20 October 2022
We get many questions about how to get the most out of your NDIS. There’s always a desire to get more. Many of our members are nervous about tackling the NDIS and worry that they won’t get enough (or any) funding – but you shouldn’t be! 

This month, CPSN sat down with our Support Coordinator, Brian, to discuss how our members can get the most out of their NDIS Plan. This article is a must-read for new NDIS participants and anyone with a review around the corner! 

Tip #1 – Know your Price Catalogue 

The NDIS Price Catalogue isn’t used nearly enough by NDIS participants. Most people don’t know that it’s out there. Brian explains that this guide offers a list of hundreds of services a person might be eligible to receive on their plan, including line items, costs, and support categories. 

So how does this benefit you? It can provide a helpful guide to accessing therapies or consumables. Various treatments available under the NDIS go beyond physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Some examples of therapies include early childhood services, podiatry, psychology, exercise physiology and dieticians.  

The Price Catalogue can also provide a guide for stretching your budget; for example, we recently hosted a webinar exploring the benefits of therapy assistants. Therapy assistants can be a more affordable alternative to physiotherapy and estimates of their costs can be found in the guide.  

NDIS reviews can be stressful, but they present an excellent opportunity to maximise your funding and improve your support. This is a crucial time to sit down and look at the guide to find out what you’re entitled to receive.  

You can learn more about the NDIS Support Catalogue here

Tip #2 – Don’t be afraid to be a squeaky wheel 

Getting the most out of your plan requires persistence, so you must know when to make some noise.  

During developing a new plan, it’s a good idea to stay connected with your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) and voice any concerns you have throughout the application or review process. 

If you’re unhappy with the outcome of the Plan meeting, there are several avenues that you can go down. 

You can provide formal feedback to feedback@ndis.gov.au. If you’re unhappy with the outcome of a decision handed down by the NDIA, you can call 1800 800 110. Brian explains, “If you’re still unhappy with the outcome, call 11800 800 110 AGAIN!  Persistence is the key.” 

Tip #3 – Know what your ‘live plan’ looks like 

Keeping track of how much funding you are spending and where the money is going is another critical step in ensuring you get the most out of your plan.  

If you use a plan manager, you can view a live version of your plan through an online portal. This portal will provide a breakdown of how much of your funding you have used and will also hold copies of all your invoices and other vital information, like the persons who are authorised to receive payments. 

Alternatively, you can access your NDIS information on the NDIS portal.  

So, why does this matter? Looking at a live version of your plan is like keeping a bank app – it enables you to track what you’re spending and what you can spend before the end of the plan. Using your funding is essential because if you don’t, you might lose access to funds when it is time for a review. 

Tip #4 – This is an "insurance company"

Although it isn’t profit-driven the way a traditional insurance company is, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) must be able to calculate risk and weigh up costs the way any insurance company does.  

“If you want to get approved for something, you need to provide evidence that’s in your well-being to have it,” says Brian. 

Consider what you are trying to add to your plan and how it mitigates risk and enhances your quality of life and safety. An example might be getting a new walking stick that provides more physical support, thus reducing your risk of falls. 

Tip #5 – Stick to your goals and stay connected with your team 

It is easy to get caught up in the financial aspects, but ultimately the NDIS is designed to help people with disabilities achieve their goals. Any time you establish a new plan, you will have a list of goals you aim to achieve. 

Now, ask yourself, ‘Who do I need on my team to achieve that goal?’ 

For example, one of your goals might be to improve your health and lose weight. So, it might be helpful to include a dietician and exercise physiologist in your next plan. 

Find out how much this might cost using your Price Catalogue and start a conversation with your support coordinator or LAC to get your goal moving.  

Hopefully, these tips can help guide you. If you’re seeking more information, contact cpsn@cpsn.org.au or call 03 9478 1001  

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