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Understanding my NDIS Plan

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NDIS plan

Your NDIS plan is divided into 3 parts

  1. MY PROFILE - INFORMATION ABOUT ME - This includes information about you, your family and friends and services & community groups that form a part of your life.
     
  2. MY GOALS - describes your goals and aspirations and should refer back to your Planning Meeting. It includes short-term goals and long-term goals. It also specifies what supports you will need to achieve each goal. (Find out more about setting goals here)
     
  3. FUNDED SUPPORTS - includes a summary of the NDIS funding you receive. It is divided into 3 categories: CORE, CAPITAL and CAPACITY BUILDING funding categories. We describe each of these below.
     

The support you need can either can be:

  1. Informal Supports
  2. Funded Supports
     

What are Informal Supports?

  • Family and friends, or services and community groups
    In your planning meeting, you will identify family, friends or mainstream services and community groups that provide you with support.

    This could be thelp with cleaning, going to appointments or the doctor, personal care or social outings with extended family. It could include weekly visits from local volunteers or other community-based supports. 

  • Mainstream supports
    These can include the education system, the health system (GP, hospitals, dentists, specialists) and mental health systems as well as Centrelink. Community supports can include the local libraries, swimming pools, playgroups and community groups.
     

What are Funded Supports?

  • This is funding that the NDIS provides in your NDIS plan. These funds will give you access to what the NDIS calls 'reasonable and necessary' supports that will help you reach your goals..
     
  • The amount of NDIS funding you receive for these supports depends on:
    • the information you shared in your NDIS planning meeting
    • reports from therapists containing details about the support you need
       

Managing your NDIS funding

Your NDIS plan can be managed in 3 ways:

  • By the NDIS - this is called being 'Agency Managed'
  • By a Plan Manager - this is called being 'Plan Managed'
  • By Yourself - this is called being 'Self Managed'

If you are agency-managed, you have no control over your NDIS funding or the providers of support you can choose: you can only choose NDIS registered providers.

This is not a recommended option, unless you have a very complex disability and need full-time care in all areas of your life.

If you have a good plan manager (let MyCareSpace tell you how to find one), your plan manager will support and help you engage with any NDIS providers (registered or unregistered) AND have all the admin, payments and record-keeping done for you.

This is the most popular option but depends on a good recommendation from MyCareSpace. Find our more about Plan Management here.

As a self-manager you may have full flexibility over your funding BUT you have to manage all aspects of your NDS funding: paying providers, setting up service agreements and keeping records (you can be audited by the NDIS).

(See our article: compare self management and plan management)

Again, if you have a great plan manager, this is the best option and being agency managed is the least favourable option.

NOTE: You can change plan managers at any time so if you are not happy, change to a plan manager that will better support you.

 

Your NDIS funding is divided into 3 sections:

1. CORE

The CORE support budget includes supports to help you with:

  1. your everyday living activities,
  2. your current disability-related needs and
  3. to help you work towards your longer-term goals

It is made up of 4 Support Categories:

  1. Assistance with Daily Life

    This includes funding for:

    • assistance with daily personal activities (showering, personal hygiene and moving around the house),

    • assistance with household tasks – such as cleaning and maintenance to help maintain your home environment.

    • assistance with preparation and delivery of meals – covers costs for a chosen service provider to prepare and deliver food on a weekly basis, taking your specific needs into account,

    • assistance in shared living arrangements / supported independent living - incorporates assistance with and/or supervising daily life tasks in a shared living environment.
       

  2. Assistance with Social & Community Participation

    This includes support to help you to engage in social or recreational activities and become more involved in your community. These could include a combination of community and centre-based activities such as art classes, sports, camps, library visits or day trips that include mentoring or peer support to strengthen your ability to participate independently. Find out more here.
     

  3. Consumables

    This includes items you may need like continence products or low-cost assistive technology and equipment to improve your independence and/or mobility.
     

  4. Transport

    This is the support that helps you travel to work or other places that will help you achieve the goals in your plan. How you can spend your transport funding and how it is paid to you (whether upfront or in regular payments) will be different for each person. Your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) will explain how you can use this budget.

VERY IMPORTANT: Core funding is flexible across all 4 support categories. For example: If you have a total ‘Core’ budget of $14,000, you can choose how to spend this across all four support categories. 

Exception: If you have 'Stated Supports' - these can only be spent on what they specify.
 

2. CAPITAL

The Capital Support part of your NDIS plan has 2 key areas of funding (categories):

  1. Assistive Technology

    Includes items for mobility, personal care, communication and recreational inclusion such as wheelchairs, pressure mattresses, standing frames, bathing and toileting equipment, personal readers and vision equipment, and vehicle modifications.

  2. Home Modifications

    The funds in this support category are not flexible and can only be used for the support category to which they were allocated to. E.g for a ramp funded by home modifications or installation of a handrail in a bathroom.

They can also fund one-off purchases you may need (including Specialist Disability Accommodation).
 

3. CAPACITY BUILDING 

My Capacity Building supports are intended to build your independence and reduce your need for the same level of support into the future.

Your progress and outcomes from these supports will be shared at each plan review.

The Capacity Building categories are:

  • Improved Daily Living Skills(*CB Daily Activity)
  • Improved Life Choices  (*CB Choice and Control)
  • Finding and Keeping a Job (*CB Employment)
  • Increased Social and Community Participation (*CB Social Community and Civic Participation)
  • Improved Health and Wellbeing(*CB Health and Well Being)
  • Improved Living Arrangements (*CB Home Living)
  • Improved Learning (*CB Lifelong Learning)
  • Improved Relationships (*CB Relationships)
  • Support Coordination

* This is the name it has in the NDIS MyPlace Portal

IMPORTANT: Unlike the CORE part of your plan, the amount of funding in each support category is flexible ONLY WITHIN that category.

This means that for each support category fundingyou can decide which services or products you wish to spend your funds on.

For example:

If you have $14,000 in CB Daily Activities, you can choose how much you might spend on OT, Speech Therapy and Music Therapy etc.  You can choose how you spend the dollar amount in each support category by checking the NDIS price list and matching supports on the NDIS website. 

Another example would be the support category: CB Social Community and Civic Participation: assuming you are allocated a budget of $5,000 to this category you could choose to spend $3,000 on peer support and $2,000 (or 36 hours at the price guide) on individual skills development.

You cannot combine funding across support categories. This makes sense since each support category is working towards achieving a particular goal.
 

Summary of Important Points

  • Your plan has a dollar amount that you can spend on each of the 3 support budgets (Core, Capital & Capacity Building) and it will be allocated to individual support categories, with a total plan budget being a sum of all support categories funded.
     
  • Your plan should indicate how the supports will be paid and this should be based on the funding option you selected (agency managed/plan managed/self-managed) e.g if you are plan managed it should say " The supports will be paid directly to your plan manager." For other supports it could say " NDIS will pay my support provider for these supports". For Transport its likely to say:" NDIS will pay you directly for these supports"
     
  • The funds allocated to each budget (CORE/CAPITAL/CAPACITY) can only be spent on that budget.
     
  • You can't spend more than the total amount allocated to each budget.
     
  • The amount allocated will not change during your current plan unless you have a plan review (see below).
     

What does CB Daily Activities include in my NDIS plan?

This support category includes funding for assessment, training or therapy to help increase your skills, independence and community participation. These services can be delivered in groups or individually.

Examples of therapies included may be physio, psychology, physiology, OT, Speech therapy, music therapy and art therapy. CB Daily activities also include early intervention therapies.

This funding will relate back to your goals. For example:

  • you may want to improve your social skills or communicate more with your peers. This could lead to CB DAily Activity funds for speech therapy or counselling to develop the skills to achieve this goal.
  • you may have a goal of becoming more independent, so it could include cooking skills, catching public transport or driving lessons.

Your LAC should be able to break down the purpose of the funds. 

It can also include training for carers/parents in caring for a person with a disability.

 

CB Daily Activities in the NDIS Support Catalogue/Price Guide

In the NDIS Support Catalogue, CB Daily Activity is Support Category number 15. Check the price guide for line items that have '15' in the support category group column. 
 

Stated Supports and In-Kind Supports

As above, 'Stated Supports' must be purchased as they are described in the plan. You cannot spend money allocated to a particular Stated Support on anything else. The most common state supports include those under Improved Relationships (CB relationships) support category where a specific combination of support items may be allocated for the formulation and implementation of a behaviour support plan.

If there are supports in your plan that are listed as ‘in-kind’, it means the service has already been paid for by your state, territory or the Australian government.

You must use this provider as they have already received payment and will provide all services that are booked.
 

Spending Money

You can now choose how to spend the funds in each of the Support Budgets. You can choose the activities and services on your own or with the help of a Support Coordinator, LAC or by searching for providers using online directories like MyCareSpace or speaking with friends and family for referrals.

The NDIS price guide is included in your Plan handover pack, but can also be found online. It shows how much you can spend on each type of service. 

Side note: If you are Self Managing you are not restricted to pay the prices set out in the NDIS price guide. Also it should be noted that if you are self-managing or plan managing you are not required to only use NDIS registered providers.

More on this topic:
How to get the most from your NDIS Plan: Self-manage or Plan Manage Webinar
 

NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue

The NDIS Price Guide is a single national price guide and contains information about the different categories of spending in your plan.

The price guide is meant to be used alongside the NDIS Support Catalogue (the NDIS PRICE LIST) which contains the amounts you can claim for each type of support expense. It contains support line item numbers, price limits and details to help clearly identify what is claimable against each support line item.

Check out the latest price guide and support catalogue
 

Plan Reviews

NDIS plans may last for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on your circumstances. However, if your new plan is not right for you, you can request a 'Review of a Reviewable Decision' regarding the funded supports in your plan within 90 days of receiving your new plan.  Check out our resource on Understanding Plan Reviews.  If you still have questions, direct them to your LAC or Support Coordinator in the first instance or call us on 1300 2888 98 or email your questions to info@mycarespace.com.au.

 

Our Connections Team can help you understand your NDIS plan or assist in finding supports in your area

 Find out more

or call 1300 2888 93

 

 

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