If you have received your plan, your first thought may be one of panic. If that’s the case, it’s understandable! That being said, should know that you aren’t alone: More than 4.3 million Australian citizens share your disability diagnosis.
The NDIS is a national scheme that provides funding directly to you. Of course, we get it: this can be a confusing process. Your NDIS funding may come with a variety of strings attached. This means that you will have to work hard to understand just what you need to do to get your financing and meet any governmental criteria. This confusion is understanding, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed. This is where a plan manager can be helpful: A plan manager can help you understand the jargon of your plan and find the help you need.
Thankfully, at nexZen Plan Management, we believe in empowering people and our clients. Having the NDIS funding categories explained is critical to accessing your benefits, and we can help explain to you what those benefits mean.
NDIS Funding Categories Explained
The NDIS funding categories can be confusing, particularly if you have never had any experience with them. There are three main categories. Unfortunately, it does get more confusing, as there are subcategories in each budget. The funding here can be used in different ways, all of which are designed to help you lead a happy and independent life based on your interests, needs, and desires.
Core Supports Budget
Your Core Supports budget is supposed to help you with daily living activities. Expenses here can go towards basic activities that are meant to fulfil your plan and ensure that you are leading the life that you want to live.
- Assistance with daily life: Your everyday needs, including cleaning your house, making repairs, and supporting learning independent living skills.
- Consumables: Groceries or other things that you use and repurchase. This can also include things like adult diapers or hygiene products.
- Assistance with social and community participation: These are things that keep you a member of the community. It can include getting to social events or work and hiring support workers.
- Transport: As the name implies, this involves transportation costs. These funds may vary: Sometimes, you may use it as bus fare. Other times, it may go towards car or taxi payments.
Capacity Building Supports Budget
Capacity building refers to things that can help you remain independent, such as training, courses, and support for gaining employment. This includes:
- Coordination of supports: Helping you manage your plan and coordinate services.
- Improved living arrangements: Covering the costs of improving how you live. This means paying for group homes, disability housing or more.
- Social and community participation: Having fun! These are socially supportive activities.
- Employment: Transportation to and from work or training.
- Improved relationships: Social skills improvements, like classes or therapy.
- Health and well-being: Exercise physiology and personal training, dietary work or more.
- Improved learning: Educational assistance, such as tuition for school or classes.
- Life choices: Training related to financial independence or developing life skills.
- Daily living: Learning how to live independently.
Capital Supports Budget
Capital supports mean actual improvements to your home, including things that can increase your mobility. They may include railings, elevators, lifts and other modifications.
Common NDIS Abbreviations
One of the greatest challenges in adapting to any government program can be learning the language of that program. NDIS, like many other government funding Schemes, uses a series of abbreviations that can get very complicated.
- AAA: Access for All Abilities
- AAT: Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- AND: Australian Network on Disability
- APS: Australian Public Service
- APSC: Australian Public Service Commission
- AT: Assistive Technology
- CICD: community inclusion and capacity development
- DDA: Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- DSS: Department of Social Services
- EA: Enterprise Agreement
- EMG: Executive Management Group
- FTE: Full-Time Equivalent
- IFA: Individual Flexibility Arrangement
- IPS: Information Publication Scheme
- LAC: Local Area Coordinator
- MoU: Memorandum of Understanding
- NDIA: National Disability Insurance Agency
- NDIS: National Disability Insurance Scheme
- NDS: National Disability Strategy
- OECD: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
- PBS: Portfolio Budget Statement
- PWDA: People with Disability Australia
- SPOC: Single point of contact
- VCBS: Values, Capabilities and Behaviours statement
- WHS: Work, Health and Safety
How Funding Can Be Used
There’s good news: Funding can be used in any of the above categories. However, what is most important to remember is that the funding has to relate to your individualized goal. Your personalized goal depends on your diagnosis and the nature of your handicap.
What does this mean? It means that your funding use depends on you. For example, if you were newly disabled as having limited mobility and one of your goals was to remain able to transport yourself to work, alterations to your car would most likely qualify under this plan.
Some items are not be funded. These include costs that are not related directly to your disability. They also include items that may already be covered by another funding source.
NDIS uses a complex set of guidelines to decide how funding can and cannot be used. You should view these guidelines to understand better what kind of funding requests NDIS typically allows and what they do not. If you have any questions, remember, we’re here to help and we are more than happy to review these guidelines to make them easier to understand.
Plan Management Funding
Plan Management Funding is usually covered under “coordination of supports.” However, it is often funded separately from the standard NDIS funding Scheme. Keep in mind that you aren’t required to accept plan management, but many find it is easier to do so. Navigating NDIS can be complicated and time-consuming and relying on experts can make your life much easier!
If you would like plan management funding, you can request it when meeting with the NDIS. Contact the NDIS at 1-800-800-110 to discuss switching to a plan manager.
Now that you’ve had the NDIS funding categories explained, you may have more questions or need help with your plan management. If this is the case, nexZen Plan Management can help. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you navigate the NDIS and advocate for your needs.