5 Tips to Avoid Overspending Your NDIS Funding

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5 Top Tips to Avoid Overspending Your NDIS Funding

12 February 2022

NDIS funding gives Australians with disabilities a consistent pool of financial support. But if you don’t budget your funds properly, you could overspend and end up having to front costs yourself.

You’ve received your NDIS funding package, now what?

It’s important you learn how to spend your NDIS funding to maximise the benefits. Overspending can happen if immediate needs come up you haven’t planned for. While it’s not uncommon once or twice, continually going over budget can put your NDIS plan in jeopardy and cost you more money in the long run.

Instead of running the risk, keep your spending in check and make your funds last with these tips.

1. Understand Your Plan

The NDIS plan you choose and the funds you receive play a pivotal role in how you want to live your life. Without an understanding of your plan and its key support categories, it’s impossible to break down your NDIS funding and stay on top of your budget.

You can protect your funds and support services by:

● Choosing plan managed NDIS for flexibility and regular financial planning and monitoring
● Checking each support category in your plan to see what you’re eligible for. There are three groups to review – core, capital and capacity building
● Working out your available hours for each support service. As your plan manager, we can assist with this or you can use an online NDIS planning tool
● Reviewing your goals under your plan, and the support services you’ll need to achieve them

2. Get Quotes and Reports Before Your Plan Review

Make sure you ask for provider quotes and plan reports before your review. This way, you have the best chance of getting the funding you need.

Your statements will have up-to-date information necessary for budgeting. These are also accessible through the online participant portal. If you get stuck, your plan manager can go through them with you.

To Action:

● Review the monthly statements emailed to you
● Ask your plan manager to set up service agreements with providers to detail all costs and expectations
● Keep your close family and friends in the loop about your plan and goals. You don’t have to share budget specifics, but they can help you stay on top of any issues and avoid overspending

3. Track Your Spending Online

It’s essential to track your NDIS funds so you don’t overspend. You can do this online through your NDIS participant portal or with your plan manager.

Within the portal, also known as My Place, you can securely access all your plan information and check how much of your service agreements have been invoiced.

You’ll be able to:

● Regularly log in and see how your NDIS funding package is tracking
● Create and view payments
● Budget and record all payments made
● Create and manage service bookings

4. Engage with a Plan Manager

The NDIS planning process and the language used can be tough to understand.

When you engage with a plan manager, they’ll track your spending on your behalf with frequent check-ins. Plan managed NDIS is helpful to ensure your spending is in line with your budget and goals, as well as avoiding extra charges that can quickly add up and cause you to overspend.

Your plan manager will keep you informed of any changes that could put you over or under budget.

5. Create a Safety Net

Service agreements can act as a safety net when it comes to costs and conditions. To avoid any nasty surprises, organise and sign an agreement with your providers.

The best service agreements clearly outline what services are being provided, how long they’ll be provided for and the costs and terms and conditions expected. This keeps you protected, your budget in check and manages both parties’ expectations.

To Action:

● Contact your provider who will send you a template to use
● Enter all service details for your provider to finalise
● When your provider sends the agreement back to you for approval, double-check to ensure everything is correct, sign and send it back
● Send a copy to your plan manager for them to set aside the allocated funds
● Keep a copy for your records

How can My Plan Assist Help?

Exceeding and underspending your NDIS funding can both impact your plan. At My Plan Assist, we support you with your plan and budget and practice a person-centred approach, tailored to your preferences and needs. If you or a loved one are looking for NDIS aid, contact our friendly team today.