NDIS plan health check: 8 tips to get the most from your NDIS journey
Have you ever wondered if you’re using your NDIS plan as effectively as possible? It’s a good question to ask yourself every now and then. Fortunately, there are some simple steps to take to get the most from your NDIS journey.
We asked some of our team to share their top tips for people wanting to do a quick ‘health check’ of their NDIS plan. Here’s what they said…
I recently spoke with one of our customers who had a good approach to her NDIS plan. Once every few months, she sets aside some time to think about whether her NDIS plan is still giving her everything she needs. With plans now being automatically extended up to 24 months, it’s more important than ever to consider your situation, your goals and the things that might help you achieve them. Even if it’s just once a year, a quick ‘stocktake’ might make all the difference!
A lot of people don’t know that you can request a change to your NDIS plan at any time, if it's no longer relevant to your needs. This is called a ‘Change of Circumstances’ and it’s a simpler process than requesting a full plan review. So, if you’ve had a change in your living situation, your informal supports or anything significant, fill out a ‘Change of Circumstances’ form as soon as possible – don’t wait for a scheduled review. Need help? Just reach out to us.”
Senior Business Development Lead
One of the key things we do at Plan Partners is stay up to date with all the new NDIS measures and I always encourage our customers to do the same! For example, the NDIS has recently made it easier to purchase an iPad or tablet with your NDIS funds – but a lot of people I spoke to didn’t know that until I told them. Speaking of iPads, we've also made it even easier for our customers to purchase an iPad with Officeworks. Simply call our team and tell us what you want and we’ll take care of the rest.
Customer Service Team Leader
One thing I always try and remind people is that your Core funding is flexible. If you have a lot of funding in Category 4 (Community Access), you can use that funding for Category 3 (Consumables) or Category 1- (Assistance with Daily Living). You can mix and match any of the funding in your Core categories, which opens up a world of creative possibilities. Plus, the NDIS has now made it possible to use your Core funding to access Support Coordination as well!
Plan Specialist Team Leader
My biggest piece of advice would be to actively take steps to use your NDIS funds. The money in your NDIS plan belongs to you and it's meant for you to use it to live the life you want. Keep an eye on your budget categories in your Plan Partners Dashboard and if one’s not getting used, ask yourself, why? There are many reasons why underspending can occur: maybe you’re simply not accessing enough supports or perhaps the service providers taking a long time to issue invoices. All of these can be resolved, but first you need to know why.
Use the tools available to you to make your life easier. When it comes to tracking your budget to avoid spending too much or too little of your funding, the Plan Partners Dashboard gets rid of the guesswork. The Dashboard - which is also available as an app - provides you with easy-to-understand breakdowns of your budgets, so you can adjust your spending accordingly. It also gives you the option to approve your provider invoices and makes it easy to get paid back for your NDIS purchases the next business day, so you aren’t out of pocket too long.
One thing you should always keep in mind is that the NDIS is all about choice and control – and that applies to the team you have around you. From support workers to your Occupational Therapist, if you’re not happy with anyone then you can, and should, find someone more suited to you and your needs.
Business Development Lead
Once you have a great team of supports, set up service agreements with all your service providers. It usually should not take much time at all to set them up, but once you do, you’re protected from any misunderstandings over the service being delivered. If you are Plan Managed with Plan Partners, you’ll also get the added benefit of our Payment Guarantee, which automatically sets aside the required funding for the services you need.