Belle is from My Plan Manager, a client-focused organisation providing both financial and service intermediary supports. If you want more information, click here.
So your NDIS plan is coming to an end and somehow there’s a fairly large amount of funding left that you haven’t spent yet? Try not to stress.
Of course, in the ideal situation, everyone would be able to budget strategically and spend somewhat evenly through the duration of their plan so funding reaches maximum effectiveness and there isn’t a bulk of the funding remaining towards the end.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the reality. Life happens and occasionally NDIS Participants are left with a bulk of their funding unspent at the end of their plan. It may be that you were not sure of what supports you could access, it could be because you had difficulty finding a provider that suited you best. Whatever the reason, we have a recommendation on how to handle it.
If this is your situation, there’s no need to panic and spend every dollar that you have left. Remain calm! It might seem like the logical thing to do is to spend it all immediately like there’s a fire sale. This could be misinterpreted as unnecessary spending and may still have a negative impact on your plan review.
Not spending all of your budget does not necessarily mean that your next plan will be reduced. The NDIA assures participants that each new plan will be carefully considered by the planner and the ‘new’ allocation will always be based on the reasonable and necessary needs of the participant – it should not be based on how much or how little you spent previously.
Of course there are situations where people have had their next plan wrongly reduced because they haven’t accessed all of their funding. We don’t want your choice to be frugal to have negative consequences for you later.
While the planner will most likely look at historic spending, it is best practice to have considered explanations for why the total was not spent, rather than to spend in a hurry. If you potentially were not aware of what that allocated money could be used for, had trouble accessing service providers or had periods of being unable to access services for health or other reasons, these will be taken into account and you should share this information when you can.
For those who are at the beginning of a plan and worried about spending through the duration, it may be helpful to engage a support coordinator. They should be able to support you through setting up your regular supports to make sure your spending projections are on target. A Plan Manager for those with Improved Life Choices included in their plan should also be able to help you with advice on spending so you can make the most of every dollar.
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