How do I use my NDIS funds?

04 September 2019

People often ask how they can use their NDIS funds.

How you spend your funds depends on how you’ve chosen to manage your plan.

If you would like some help with the NDIS, we’re here to help!

 

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What are my plan management options?

When it comes to actually spending your NDIS funds, it will be different from person to person, and it all comes down to how you are managing your plan.

There area few different ways you can manage your NDIS plan. You can read about them all in our blog ‘your plan management options explained’.

Essentially, there are four different options you can choose from:

  1. Self management
  2. NDIS (agency managed)
  3. A mix
  4. Enlist the help of a plan manager

There are pros and cons of each option. It’s something you’ll talk about and decide at your plan meeting.

What can I use my NDIS funds for?

If you’re not sure what your NDIS funds can be used for – you’re not alone! It can be tricky to work out what the NDIS covers and what it doesn’t.

Essentially The NDIS exists to close the gap between having a disability and not having a disability.

Ask yourself – would someone without disability be expected to pay for this?

If the answer is ‘yes’, then chances are it is a mainstream cost. Things like housing, food, holidays and vehicles are considered mainstream costs. Even though people with disability often need or use these things, they are not disability specific and therefore unlikely to be covered by the NDIS.

It also depends on what’s reasonable and necessary.

If you’re not sure if something is covered, you could always look it up in the NDIS Price Guide. This is the best place for the most up to date information. Fair warning though – it’s a beast of a document and can be a bit daunting.

If you’re really not sure – always remember it can’t hurt to ask. If the NDIS decides that it is reasonable and necessary, you could get funding for it.

Some of our most frequent NDIS questions are from people wondering whether the NDIS covers things like smartphones and holidays. It can get a bit tricky, so we made some videos about it.

The funding categories explained

To use your NDIS funds effectively, you’ll want to understand the funding categories.

If you have an NDIS plan, you’ve probably seen that the funding is broken up into three budgets, or ‘support purposes’ as they are known in NDIS speak. These are core, capital and capacity building.

But what on earth does this actually mean?

A Local Area Coordinator once told me a brilliant way to explain the difference between the three budgets. Here it is:

If someone needs help showering, here’s how the three budgets could help out:

  • Core – Could provide a Support Worker to assist with showering.

  • Capital – Could provide modifications (like a handrail) to the shower to make it more accessible.

  • Capacity building – A support worker or program to teach the person skills and ways to improve their showering or hygiene.

For more information on the funding categories and what they mean, make sure you check out our blog on the topic.

If you’re lost, make sure to ask for help.

If you have Support Coordination in your plan, your Support Coordinator will know these funding categories inside and out and will be able to give you individualised advice on how you can make the most of your NDIS plan.

Why aren’t people using their NDIS funding?

Often, a lack of understanding about how you can spend your NDIS funding leads to people not making the most of their plans.

A surprising amount of NDIS funding goes unspent - around 30% of it according to the 2017-2018 federal budget.

The NDIS can be confusing and there are lots of reasons why people might not be making the most of their funding.

A while ago, we looked at some of the reasons that NDIS funding isn’t spent, and you can take a look at it here.

Contact us to find out how we can support you

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