How To Prepare For Your Next Budget
Towards the end of your current plan, you’ll be headed toward plan review. This is a great time to think about your plan and whether the budgets have been working in your favour, so that you enter your plan review equipped with all the necessary information to help yourself achieve your future goals.
It’s never too early to start
As early as ten to twelve weeks away from the end of your plan, have a think about what supports and services are helpful to your current situation and your goals. Your NDIS plan and funding are there to help your goals become a reality, so it’s important that they continue to work for you and are adjusted as necessary when your goals, priorities and life begin to change.
Determine your own needs
One of the most important things to understand is what your needs are so that your plan can be designed to meet those needs. If you need some assistance in figuring out what those are, you might want to ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What worked well in your plan?
◦ What are the supports you have that you wish to continue?
◦ Have you achieved your goals or made progress towards achieving them?
◦ Are you currently using any assistive technology that is ageing, and needs replacement or is no longer suitable?
- What didn’t work well for you?
◦ Are there areas of support that you feel were not met and that you need more help with, especially in terms of achieving your more long-term goals?
◦ Are there any supports that were allocated but you did not end up using?
◦ Are there supports you would like to receive that were not allocated in your current plan?
- Which goals you need to continue to work on and which goals you need to change?
◦ Now that you’ve made progress as far as your goals are concerned, have your goals changed?
◦ Do you any have new goals in mind?
- Who can help you achieve your goals?
◦ Considering your existing and future goals, what supports and/or services will assist you?
- Would you like to change how all or some of your plan funding is managed?
◦ Did you run out of funds for any of your support categories?
- Will you need NDIS support in the future?
Try your hand at building a plan
Now that you’ve determined your needs, as well as gained a better understanding of what your plan has done for you, you’re also in a great position to let your coordinator know how and where you wish to spend your NDIS-allocated funds.
Take this opportunity to build your own prospective plan and budget to take along with you to your plan review meeting. What may be helpful in this process is knowing that for participants signed on to Blitzit Plan Manager, we send through the total budget NDIS allocated for each support category and balances for the services that are plan managed for each plan period, along with the total amounts that you have spent with each provider.
Gather important information from your providers
Every important decision benefits from available information, and your NDIS plan is no different. Giving your planner a detailed understanding of the disability support you require can only help you, so plan ahead and gather the reports and quotes from your various service providers on the services and supports you need well before your plan review meeting.
Remember that reports can take time to write and will incur an additional charge from your service provider, who will advise you on the fee. (Make sure you allocate funding in your current plan to cover any report writing!) Contact any therapists or health professionals you’re working with and begin requesting progress reports.
Other services may require a little more due diligence and gathering reports on the services from the appropriate support provider. For instance, if you think you’ll need a new wheelchair within the next year, talk to an occupational therapist to discuss what you need, gather a report, then get a quote for the particular wheelchair you’re after.
Once you have all this information and all the reports relevant to your case, compile these in a folder to make it easier to pass on to your support coordinator, LAC, or planner. Prepare a brief overview as a cover page for the NDIS planner – short, easy-to-read dot points are best. Include your disability, the support and service, as well as the total amount you have requested for each service and attach your quotes and reports.
We know these processes can be confusing, which is why the team at Blitzit Plan Manager is always available to answer all your questions! Give us a call at 1300 966 119 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For regular updates on the NDIS and what Blitzit can do for you, sign up for our newsletter here.
At your Plan Meeting or Plan Review, you’ll be asked what your choice is for managing your NDIS funding. Some participants opt for a combination of these options, especially as they become more familiar with the NDIS.
A stated item indicates a specific support or service with its own allocation in your NDIS plan. When you see a support with the description “stated supports,” it means that this support has funding that cannot be transferred or used for any other purpose other than the specified item.
After your planning meeting, you’ll be issued your NDIS plan based on what was discussed. The plan will include important information that elaborates on who you are, what support systems you currently have, and what you’re trying to achieve through the help of the NDIS, together with information on what funding is available to you.
We previously talked about the perils overspending may pose to your NDIS plan, but what many may not understand is that underspending can also present potential problems down the line.
Now that you have your NDIS funding, it’s time to spend and track it.