So you’ve got your NDIS Plan – great! Now it’s time to start making your plan work for you.
You’ll get the most out of your NDIS Plan if you take the time to learn the basics and keep track of how much you have left to spend.
But how do you get started with your new NDIS Plan? The first thing you should do is understand what your plan covers and what you can do with it.
How will your NDIS Plan be managed?
At your plan meeting, you should have discussed how each category of your plan will be managed from the below options:
- Self managed
- Work with a plan manager (like Leap in!)
- Agency managed through the National Disability Insurance agency (NDIA)
- A combination of the above.
If you’d like to know more about the options, check out What is plan management? Next to each budget category, you’ll see whether it is managed by you, a plan manager, or by the NDIA.
If you choose Leap in! plan management, we’ll arrange an onboarding call with an experienced plan manager to talk through your plan, explain what it means and set you up to get the most from your funding.
What are budget categories?
To help you get started, we’ve put together some information on budget categories and what they mean.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Core supports: fund activities that help you in daily life, like personal care
- Capacity Building supports: fund supports that help you learn new skills
- Capital supports: fund equipment such as technology as well as home and vehicle modifications.
Some expensive or complex supports, such as electric wheelchairs, require a quote before you can purchase them with your NDIS funds.
Reasonable and necessary.
Any support purchased must meet the “reasonable and necessary” test. That means evaluating whether a support request is:
- related to your disability and support needs
- good value for money
- likely to be effective and beneficial to you.
Supports purchased must connect to the goals in your NDIS Plan.
For information about the types of supports you can buy, check out What will the NDIS pay for?
Organise your supports.
If you already have supports that you want to keep using, that’s great. The Leap in! app is a great tool for managing your supports and connecting with your support crew.
If you want to use new providers, the following resources can help you with ideas and connections:
- The Leap in! Provider Network Directory
- Your support coordinator (if there is one funded in your plan)
- Your local area coordinator (LAC)
- The Leap in! Crew on 1300 05 78 78.
We recommend negotiating a service agreement with each provider, so everyone knows what to expect (even if you have been using them before your new plan).
Once you start using your budget, it’s essential to keep a record of everything you spend. This helps keep your budget on track and makes it easier to identify if you’re spending too much…or too little.
Any unspent funding will not roll over to your next NDIS Plan, so make the most of what’s available now.
Checking your budget.
Leap in! Members get a monthly Budget Health Check showing how funds are tracking, how much is left to spend and whether budgets are about to run out of funds.
In addition, the award-winning Leap in! app has a helpful budget tracking tool to manage spending in real-time.
Originally published 23 October 2019, updated 15 September 2021.