NDIS funds – how to avoid underspending!

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Parents and carers will often tell us that their child lost funding in their NDIS review because they didn’t spend all of their funding from the last year. It’s heartbreaking to hear this feedback as there are many reasons why NDIS funds don’t always get spent.

This year has been a very strange one. It’s understood that many families will be struggling to use all of their NDIS funds. In response to COVID-19, the NDIS has stated they will not reduce plan budgets in future reviews.  While it’s really welcome news, funds left unspent are still a lost opportunity.

Factors leading to underspending

A number of other reasons (not just pandemics) may lead to under-spending:

  • You may not understand what the funding in the plan can be used for. We hear this often, for example, what’s the difference between Improved Daily Living and Improved Relationships and what can I use them for?
  • You’re not really sure what therapy or supports your child needs. This is very common when families first start their NDIS journey.
  • Everyone has a waitlist…forever! This is a common experience but isn’t always the case if we look for smaller size service providers.
  • Factors happen beyond our control. Sometimes there are things happening at home that get in the way of finding and starting with services providers. Some of these things can be positive (e.g. a new baby) but can still slow us down in using NDIS funds.

Your job as a parent or carer is to get the most out of your NDIS plan for your child. Underspending gives the impression that too much money was allocated to your child, which is why we hear stories of funding being reduced. We know that very few clients need less funding (if any at all!) and that in many instances more funding is needed!

What can you do about underspending?

Some thoughts about what you can do if you are heading towards underspending your budget:

  • Get a support coordinator on board to help you identify the services and service providers you need. It’s our job to hunt down every possible provider that’s out there that may be able to help. Your support coordinator has access to a range of networks to help them do this;
  • Check-in regularly through the portal or ask your service provider so you know how much funding you have left. That way you are in a great position to plan the next steps;
  • When it comes to reviews – write down the reasons why spending everything hasn’t been possible. When we’re under pressure, we may forget the important stuff. Ask your service providers to put this in their reports too. Most will be happy to help as they will know your circumstances.

Kid Connect provides support coordination services. We love finding service providers and we don’t give up! Please call Miika on 0421 012 956 for more information about our support coordination and plan management services.

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