What is NDIS funding? A beginner’s guide
We’ve done a lot of writing about all of the different ways the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can help you access disability support services and how to make the most of your plan funds. But, if you’re new to the NDIS then you probably have a lot of questions about what the NDIS actually is, what funding can be used for and how to use your funds.
In this blog, we’ll cover the basics in a way that you can understand and link you to helpful resources that explore some topics in more detail. But don’t worry if you still can’t find the answers to all of your questions – the team at Disability Plan Services are ready to help you whenever you need it.
New to the NDIS?
There is a lot of information out there about the NDIS and a lot of providers who all share the same desire to help those with disability to live a fulfilling life. So where can you turn for trust-worthy advice?
First and foremost, if you have any friends, family or colleagues in your network who have experienced the NDIS or living with disability, reach out to them and ask for their recommendations. Others who have been through a similar experience to you will often have a lot of life lessons to pass on that may help you out greatly!
Another way to get help is to speak to an independent, third-party provider of disability support services such as Support Coordination and Plan Management. These experts help to connect those with an NDIS plan to the best possible service providers and understand the NDIS better than anyone else.
If you have any questions about your personal circumstances, feel free to ask the team at Disability Plan Services. Call us on 0498 103 343 or email email@example.com.
What is NDIS funding?
If you’ve just received your first NDIS plan or you’ve began caring for someone with a disability, asking yourself, what is NDIS funding, is a normal question to have. NDIS funding is provided to eligible Australians aged under 65 who are living with a permanent and significant disability.
Everyone’s funding will differ based on personal circumstances and can only be used to pay service providers who deliver supports you require to meet your needs and achieve your goals. Your needs and goals are determined at your planning meeting with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the details are included in your plan.
Depending on how you choose to manage your plan, there are a few different ways to request your funds when you need to pay for approved supports and equipment.
- Self-managed plan – This option means you are in control of your funding, including choosing your own providers and paying their invoices. The NDIA provides you with your funding so you can access the supports you need. There are a lot of responsibilities when self-managing your plan. Visit the NDIS website for some helpful guides on self-management.
- NDIA managed plan (agency-managed) – The NDIA will manage your funds for you and pay invoices on your behalf. This option limits you to working with NDIS registered providers only. Learn more about NDIA plan management here.
- Plan management – Choosing plan management means you have complete choice over your service providers, and you have the support of an experienced, third-party Plan Manager to help make informed decisions about your funds. A Plan Manager will pay providers on your behalf, take care of all financial reporting and keep you informed about your budget. We go into more detail about plan management here.
What can NDIS funding be used for?
As we mentioned just before, this will vary on a case by case basis as everyone’s disability and needs are different. Your goals will also differ from others so you shouldn’t compare your plan to that of your friends.
There are three main categories that your funds will be allocated to, each covering different types of supports you may require.
- Core budget – Everyone receives a sum of funds for their core budget which covers low-cost equipment that you may need to help your mobility, to pay a support worker to help with household cleaning and funds you need for everyday items and transport.
- Capital budget – These funds are for large expenses such as modifications to your home and/or motor vehicle.
- Capacity building budget – This is all about helping to improve your ability to get involved in day to day life and improve your ability to perform tasks. This funding may be used to pay a support worker to help you find employment, participate in exercise and manage your household budget.
If you’re confused about what funding is included in your plan, get in touch with the team at Disability Plan Services.
How to use NDIS funding
Depending on how you choose to manage your plan funds, your options for using your NDIS funding will be different.
If you choose to self-manage your plan funds, the NDIS provides you with two options to pay for your supports:
- Make a Payment Request and then pay your provider:
Once you receive an account, invoice or timesheet from your provider, make a Payment Request. This can be done online using the myplace portal.
Money from your NDIS plan budget will be paid into your nominated bank account within 24 to 48 hours. You can then pay your provider.
- Pay your provider and then make a Payment Request:
Once you receive your support, pay your provider using your own money and get a receipt. Make a Payment Request to have the money from your NDIS plan budget paid into your nominated bank account. You will be reimbursed within 24 to 48 hours.
When your plan is managed by the NDIA (agency-managed) or you’re using an independent Plan Manager, like Disability Plan Services, they will access your NDIS funding to pay for supports you have received.
If you have more questions about your NDIS plan funds and how it all works, contact Disability Plan Services for an obligation-free chat today.