The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aims at improving the lives of all citizens living with a disability of any kind. However, using the scheme to your benefit requires detailed knowledge of the NDIS budget and proper budget planning according to your daily and future needs.
Data from the Australian Government states that 4.3 million people in Australia suffer from different kinds of disabilities. However, NDIS funding has helped over 250000 Australians lead a healthy and independent life.
NDIS plan mainly allocates budgets for individual NDIS participants in three support categories:
- Core Support- The budget allocated for this section is used to meet your daily needs.
- Capacity Building Support- NDIS also provides funds for your future goals like continuing education and medical assistance for a healthy and long life.
- Capital Support- The funds in this category are for assistive support like communication, transport, and personal care.
To maximize the usage of your NDIS budget, you have to plan your needs and goals and your future recurring expenses so that you can be eligible for the best-suited plan according to your needs.
1. Start With Your Needs And Goals
NDIS plans are curated according to the needs of individual NDIS participants. Hence, it is important to plan out all your needs and goals before applying for the scheme. Then, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) can clearly understand your needs and lifestyle. This helps them to provide the best plan for your well-being.
It seems to be a huge task to plan everything to fit the budget. But breaking them down into parts makes it easier to focus on all the aspects. A daily budget should include all your needs i.e., everything you need daily, from transport to aids and social participation.
However, goals refer to future expenses, including any medical surgery, therapy, or social and community activity. Planning your goals can significantly improve your lifestyle both physically and mentally.
2. Be Prepared For The Plan
Before talking to a care provider, it is necessary to have a plan. It may seem to be a big move, but it can be easily planned if we keep some things in mind. Here are a few points you need to consider:
- Prepare all the necessary medical documents in a file.
- Write the needs and goals in a proper and organized manner.
- Talk to a current NDIS beneficiary for gaining adequate knowledge of the NDIS application process.
- Reach out to a recognized NDIS planning agency for assistance in pre-planning advice.
- When meeting for the NDIS plan, describe every aspect of your needs.
- Clarify everything in the scheme’s policy before agreeing to any particular plan.
- Never hesitate to ask if there is any doubt regarding the plan or the allocated budget.
A proper process for planning the NDIS budget can make this process effortless.
3. Focus On Your Need For Independence, Safety, And Social Inclusion
NDIS covers all the aspects of a disabled beneficiary’s life. It supports every NDIS participant to lead an independent and healthy life. Hence, be sure to include all the social activities you have wanted to be a part of because they can allocate the funds required to assist you with the same.
The beneficiary’s safety is very important to the National Disability Insurance Agency. Therefore, it will ensure that the support coordination is safe and easy for you to reach your desired goal.
4. Factor In Your Informal Supports
It is necessary to reach out to your family and friends for help before planning your NDIS budget. This way, you can organize and plan the budget to fund your core expenses.
Your local coordinator also needs information about the assistance and support you receive from your loved ones. This is termed “informal support,” The NDIS agency does not fund informal support.
5. Transport Funding
Your NDIS plan includes travel allowances for independent travelling. As per your goals, it also provides funds specifically allocated for training sessions to travel via public transport when necessary.
The transport budget allowance includes individual transport arrangements and assistance according to taxis and other public transport fares. NDIS allocates transport funds for three different support levels, and any one of them can be included in the plan based on your work-life and travel frequency.
Suppose you are availing of any other transport allowance or assistance from other Government or private organizations. Then that is to be mentioned while planning the NDIS budget. Moreover, give details of the aid and support you receive from those allowances. These details ensure that your transport needs are aligned with your goals and objectives.
6. Understand The Plan Completely
Once you receive the NDIS plan from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), review the plan thoroughly and understand all the budget allocations for every support category included in the plan. It is very important to check the budget and the plan and keep no stones unturned. Your budget should suit your needs and goals, and make sure that it includes all the expected funding for your long-term goals.
Once you have accepted the plan of your NDIS budget, start using it as soon as your agency approves it. If the entire money of the planned budget is not used, the NDIA will receive it back. In addition, LAC will conduct periodic plan reviews and interactions with the beneficiary (you) to clarify the budget usage and your further requirements.
7. Don’t Accept The NDIS Plan If It Doesn’t Fit Your Needs.
If you disagree with any point in the budget plan sent to you by NDIA, you can appeal for a review of the plan to the agency. Request for an internal review within three months after NDIA has decided regarding your NDIS budget.
The agency will explain the process briefly while sending your budget. However, if you still face any issues, you can contact the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110 for further assistance.
While requesting the review, explain all the points that do not imply the fulfilment of your needs and need to be reconsidered. For example, suppose you are not happy with the internal review and still feel that all your needs are not included, or the budget does not fit all the goals. In that case, you can apply for a review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, a separate organization from NDIA.
8. Plan Your Spending And Use The Budget To The Maximum
The crucial part of using the NDIS budget is ensuring that the funds allocated in each support category are used properly. A budget is usually curated for a year, but with the recent NDIS scheme, a budget of two or three years can be approved if the disability is incurable.
Plan the year to make proper use of the budget. Schedule the medical and other appointments and inform of any planned activity which will not require their assistance. It is crucial to the agency that the beneficiary spends the fund purposefully.
Need A Consultation With An NDIS Registered Provider?
Planning an NDIS budget with a certain approval can be a hectic task. There are many aspects to cover, and it feels impossible as an individual job. Many NDIS registered providers offer pre-planning advice. Book an appointment for a free consultation today.
NDIS is an initiative by the Australian Government to give people living with disability a normal and healthy life. It is the responsibility of both the agency and the beneficiary to make proper use of the fund that the Government allocates. It’s crucial for the well-being of every citizen of Australia.