If a participant is running low on funding and thinks they won’t be able to continue to access the supports they need, what can support coordinators and other providers do to help them?
EH – One role of a support coordinator is to help participants identify early that they are overspending their budget. Once identified, figuring out the reason for the overspend is really important – where the overspend is not due to a change in circumstances, then consideration should be given to adjusting the supports being accessed. Changes can include the frequency of support, location the support is accessed (travel costs can increase a support to double the price), or if the support itself is required.
If a participant has a justifiable reason for running out of funds due to a change of circumstances (typically this may be changes in support needs, identification of a new diagnosis or changes to informal supports), a support coordinator should identify this early.
Once it is identified that the participant will run out, the support coordinator should – with consent – communicate with the NDIS representative and then assist the participant to collect supporting documents to apply for a change of circumstances. When you submit a change of circumstances, make sure you send all the supporting documents and treat it as a plan review – include participant or informal support statements, reports, letters of support from both NDIS and mainstream providers, to give the best chance of a great result.
ZD – As I stated earlier, support coordinators can conduct an early review within 100 days of the participant’s plan date, or they can conduct a plan reassessment/change of situation out of the 100 days, before plan review date. Both of these options will require urgent reports from all the participant’s service providers, as evidence as to why the participant requires more funding.
Other providers can shorten the hours of current support where possible to make the remaining funding last longer until the plan review/plan reassessment is complete. This usually takes around 6-8 weeks from the time the support coordinator emails all documents and forms to the NDIA.
AT – Put in a change of situation and request for an urgent review. Provide evidence, such as a current budget report, as well as a progress report from the provider and the OT. I’ve also found if relevant to contact the NDIA first to inform of the current budget.