Tips for Making The Most of Your NDIS Budgets

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Tips for Making The Most of Your NDIS Budgets

Written by: Edwina Wilkens l Marketing + Business Development Manager for Canny Plan Management


Every National Disability Insurance Scheme Plan (NDIS Plan) has a start date and an end date, as well as NDIS Funds to purchase supports and services that help to assist NDIS Participants to reach and achieve their goals set out in their NDIS Plan.

Depending on how your NDIS Plan is managed, depends on how you are able to choose and pay for your NDIS Supports.

For example, NDIS Plans that are Agency Managed are only able to engage in supports from NDIS Service Providers that are registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  However, if NDIS Plans are either Plan Managed or Self-Managed, the sky is the limit in that you don’t have to use NDIS Providers that are registered with the NDIS.  They can simply have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and preferably, a great review from someone who has engaged in their services previously.

According to the NDIS website:

A provider is a person, business or organisation who delivers NDIS funded supports to participants.  Providers have different areas of experience and expertise.

If your NDIS funding is NDIA-managed, you can only use NDIS registered providers to deliver your services.  Participants who self-manage or have a plan manager to manage their NDIS Plan funding can use NDIS registered providers or unregistered providers.

So, as a registered NDIS registered Plan Management team, we wanted to give you a few tips on how we at Canny Plan Management can help you to make the most of your NDIS Funds!

NDIS Plan: Underutilisation

Let’s talk about, not spending your NDIS Plan budget!

When you come on board as a Canny Plan Management client, we become part of your support network.  Which means more to some than they think it does (in a good way).

We like to start from the start, once your service agreement is signed, sealed and delivered onto our system, we get straight into the nitty gritty by budgeting out your allocated NDIS Funding with a personalised budget breakdown, specifically built around your approved support categories and the funding allocated to each of those.

Not sure if you should have a Service Agreement in place with your NDIS Providers?  Check out this article we put together recently, going over the ins and out’s of Service Agreements and why they are an important document to engage in (in our humble opinion).

It’s no secret that applying for the NDIS isn’t for the faint-hearted – for some, it can be an easy process, but for others, not so.  When approved, we want to make sure that you are making the most of your allocated NDIS Funds to ensure that you are doing what you can to reach and achieve your goals.

Commonly, an NDIS Plan has a lifespan of 12 months and has an allocated budget based on 12 months’ worth of supports.  If there is a delay in starting the NDIS Plan or the services included, this can mean fewer services are used for the benefit of the NDIS Participant.

There are several hurdles that can sometimes be in front of NDIS Participants, Support Coordinators and those that are assisting the NDIS Participant in locking down supports, such as:

  • Waiting lists for services required;
  • Not able to find the right provider for services;
  • Change in provider team structures; and
  • NDIS Participant illness etc.

All of these hurdles need to be jumped at one point in time and can add up, and sometimes end up in the underutilisation of your NDIS Plan.

According to the National Disability Insurance Agency data, approximately 50% of NDIS Participants use 50% or less of their NDIS Plan in the first year of receiving approval.  On average, it’s a 50% utilisation in the first year of their NDIS Plan and takes four or more years to reach just 74%.  The National Disability Insurance Agency explains this by saying:

NDIS Participants are not familiar with how the National Disability Insurance Agency works and therefore don’t use their plans properly.

Our team at Canny Plan Management can help you to jump this hurdle with our in-depth and personalised budget of your supports and approved NDIS Funding!

Caution For How To Spend NDIS Funding: Plan Over-Utilisation

Let’s talk about, spending outside (or over) your allocated NDIS Plan Budget!

While it’s a common known fact that some NDIS Participants don’t make the most of their allocated NDIS Funds, it’s sometimes more common for NDIS Participants to overuse their allocated funding.

Some of the main areas that we see where NDIS Plan overspending occurs are:

  • Therapy Supports – this can be put down to there being more than one therapist or allied health provider who is delivering NDIS Supports.  For example, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists and Psychologists can all be billing against the same NDIS line item.
  • Daily Living Supports – this can be put down to different organisations who are billing against the same overall allocated NDIS Budget item.  For example, attendant care, cleaning and other in-home help and care.
  • Support Coordination – this can be put down to budgets that are limited and are allocated for helping with setting up and connecting NDIS Participants with providers, as well as assisting with NDIS Plan reviews.

Our team at Canny Plan Management can help you jump this hurdle with our in-depth and personalised budget of your supports and approved NDIS Funding!

Confusion with Your NDIS Funds, Budgets + Line Items

Let’s talk about, support categories!

As per the NDIS Website:

Supports and services delivered for NDIS Participants should help people with disability have the same things in life as other people, like somewhere to live, a job, hobbies and the company of families and friends.

So, what are these support categories that can so easily be mixed up?

Supports and services for NDIS Participants fall into three categories: core, capital and capacity building:

  • Core Supports – a support that helps an NDIS Participant complete their daily living activities
  • Capital Supports – a support for an investment, such as assistive technologies, equipment and home or vehicle modifications, or funding of capital costs, for example, to pay for Specialist Disability Accommodation
  • Capacity Building Supports – a support that helps an NDIS Participant build their independence and skills

Our team at Canny Plan Management can help you jump this hurdle with our in-depth and personalised budget breakdown of your supports and your support categories approved in your NDIS Funding.

How Can An NDIS Plan Management Team like Canny Plan Management Help?

When you choose to be NDIS Plan Managed with Canny Plan Management, we become part of your support network.  We do so much more than just “pay the invoices” and are dedicated to ensuring that you make the most of your allocated NDIS Funding in your NDIS Plan.

Our team are experienced and has expertise in the disability sector.  We care about you and helping you achieve your goals and aspirations – this also includes ensuring that you are making the most of your NDIS Plan and not over or under-utilising your approved NDIS Funding.  Trust, expertise and understanding are what you want to be looking for when it comes to choosing your NDIS Plan Management team.

Canny Plan Management offers a personal NDIS Plan Manager, dedicated to helping you understand and manage your NDIS Plan.  Get in touch with our team. to have a chat and ask us the questions you have to see if we can become part of your support network.

Picture of Edwina Wilkens, Marketing and Business Development Manager in the centre of the picture with her hands on her hips leaning forward and smiling wearing a striped purple and yellow shirt

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