked at your review meeting why the support budget wasn’t fully used. It may be because you did not have access to relevant supports for a period of time, you might’ve started your plan too late, or you may have had some other changes in your life.
Remember, plan your year ahead and make your arrangements so you can fully utilise your plan. At myAutonomy, we can assist you with securing the relevant reasonable and necessary supports from a range of quality providers.
We’re here to help
It’s our goal to help participants use their NDIS funding in the ways that benefit them the most. We know that it can be daunting to be accessed by the NDIS and start on your first plan.
Fortunately, we can help clarify eligibility and offer advice. We want you to get the most out of your NDIS plan so that you can reach your goals.
Have a question? We’re on hand to offer assistance. Contact us on 1300 60 33 89 or at email@example.com and we can help.