Plan review coming up? Here are some things to consider
We have had numerous enquiries asking whether clients who have had low budget utilisation due to COVID will have their funding negatively impacted in their next plan. To help provide some assurance, we have put together some key points to consider prior to your next plan review meeting.
- Make sure your supports address the reasonable and necessary criteria
Your NDIS planner will be trying to determine what funding is reasonable and necessary to achieve your goals. A support is considered reasonable and necessary if it fits the criteria outlined in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.
Before your plan review, have a think about where your funding was spent and be able to justify whether the supports you received were effective. The NDIA will want to know that the funding you used has helped you progress towards your goals. Reports can be especially helpful to use as evidence.
- Be able to justify the reasons why your funding wasn’t utilised
In addition to justifying the funding you’ve spent; it is equally important to be able to justify the funding you have not used. Low plan utilisation does not necessarily mean that your funding will be cut but you should make sure you know the reasons why your budgets were underused.
Some reasons why you may not have used the funding include:
- A lack of understanding about how you could use your funds
- Long waitlists for supports
- Lack of service in remote areas
- Reduced availability of supports due to COVID lockdowns
- Collect supporting documentation like reports from therapists to use as evidence
Reports from service providers can be one of the most important documents to help you justify your funding. You can use reports from numerous providers, though typically those from allied health professionals are the most highly considered. Reports are especially important for children as their support needs are particularly variable.
Organising a report several weeks before your scheduled plan review is highly recommended as it may take some time for the provider to complete it.
The report is expected to provide evidence to justify why the funding was effective and make recommendations for what supports would be reasonable for the next plan. Using these reports the NDIA will be looking for evidence of:
- What worked and what didn’t work?
- What progress has been made over the past year?
- Why was this funding needed?
- What supports are recommended moving forward?
- Will further supports provided now lead to less funding being needed in the future?
If I do all this, will I keep my funding?
Doing this doesn’t guarantee that your funding won’t be reduced, as changes made to your plan will be at the discretion of your NDIS planner. These are just important factors to consider when trying to strengthen your case and minimise the potential impact on your next plan.
Who should I contact for more information?
As Plan Managers, we are not involved in the plan review process. For more personalised advice regarding your plan review, we recommend contacting your LAC or Support Coordinator.