What are your top three tips for helping participants to get the most out of their NDIS plans and avoid budget blowouts?
- Maximise mainstream options available to compliment your NDIS plan.
- Project your budget at the beginning of the plan to avoid overspending.
- Negotiate with providers.
- Service bookings! They really help you plan ahead.
- Doing a budget at the beginning of each plan.
- Regularly checking monthly statements together. That way, everyone is informed, with enough time to take action if needed.
- Pre-planning preparation and collection of justification. Prior to a planning meeting, consider the supports and goals for the next plan, have these written down, and approach providers for justification for these supports. By having all the information, goals, and justification for supports available before you go into a planning meeting, you have the best chance of getting the support that is reasonable and necessary for you.
- Base your budget on the NDIS plan you have, not on the plan you think you should have. If you need more funding, work with your providers to collect more justification, and approach the NDIS for a change of circumstances.
- Have a service agreement (or contract or other written understanding) for the services the service provider will deliver and how much that will cost for the life of the plan. Make sure you stick to your budget, and if you need to change the service agreement during the plan, do so.
- Ensure you stay within the hours allocated for each part of your NDIS plan funding.
- Check your budget report every month from your plan manager or check it on your NDIS portal if you are not plan managed.
- Make sure you employ a competent support coordinator who cares about you, your supports, and your NDIS plan funding.
- Always, always, always read service agreements and question the support provider if you have any questions or are unsure of anything (this includes plan managers).
- Ensure quotes for services are not overspending or overcharging for services by monitoring your budgets on your dashboard and checking invoices. If you feel there is something not quite right, contact the provider and the support before paying the invoice.
- Request monthly budget reports.
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