Step 1: How do we identify and describe a support in your plan?
Sometimes we need to describe a specific support to be included in your plan. Or we might include funding more generally within a support category . Where we have included funding in a support category, you can generally choose which supports you buy from that category to meet your disability-related support needs.
Supports we describe generally or specifically must meet the NDIS funding criteria.
We look at all the evidence of your support needs to help us identify what supports to consider in your plan. We use:
- the information you give us when you apply for the NDIS, during a check-in or when you contact us
- any assessments or other information we have
For reassessments we’ll look at the supports in your previous plan and check how well they are working for you. For your first plan we use the Typical Support Package to think about what supports we’d usually expect to include in your plan based on your situation and disability support needs.
When we say support we mean funding for a service, item or equipment you need to help with your disability support needs.
We think about:
- what the outcome of the support will be
- how the support helps with your disability
- whether the support meets the NDIS funding criteria.
- whether we need to specifically describe the supports in your plan.
How do we describe support in your plan??
We divide your supports into 4 different budgets:
- Core supports
These supports help you with everyday activities, like help to take part in activities in the community. This budget is mostly flexible so you can use funding from one support category to pay for something in another support category.
- Capacity building supports
These supports help you build your skills and increase your independence and reduce the need for the same level of support in the future. Your progress and outcomes from these supports will be shared at each plan reassessment. Capacity building supports are stated so you won’t be able to use funding from one support category to pay for something in another support category.
- Capital supports
Includes high-cost assistive technology, equipment, vehicle modifications, home modifications and specialist disability accommodation. Capital supports are stated. You can only use this funding to buy approved individual supports in this support category.
- Recurring supports
These supports are paid by us on a regular basis, so you don’t need to claim for these. Your funding for your recurring supports will be paid regularly to your nominated bank account. This funding is not included anywhere else in your budget and includes mainly transport supports.
Each budget is divided into a number of support categories. Support categories have more detail about what supports you can buy with your funding. We can describe the support categories in your plan as one of the following:
- Flexible: Under the law for the NDIS, this is when we describe supports in a category generally. You have greater flexibility over what disability supports you can buy within the description of the support. When we describe your support categories as flexible, you can usually choose what supports you buy within the descriptions for each support category.
- Stated: Under the law for the NDIS, this is when we describe the supports in a support category specifically. It means you must buy supports in the way we have described in your plan. We sometimes call this a fixed support in your plan.
You must act according to your plan, and buy supports according to how we described them in your plan. This means you can’t use the funding in your plan to buy supports that fall outside the description of the support in your plan.
We describe most support categories as flexible when we can. You have greater flexibility over the support you can buy in your flexible budgets. When support categories are described as stated, you have less flexibility.
If we describe a support category as stated, you must use the funding in your plan to buy the supports exactly how we describe them. This includes how the support is provided. For example, we will sometimes require the support to be provided:
- by a particular service provider
- by a particular qualified person
- through a particular delivery mode or method, or in a special way.
Your Core supports budget is the most flexible. You can usually use your funding across all the support categories in the Core Supports budget if:
- we described the supports as flexible
- you have the same plan management options for your Core Supports.
When we decide whether to describe supports as stated or flexible, we think about:
- how much the support costs
- if the support will help reduce the cost of other supports over time, for example providing more supports early so you don’t need as many supports later in life
- any risks with supplying the support, for example if the support would create risks to your health and safety or if it doesn’t comply with state or territory laws
- if you need a particular support to pursue your goals or to use other supports in your plan effectively
- if you need a specialist support, for example if your support must be delivered by a qualified person, or in a special way
- if you are eligible for the NDIS under the early intervention criteria.