At Aspect Plan Management, we receive many calls from people who are struggling to make sense of their NDIS funding. We understand that wrapping your head around the NDIS and how funding is provided can be challenging. Our team loves helping participants understand and maximise the use of their NDIS Plan. This NDIS cheat sheet is an accumulation of insights from our experienced team.
Maximising your budget requires an understanding of the structure and different components of your plan. Let’s start off by understanding the structure.
Understanding the Structure of Funding
A frequently asked question is ‘Can I purchase X? How much would NDIS cover?’
Your plan and funding allocated is individualised and organised into three buckets: Core, Capital and Capacity Building. The diagram below depicts the three buckets of your plan, and the item codes associated with it.
Your plan will state how much funding you have in each bucket and in the different item codes. The allocated funding, across the buckets, is dependent on the identified goals and needs of the NDIS participant. Note that you may not have any funding for a certain bucket. What you can claim is dependent on the funding you have in the buckets and alignment to the goals identified in your NDIS plan.
To answer our frequently asked question about what a NDIS participant can purchase, we look at the allocated funding for an individual and their goals.
There are some questions you can ask to check that you can claim an item:
- Is the item related to the goals identified in the participant’s NDIS plan?
- Does the participant have funding in the area where the item can be claimed from?
- Where should the item be claimed from to maximise the use of the plan?
For example, with items that can be claimed from different line items which item code should you claim it from. With these items, consider the remaining funding of the different buckets and the other supports you need to claim. Ensure that you have the necessary funds to claim for other necessary items. If you do not, it may be time to ask for a plan review!
The way funding is managed
There are four ways you can manage your funding:
This is when you manage the funding and payments yourself. This option gives you maximum choice and flexibility, but you are also responsible for maintaining your own records, ensuring your providers are paid correctly (including making sure that they are paid according to minimum wage and fair work requirements if you employ your support workers directly), and participating in any audits or reviews that may occur. If you want to be self-managed you need to demonstrate that you have the skills and capacity to manage these responsibilities, either on your own or with support.
Plan Management gives you choice and control over the providers you use, including registered and non-registered providers so long as the cost of your supports is within the rates specified in the price guide.
If you choose to be plan-managed, a Plan Manager is funded in your plan and must be an NDIS registered provider. They claim directly from the budgets in your plan to pay your providers on your behalf. They also help you with record keeping and keeping track of your budget, so you can manage your spending over the life of your plan.
Anyone in the NDIS can be plan managed and it doesn’t cost you anything. You just need to let your planner know you want this option in your planning meeting or ask your Local Area Coordinator for plan management.
NDIA / Agency managed
This is when your plan is managed by the NDIA. This is the simplest option, but it means you are only able to receive services from registered providers. You have less flexibility to choose the services or providers you prefer.
You can have a mix of funding options in your plan. This can sometimes be a good choice for people who are wanting to work towards being self-managed, while still getting some support from a plan manager. You could have a mix of agency managed + plan/self-managed funding if you want to continue working with registered providers but want the flexibility of using non-registered providers for other supports.
What are the benefits of Plan Management?
Plan management is a great solution for NDIS Participants that want the freedom of working with registered and non-registered service providers without the workload of self-managing. A Plan Manager relives you of the stress of admin and paperwork. You do not have to search for item codes and how to maximise your budget. Our team love helping participants get the supports they need so they can meet the goals and aspirations of their NDIS plan.
Feel free to chat with us on how we can help you maximise the use of your budget. Call 1300 770 986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org us today.
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