What is the NDIS Price Guide?
An easy way to think of the NDIS price guide is it is a lot like a shopping catalogue of disability support services that are funded by the NDIS, complete with the maximum prices things can cost.
It’s a big document, but it’s also a very useful one. It allows you to see what support is available to you, gives you confidence that you are getting value for money from your plan and keeps you updated if NDIS prices change.
How to use the NDIS Price Guide
At over 100 pages, the National Disability Insurance Scheme Price Guide is a pretty intimidating document. However, there are ways to make navigating it easier and the more you reference it, the more familiar you will become with how it presents the information that’s relevant to you.
1) You won’t need to read it all
In fact, most of what you will be interested in is outlined in the second half of the guide, so you can skip through a lot of jargon to get to the information you need.
2) Before you start, it helps to brush up your knowledge of NDIS funding types
Pricing is broken down into the type of service and categorised as either Core, Capital, or Capacity Building. If this isn’t sounding familiar at all, don’t worry, we have you covered – make sure you check out our blog “NDIS funding categories explained”. Once you wrap your head around the funding types, these sections are easy to identify in the Contents section at the front and if you click on them, they take you direct to the information you want. For instance, if you want to find out what you can spend on a dietitian, find this under “Capacity Building” in the contents and click through to see the price cap per hour allocated to this service.
3) Make use the index
The index makes it a lot easier to jump to sections that are relevant to you, but it can still be difficult to understand, especially if you are not sure exactly what you are looking for. For instance, you might want to find out if you can access funds for someone to help do your laundry, but might not realise this is listed under linen services. If you don’t understand the terms used, it’s pretty hard to know what you are looking for. Do you want to participate in “centre-based” or “community” group activities? And are the activities “standard” or “high intensity”? Until you get used to the type of supports you want, what they involve and how they are described in “NDIS-speak” it can be daunting.
4) Know that help is available
There is help available and this is often provided when first deciding what to include on your plan. Thankfully, your providers, plan manager, LAC and Support Coordinator all live and breathe this document. Rely on their guidance to get you started and then use the NDIS price guide to keep on top of any changes or to browse other support options that may be available to you.
And don’t worry, while the guide is a great thing for you to be able to use, it’s the job of the people on your NDIS to explain everything you need to know about it.
What impact has COVID 19 had on the NDIS Price Guide?
This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster with COVID and many support providers have had to adapt quickly to restrictions and other change. As a result, the NDIS price guide has been adjusted to cover higher pricing for some critical support services to enable them to still operate within COVID guidelines. This means new things have temporarily been added to the guide, such as PPE (protective clothing and masks), as well as deep cleaning of your home if an infected support worker visits you, or if you need to quarantine yourself due to COVID.
There have also been allowances made for you to buy certain equipment and claim transport costs in some instances so you can safely continue therapies during lockdown periods.
What else has changed in the NDIS Price Guide in 2020 and why?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is still a work in progress that is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it meets the needs of participants. As new services are added or as provider costs increase, the NDIS price guide is adjusted as a way of letting everyone know.
The most recent changes were released in October, where things were added such as more funding for some remote areas, increased access to transportation, and more flexibility in how you access and pay for some Core supports.
What do the changes mean for me?
For most of us, these regular reviews and changes won’t mean much. You will still have control over how you spend your funds and which providers you choose. The aim of the NDIS price guide is to make sure everyone knows what supports and services are available and what they cost to help you manage your allocated plan budget.
What’s important to understand about the NDIS price guide is that:
you only need to check up on things that directly affect you;
your NDIS team are there to keep you informed;
changes to the NDIS price guide are readily available;
providers must check with you before making changes to pricing; and
pricing increases will often mean your NDIS funding is also boosted to cover the extra cost.
If you want more information on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Price Guide and how it affects you, contact your support coordinator or LAC. If you want to learn more yourself, here are a few links that might help.