The planning process – what is changing:
- On introduction, your independent assessment will be used to develop your personalised budget.
- You will receive a draft plan, including a draft budget, before your planning meeting.
- The budget in your plan will be more flexible.
- Your plan can be set up for longer periods of time, and we’ll check in with you on a regular basis to make sure your plan is still working for you.
- From time-to-time, you’ll need to complete a new independent assessment, to make sure the funding in your NDIS plan is still right.
The planning process – what is not changing:
- Your NDIS plan budget will reflect your reasonable and necessary support needs.
- Your goals will still be an important part of your plan.
- Decisions about your personalised budget will be made by a person at the NDIA.
- If you are not happy with your plan, you can ask for a review. The review and appeals processes will not change.
- If you have a change in circumstances, you can ask for a plan reassessment.
- The NDIA can quickly make changes to your plan if there is an emergency or you can’t access your essential supports.
NDIA CEO Martin Hoffman has answered some questions and dispelled some misinformation .
What do the changes mean for me?
Personalised budgets and plan flexibility
On introduction, your independent assessment will be used to develop your personalised budget. We’ll refer NDIS participants over the age of 7 for an independent assessment as part of the planning process. Because there are more than 430,000 participants in the Scheme, independent assessments won’t happen for everyone at the same time. Instead, as you approach your scheduled plan review, we’ll talk to you about organising an independent assessment.
Your independent assessment will be an important part of your plan, and will change how we build your personalised budget. Instead of creating a plan that has funding based on individual items or supports, your budget will be closely matched to your functional capacity and the impact of your environment, based on the information in your independent assessment.
Using your independent assessment, we’ll create a draft budget and share it with you before your planning meeting. We’ll discuss the draft budget, see whether you need any additional assessments or information to finalise your plan, like quotes for high cost assistive technology or home modifications.
Before your planning meeting, you can start thinking about how you will use your plan, including the kinds of supports you need, and how you will work to pursue your goals.
At your planning meeting, you can talk to your planner or Local Area Coordinator about the best way to implement your plan to pursue your goals, how to use your plan flexibly, and let us know when you’d like us to check-in with you.
Your plan will much simpler and easier to use. The core, capacity building and capital budgets will be replaced with two budget categories. A fixed budget for specific supports, such as high cost assistive technology, specialist disability accommodation or home modifications, with your remaining budget to be flexible.
The funds in your flexible budget will be released at regular intervals, and you’ll be able to use your plan to purchase the supports to meet your disability related needs, in a way that best suits you.
Longer term plans and participant check-ins
Following an independent assessment, you’ll be able to set your NDIS plan for longer periods of time – up to 5 years or your next life stage.
To make sure your plan is working for you, we’ll check in with you on a regular basis, and talk to you about whether you need a new plan, some minor tweaks to the plan you have, or a renewal of your existing plan.
From time-to-time, you’ll need to complete a new independent assessment, to make sure the funding in your NDIS plan is still right. The times you need a new independent assessment might include when you are preparing to enter the workforce, changing where you live, or have a change of circumstances.
Having an independent assessment at important stages of your life means you’ll continue to get the right funding in your NDIS plan, and the information about your functional capacity, including the impact of your environment and circumstances is kept up to date.
What feedback did you give us on the planning policy for personalised budgets and plan flexibility?
We heard from you about how we can make these changes in the most straightforward way, that is easiest for you, your family and carers. To help us do this, you gave us your views on:
- how independent assessments will be used to help determine your NDIS budget
- how you will have more flexibility in your NDIS plan
- where your funding will be ‘fixed’ (not flexible)
- how we can better help you to implement your plan
- how we can best manage the process of making small changes to NDIS plans and checking-in with you on your plan
- anything else you want to say.
We’ve released post consultation reports which includes summaries of the submissions we received through the consultation process.