You’ve applied to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). You’ve received your access decision letter and have been granted funding. So, what happens now?
The next step in your NDIS journey is to attend your planning meeting where you will discuss your goals and how your funding will be allocated.
While this will be the first of many meetings, it’s a good idea to do some preparation before you attend your initial session.
By doing your own research and finding out what can be paid for under the NDIS, you’ll be able to make the most of your meeting and ensure your funding is put to best use.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about using your NDIS funding.
What is funded by the NDIS?
The NDIS will fund products and services that provide reasonable and necessary support to someone living with a disability.
For instance, general living costs that any individual would need to pay would not be covered under the NDIS. These costs could include grocery items, car maintenance, holiday trips for leisure purposes and more.
Here is a checklist that can help you identify whether the support you’re looking to purchase would be covered by your funding.
- Will the support help you achieve the goals in your NDIS plan?
- Does the support offer value for money?
- Do you have sufficient budget to cover the support?
- Will the support help you engage with your community or improve your relationships?
- Will no other government service fund the support? (e.g. Medicare).
- Is the support considered safe and legal?
If you’re looking for more clarification on how you can use your funding, you can also refer to the NDIS funding categories.
NDIS funding categories
There are 3 funding categories that outline the types of supports that are covered by NDIS funding – core, capacity building and capital.
Each category covers a range of supports that can aid you in your independence journey and help you reach your NDIS goals.
Core supports are designed to assist you in your day-to-day life.
It could be everyday items you need because you have a disability, or assistance you require to undertake daily activities.
You can also use your core supports for assistance with social and community participation and for transport purposes if you’re unable to use public transport due to your disability.
From pursuing your interests to developing your independent living skills, capacity building supports help you to improve your existing skills and learn new ones.
Depending on your goals, you could use your capacity building budget to improve your health and wellbeing, seek employment, develop your relationships and more.
Your capital support budget provides funding for any assistive technology, equipment and home or vehicle modifications you may need.
Capital funding is limited to specific purchases and is generally used to assist with major expenses.
NDIS plan management options
At your planning meeting, you will need to decide how you will manage your funding budget.
You will be asked to choose from a range of plan management options that will appoint who will be responsible for your NDIS funding.
There are three options to choose from.
As the name suggests, a self-managed plan puts you in charge of your NDIS funding. It gives you total control of your funds, with the flexibility to choose what supports you buy to meet the goals in your NDIS plan.
With a self-managed plan, you will need to handle all of your own finances. From processing payments to maintaining up to date records, there is a lot of responsibility involved.
You can always opt to have a plan nominee, such as a parent or a carer who can help you complete these tasks.
While a self-managed plan allows you to make all of the decisions, an agency managed plan puts the onus back on the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
It can be quicker and easier to let the NDIA manage everything on your behalf, but it does mean there will be some restrictions around how you can use your funding budget.
With an agency managed plan, you can only use NDIS registered service providers and you will have to adhere to set price limits.
If you would like to have flexibility and control, but don’t feel confident handling the financial side on your own, you may benefit from the plan-managed option.
It gives you the opportunity to rely on a professional to take care of your finances by allowing you to hire an NDIA approved plan manager.
You will need to allocate part of your budget toward paying for their services and will be required to meet with your plan manager on a regular basis.
Find out what works for you
It’s important to remember that everyone is unique, and you need to find out what is going to work best for you.
The supports you may require for your NDIS plan could be entirely different to what another individual may need.
At your planning meeting, you’ll be able to discuss your goals to ensure your funding is appropriately allocated.
If you have further questions prior to your initial meeting, you can always get in touch with an NDIS registered service provider to find out more about your options.
As one of the largest NDIS service providers in Perth, and across WA, Activ can help you learn more about potential ways to use your funding.
If you’d like to have a chat to one of our friendly team members, get in touch with us today. Additionally, we have a range of resources on our site dedicated to NDIS information. Learn more here: https://www.activ.asn.au/ndis/