An NDIS Plan includes the person’s goals, the supports they can receive and an allocated budget for each support.
There are three kinds of funding under the NDIS:
Core: things a participant needs every day
For example, core money can be used for hiring a support worker.
Capacity Building: Learning new skills
For example, capacity building can be used for sessions with a physio or occupational therapist
For example, capital can be used for a manual or electric wheelchair .
The NDIS have also created a list of health supports that the NDIS is likely to fund. The list includes eight categories:
wound and pressure care
The NDIS can't fund something that the average person would need. For example, they won't fund a car or a computer because anyone with or without a disability would need that. They could, however, fund a lift into a car or screen reading software for a computer.
The NDIS allocates funding based on what an individual needs to meet their goals, not based on their disability.
This means that two people could have the same disability but receive completely different funding packages and supports.
This also means that funding isn’t restricted to a list of services or activities dictated by the NDIA. A young person can get funding for a wide range of supports, as long as that support relates to their goals.
NDIS funding doesn’t always have to go towards physical health-related services, either. For example, if a young person’s goal is to gain employment as an actor, the NDIS might be able to fund acting classes for them.
The NDIS finds “reasonable and necessary” supports. Reasonable means that a support has to be fair. For example, a wheelchair might be funded, but not a wheelchair that is decorated with gold or diamonds. Necessary means that it is something the person needs to have because of their disability. The criteria for reasonable and necessary supports to be approved are that they must:
Be goal related
Facilitate social and economic participation
Be value for money
Be effective and beneficial (best practice)
Not be more appropriately provided by family or the broader community
Not be more appropriately funded by other systems e.g. health, justice, education
Professionals should address these criteria as part of supporting letters or other documentation.
Another important component of professional evidence is explaining the consequences for the young person if they are not given the recommended supports. Will their functioning plateau, or worsen?
Participants of the NDIS can choose one of four ways to manage their NDIS funding:
When a person pays providers directly with their NDIS money.
A person can manage all their NDIS money or part of it, and they can choose someone else to support them with this, like a family member or friend.
They can use any services that they like; they do not have to use services or professionals who are registered with the NDIS.
The National Disability Insurance Agency will give a participant money as part of their plan, so that they can pay for a Plan Manager.
The Plan Manager will pay the people and organisations who are supporting them.
The Plan Manager must be registered under the NDIS.
When the National Disability Insurance Agency pays the people and organisations that support a participant. In this case, a participant will only be able to get support from people and organisations who are registered with the NDIS.
A combination of all three.
For example, a young person might choose to manage some parts of their disability supports (such as core and capacity building) but have their capital funding managed by a planner.
The NDIS Planner will also tell the young person about their plan management options. Ideally, the young person will be able to decide how they want their plan to be managed. Unfortunately, this depends on the Planner/LAC, who may make the decision for them.
It is also important to note that a person under 18 cannot manage their own plan.
Using supports and services
Part of your role as a professional might include assisting young people to find a service provider or other support. This may take some time, and the young person might try a service (or several) and find it is not right for them. It is important to be supportive of a young person as they look for the right services, no matter how long it takes.
There is a guide to finding and accessing service providers on the NDIS website.