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12 February 2021

LATEST UPDATE: Changes to the NDIS planning process and new budget flexibility.

You may have noticed we have been talking a lot about NDIS related changes recently. That’s because there are quite a few changes rolling out in 2021.

Here at Leap in! HQ, our goal is to stay informed about any new NDIS developments so we can keep you up-to-date.

Today we are taking a deep dive into proposed changes to the NDIS planning process and budget flexibility.

In summary:

  • Independent assessments are being introduced as part of the planning process
  • Participants will get a draft budget to review before their NDIS Plan meeting
  • Plans will be simpler, with fewer budget categories and more flexibility
  • Many NDIS participants may be eligible for longer plans of up to 5 years.

Changes to the planning process.

Later this year, the NDIS will introduce independent assessments to the planning process. These will be used to help determine your NDIS budget and the supports included in your NDIS plan.

An independent assessment is a way of evaluating your ability to carry out everyday tasks as well as your individual circumstances. It creates a picture of how you function in everyday life and considers the environment you live in and the supports networks you have.

The NDIS says independent assessments offer a more consistent way of determining the amount of supports needed by each person, making the process fairer and more equitable.

  •  Independent assessments will be carried out by qualified health care professionals
  • They are organised and paid for by the NDIS
  • The NDIS may organise an independent assessment before your next plan review
  • Your plan can be set up for longer periods of time – up to five years.

New draft budgets.

Independent assessments will help the NDIS to develop a personalised budget. You will receive a draft NDIS Plan, including a draft budget, before your planning meeting. This is different to the current process in which you receive a budget after your planning meeting.

At your planning meeting, you’ll be able to talk to your planner or Local Area Coordinator about how to implement your plan flexibly to get the supports you need as well as any relevant community or mainstream supports.

If you are not happy with the funding in your plan, you will be able to talk it through at your planning meeting. The review process will not change so if you think a decision made about your plan is wrong, you will still be able to request a review.

More plan flexibility.

You will have the freedom to make decisions and changes to supports as needed so they work for you.

The details about these new budget categories and how they will work are expected to be released later in the year.

Summary of the new planning process.

  1. An independent assessment is organised to assess your needs and functional capacity.
  2. An NDIS delegate determines a budget informed by the outcome of the independent assessment.
  3. You receive a draft plan including a draft budget.
  4. Attend a planning meeting to discuss your goals, supports and how to make the most of your NDIS funds.
  5. Finalisation of your plan and personalised budget, followed by allocation of funding to fixed and flexible budgets.
  6. Receiving your NDIS Plan and personalised budget. Funds are released at an agreed interval.
  7. The NDIS checks in at agreed timeframes or as required to ensure your plan is still working for you.
  8. Smaller changes will only require a variation to your plan. For larger changes, a new independent assessment will be required.

Want to know more?

Check out the NDIS information pages Plan flexibility and budget planning and Stay informed with the CEO for background information on independent assessments.

Leap in! can help.

Get specialist advice from our dedicated team, experienced in helping people get the most out of their NDIS Plans.

To find out more, call us on 1300 05 78 78, visit our website (online chat available) or email crew@leapin.com.au

Further Reading

The NDIS access process is changing.

LATEST UPDATE: NDIS early childhood supports are changing.

LATEST UPDATE: Transport funding changes for NDIS participants.