It was easy to miss it with everything that is going on at the moment. But late last week the NDIA made a small but incredibly important announcement.
There is now finally more flexibility in how you can use your NDIS funds
NDIS participants who are plan or Agency managed can now use their core funds across ALL core funding categories.
That means you no longer need at least $1 in a category to move your funds around.
In practical terms that means:
😃 You can use your core funds in the way that works best for you without having to ask for a review.
📱 If you need a smart device to continue your support at this time you can now buy one with your core funds. You can do this even if you don’t have a budget for consumables.
🚗 You can use your core funds for transport.
The transport one admittedly comes with a few “buts”. If you receive a periodic transport payment you can’t use that flexibly – you must use if for transport costs.
But if you don’t receive the periodic payment then you CAN use your core funds to pay for transport.
The system change that made all of this possible was made on May 9.
Self-managed participants are unfortunately going to have to wait until June for the system change to be made for them. (NOTE: This change has now been made as of June 15.)
This is some really good news
It may have taken a global pandemic to do it (!) but the greater flexibility we have all been wanting and asking for is finally starting to happen.
And the changes above are permanent – they won’t disappear after the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Last time we checked the NDIA was still planning to introduce changes on July 1 which will allow people to move funds between core and capacity building budgets. But it’s gone suspiciously quiet, so we’re keeping a close eye on that.
One of the biggest reasons we all fought for the NDIS in the first place was so we could use our funding in the way that worked best for us. We never wanted to get bogged down in the kind of bureaucracy we have all been trying to wade our way through over the last few years.
But that is finally starting to change.
And it is happening because of you. So let’s keep the pressure on until the scheme works the way we all want and need it to.
PS We have some questions about how this will work in practice which are not answered on the NDIS website. We are trying to get the answers – as soon as we do we will update this page with the new information.
More links you might find helpful
News announcement on the NDIS website – Plan flexibility and auto-extensions now include assistive technology
Questions and answers on the NDIS Coronavirus pages – Using your NDIS budget
Other news regarding smart devices – Smart devices, tablets, iPads – the NDIA get their act together (finally)
Other news regarding transport changes – NDIS moves on transport