How to best manage your NDIS budgets
The NDIS is designed to give you more choice and control over your supports. This also means that you have to manage each NDIS budget for each of your supports.
For many people this is quite a daunting responsibility: "How do I spend my funding wisely?" "How do I keep track of how much I’m spending?"
In this blog we explain how to best manage your NDIS budgets.
Spending your NDIS budgets wisely
To make sure you spend your budgets wisely, it’s important to clearly understand what the NDIS funds – and what not. Your NDIS plan states exactly what budgets the NDIS has allocated to your supports. There are 3 types of supports:
- Core Supports
- Capital Supports
- Capacity-Building Supports
These are in up to 15 categories of supports for instance ‘Consumables’, ‘Assistance with Social and Community Participation’ and ‘Improved Life Choices’. Learn more about understanding your NDIS plan.
Finding out what is exactly covered under these categories can be pretty hard, and the NDIS only funds your supports if they are directly related to your disability and are considered ‘reasonable and necessary’.
Tracking your spending
There are two big risks if you don’t keep a close eye on your spending.
It can be surprisingly easy to go through your NDIS funds too quickly, which might cause you to ease up or even stop receiving certain supports, pay out of your own pocket or request a plan review mid-way. If you would like advice on preventing overspending, read our blog.
If you’re not spending all your budgets or close to it, the NDIS might decide to reduce your budgets in your next NDIS plan, which can seriously impact the supports you can receive. For tips on how to avoid underspending, read our blog.
Get an expert to support you
You might think "I don’t have the time or energy to dive into all this". But a great thing about the NDIS is that it can actually fund a ‘Plan Manager’ for you, such as Plan Partners.
Plan Management is one of the 3 ways you can manage your NDIS funds and, since the service is fully funded by the NDIS, it is at no cost to you or your other NDIS budgets.
Your Plan Manager handles the day-to-day administration that comes with an NDIS plan, such as processing invoices and keeping track of your fund balance.
Plan Management with Plan Partners
As your Plan Manager, we will manage all your NDIS finances. We know exactly what the NDIS usually funds and what not. We will process all your invoices, so you don’t have to worry about your providers being paid. And best of all, we provide handy tools to assist you in managing your NDIS budgets, such as our Dashboards.
Plan Partners Dashboards
We give NDIS participants access to their own personal online Dashboard - also available as an App - to track their spending and see the status of their invoices. Learn more about the benefits here.
How to get Plan Management in your NDIS plan
If you would like to have a Plan Manager to support you in managing your NDIS funds, just ask for Plan Management in your planning meeting – it is your legal right to have it included in your plan. To make it easy, take this Request for Plan Management form with you to your planning meeting.
If you don't request Plan Management, they may decide to have your funds managed by the NDIA, which limits your choices of service providers as you can only use NDIS registered providers. Another option is Self Management, which means you'll handle all NDIS fund administration yourself.
Need more information?
- For more information on our Plan Management and Support Coordination services, click here.
- For news and updates on the NDIS and Plan Partners, subscribe to our mailing list.
Do you already have an NDIS plan but don't have Plan Management included?
This might be a good reason to ask for a review - find out more here.
Would you like to speak with someone to discuss your options?
Link Disability Magazine
This article was previously published in Link Disability Magazine for their December 2018 issue.
Link is Australia's national disability magazine which covers a diverse range of topics including news, issues, art, sport, breakthroughs, travel, health, advocacy, products and people throughout the disability sector.