How can I use my NDIS funding?

OnSide specialises in ensuring you are maximising your NDIS funding. We know that allocating funds can be a confusing process, and our role is to streamline the process for you and make sense of everything.  

 

Supports and Services

 

Your NDIS funds can be spent on certain supports and services that specifically relate to your disability. Whilst these supports and services vary between individuals, your NDIS goals will dictate the types of supports and services you are able to use your funds on. 

 

For example, if a customer has an NDIS goal to improve their mobility and physical functioning, they may be able to use their NDIS funding to engage with a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. However, if another customer has a goal to increase their community access and social participation, they would likely be able to use their NDIS funds to work with a support worker to assist them in accessing their community. As you can see, these goals vary between individuals, so what they can spend their funding on will therefore also vary. There is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to NDIS funding.

 

Devices

 

In some cases, you may also be able to use your funds to purchase specific devices and items from certain retailers. These devices are referred to as ‘consumables’. Consumables are items and devices that you require to use in relation to your disability. For example, if your disability requires you to need assistance in picking things up, you would likely be able to use your funds to purchase an ‘easy reach grabber tool’. Similarly, if you require continence products, safety equipment or any other item specifically linked to your disability needs, you may be able to use your NDIS funding for these items.

 

Remember, consumable purchases are specifically tailored to an individual and their disability. Consumables do not include items or devices that are typically used by everyone. For instance, items such as food, electronics or clothing are things that everyone needs, and therefore cannot be purchased with your NDIS funding. If the majority of the population need the item, it is unlikely you will be able to use your NDIS funds to purchase it.

 

Categories of Funding

 

Funding is broken down into different categories within your NDIS plan. These various categories can be used to fund various types of supports and services. While not all NDIS customers receive the same categories, typically customers receive ‘Core’ funding, and ‘Capacity Building’ funding. Depending on their needs, some customers may also receive ‘Capital’ funding. Within these categories are additional sub-categories. The categories and subcategories you have in your plan will affect how you can use your funds.

 

There are some additional caveats to keep in mind regarding the use of your funds. The following questions can be used as guidelines and are generally applied as criteria to check if a support, service, or consumable item is accessible via your NDIS plan.

 

  • Is it funded via another service such as; Medicare, Ministry of Housing, DES or DHS? (It is worth noting that there is occasional crossover in services funded by Medicare and the NDIS (Psychology sessions for example). The ‘Health Related Disability’ supports are also those possibly funded by both streams. Ask your support coordinator for any clarification you may need on Medicare vs NDIS.)
  • Is this item reasonable and necessary?
  • Does it specifically link to my NDIS goals?
  • Does it represent value for money in relation to other choices?

 

Plan Management

How your plan is managed is also relevant when discussing how you can use your funds. Plan ‘management’ is defined as the individual or agency responsible for processing the invoices your plan generates. If your plan is Agency-Managed (meaning the NDIS is responsible for the processing of invoices), you will only be allowed to use your NDIS funds with agencies that are NDIS registered. Having your NDIS plan managed by a Plan-Manager, or by managing the plan yourself will enable you to use your NDIS funds on a wider range of agencies—those that are not required to be NDIS registered to work with you.

 

Ultimately, your NDIS funds can be used to help you achieve your NDIS goals by accessing supports, services, and consumables. To find out more, speak to an OnSide representative today. Your Support Coordinator is always happy to provide further information and to help answer any specific questions you may have about NDIS funding.