December 27, 2021
Have you just started your journey with the NDIS? Receiving your first NDIS plan can be a very exciting time as it represents the start of your next chapter and a big step towards achieving your goals. But this can also be overwhelming if you are not familiar with how the NDIS works.
Understanding your plan is an important aspect of achieving your goals. The more you know, the better placed you are to make decisions about your supports. It’s also important that you understand how to use NDIS funding so that you are making the most of your plan.
In this handy NDIS planning guide, we have collated our top four tips on how to use NDIS funding so that you can tick off those NDIS goals sooner and live the life that you deserve!
Tip 1: Take the time to understand your plan
There is no way that you can make the most of your NDIS funding unless you take the time to understand your plan. So, how do you navigate your plan?
Firstly, ask yourself, ‘does my funding match my goals?’ As we mentioned previously, the funding that you have been allocated in your NDIS plan should be based on the goals that you set in your planning meeting.
Not only will your plan list your goals, but it will also outline how much funding has been allocated for each support category. The support categories that you may receive funding for include core supports, capacity building supports and capital supports. Learn more about what supports are funded in our blog.
Tip 2: Manage your funds using a registered NDIS provider
Now that you understand where your funding has been allocated, you have the option of choosing how you would like to manage those funds.
Everyone has the choice between self-managed, agency-managed or plan-managed. If you are new to the NDIS and are still learning how to navigate the scheme, then you may want to have your plan managed by a registered third-party. Helping you maintain your freedom and independence, a Plan Manager will take away any stress you may have about your NDIS journey by providing you personalised support.
A Plan Manager will also make you feel at ease by handling the ongoing financial administration including paying your NDIS providers, keeping track of your spending and strategically maximising your budget. At no out-of-pocket cost to you, your Plan Manager will provide you the necessary support so all you need to do is focus on achieving your goals. Learn more about what ideal NDIS plan management looks like in our blog.
At Disability Plan Services, we’ve helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals through our NDIS plan management services. Learn more about our services or contact us about how we can set you up with one of our experienced plan managers.
Tip 3: Keep track of your funds
If you are self-managing your plan, it is important to track your funding to ensure that you are not overspending or underspending. We recommend checking in six months into your plan to see where you are at.
Keeping an eye on your spending is important because you want your budget to last until the end of your plan. You also do not want to underspend, because this means you are not making the most of your funding. Unspent funds are not rolled over into your next plan.
The benefit of having your plan managed by a registered third party such as Disability Plan Services is that one of the roles of your Plan Manager is to keep track of your funding. As someone who is new to the NDIS, having someone else tracking your funds is a great way to alleviate some of your stress and set you up for a successful journey.
Tip 4: Review your plan regularly
You will have an NDIS plan review meeting about 12 months after you receive your NDIS plan. The purpose of an NDIS plan review is to discuss how your plan has been working for you, set new goals, and address any questions or concerns you may have. For instance, if you’re finding you need less assistance in certain areas but are interested in starting a new hobby or joining a recreational group, you may need to change your day-to-day disability support services or transport requirements.
Because your circumstances and needs may have changed during this time, your goals will change as well. It’s important to prepare for your meeting so that you can ensure your goals and needs are still being met. Ask yourself:
You should also take this opportunity to review the way your plan is being managed. If you are currently self-managing your NDIS funding or your funding is being managed by the NDIA, you can request for additional funds to be allocated for a NDIS Plan Manager. Working with an independent, third-party Plan Manager, such as Disability Plan Services, can help you make the most of your plan funds and put your funding to good use when your new plan starts.
Contact us to discuss how we can create your personalised NDIS Planning Guide. Get in touch with us to help make your NDIS journey easier by calling 1800 312 870.
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