APM Communities NDIS Plan Implementation Workshop Module 2 transcript

Speaker 1: Welcome to APM's plan implementation series of workshops to support you to implement your NDIS plan. This second topic is designed to assist you to understand your plan by looking at how informal, community, mainstream, and funded supports could assist you to achieve your goals. We will be working through the NDIS booklet three in your NDI S plan. If you don't have a copy of your plan, you can print one from your My Place participant portal. This was covered in topic one, or you can contact the NDIS or your local area coordinator. So if you don't have these items with you and you'd like them, please pause this video here and restart once you have them. 

Before we start looking through your plan, it's important to note that you're not alone. As a participant, you have access to people who can assist you to implement your plan. Who this is depends on where you live and the types of supports in your plan and could be a friend or family member, an NDIS staff member, a local partner, or a support coordinator or specialist support coordinator that is funded in your plan. In workbook three, there is a space to write down who your support people are. So the first thing you need to do is read your NDIS plan. You will see that it has three main parts. Part one contains some of your personal details, such as your name, your NDIS number, and other details about you. Part two outlines your goals, both your short-term goals for this plan and longer term goals that may take multiple plans to achieve. This part also captures your informal community and mainstream supports that you felt you needed to work towards your goals. 

Part three provides details about the supports and is broken into three sections describing your different support types. Section one outlined your informal supports that come from your family and friends. Section two outlines those supports that come from outside your family and friends, such as those found in your community or those that are part of a mainstream system, such as school, university or hospital. Section three includes reasonable and necessary supports funded by the NDIS, the budget for the NDIS funded supports and how the supports will be paid for. Each of these support types work together to assist you in day-to-day life and to achieve the goals of your plan. And at no time does the NDIS want to replace the valuable informal and community supports you have or those that you want to develop. 

So it is important to know who helps you and where you might need to make new connections. So let's map those out. On some paper or on your computer, I'd like you to write the heading informal and list all of the people you can think of who assist you in any way and what it is they assist you with. Informal supports are friends, family, or people who you know, but are not paid or asked to provide support to you and do not provide assistance from another government service. Next, do the same with community supports, listing any people or groups you connect within your community. Finally, do the same again but with mainstream supports. These are other government supports who have the role of providing assistance to all Australians, for example, education, health, and Centrelink. 

It's important to know that the NDIS and other government supports have an agreement on who is responsible for what. This is called the COAG agreement, and can be useful in understanding what support you can access from other government departments and agencies. A link to the COAG agreement is below this video. You can pause the video here to complete this and take the time to list everyone you can think of. You may need help from someone to think of everybody and you can come back and add to it later. Now you have your informal community and mainstream supports all listed, have a look at the goals on your plan and using one color, circle anyone who is currently helping you achieve your goals. 

Using another color, you can show any gaps, either people who are not assisting you with goals who could, or ideas of new supports you need to find. This is one of the next steps you could take to start implementing your plan and once we finish looking at your plan, you may have more ideas or people to add to this. Now you have an understanding of a large portion of your supports. Let's look at the NDIS funded supports that you have in your plan. You might have funding in one, two, or all three of these, and it's important to understand what they are, what they're for and how they can be useful in helping you achieve your goals. Let's watch a short overview of your plan budget. 

Speaker 2: As an NDIS participant, you have choice and control over how you manage your NDIS plan. In this video, we'll explain how your NDIS plan is set up and how to spend the funds in your NDIS plan to live the life you want. Your plan may include informal supports, community supports, mainstream supports, reasonable and necessary funded supports. Your NDIS plan has three sections, which are called support budgets. These are core, capital, and capacity building. Each section has its own budget. Core budget. The core budget is designed to support you in your day-to-day needs and include supports such as personal care. You have flexibility as to how much of your budget you wish to use across the categories of daily activities, social, community, and civic participation and consumables. 

Capital supports budget. Your capital supports budget is for purchasing one-off items, such as equipment, technology or for home or vehicle modifications. Capacity building budget. The capacity building section of your NDIS plan is about the skill building, training and learning you need to achieve your goals. The funding in this section is allocated across various categories that align to your goals. Remember, this is your plan and you have control over the supports and services you receive and flexibility to manage your budget. For more information, visit ndis.gov.au, or call us on one 1800-800-110. 

Speaker 1: In booklet three, you can see that core support is provided to help you with everyday activities that are impacted by your disability. These are provided so you can progress towards your goals. As outlined in the video, there are four categories of support in the core budget, and they have different names on the plan and on the participant portal. This page is a great reference for you to be able to interpret your plan and the portal funding really easily. You can also see a description of what this category is for. For example, in consumables, it's for everyday items that you might need such as continence products and some assistive technology items. On the next page, you will see the same type of information for the capacity building budget and its nine categories. Funding in this budget is included to help you build your independence and your skills to achieve your goals. 

And finally, there is the capital budget with two categories. This is for higher cost pieces of assistive technology, equipment and home or vehicle modifications. This is also for funding one-off purchases you may need, including Specialist Disability Accommodation. You will see beneath each budget the goals listed that the funding has been included to support. You might like to pause this video here and look at what budgets and categories you have funded in your plan and mark them in your booklet. It's important to know this because each budget has different degrees of flexibility in how you can use it to purchase supports and respond to anything that changes in your life throughout your plan. Now you know how the mix of informal, community, mainstream and funded supports has been built into your plan and how each has focused on supporting you with the goals that you've set. 

So let's look at a few guidelines and boundaries of how you can use your funded supports flexibly. Flexibility, and core. Your core budget is the most flexible. And in most cases you can use your funding across any of the categories that are in your plan if you have the same plan management type. This is why transport is generally not flexible as it's periodically paid into your chosen bank account. Flexibility in capacity building. Your capacity building budget is less flexible and can not be moved from one support category to another. Funding can only be used to purchase supports that falls within the same category and you can see examples of this in the NDIS price catalog. So let's look at an example. Let's imagine you have two and a half thousand dollars in your capacity building daily activities budget, and this was included to support you to achieve your goal, which was, I would like to find new exercises that will help me improve my mobility. 

If we look at the price catalog on the NDIS website, in the support category name column, there are quite a few items this funding can purchase. For this goal, they could be assessment recommendation, therapy and or training, exercise physiology, exercise physiology in a group, community engagement assistance, individual skill development, and training. You can see these vary in price and when used to compliment the informal community and mainstream supports we outlined earlier, this goal is very achievable. There is a lot of information about pricing, flexibility, budgets, and categories on the NDIS website, and in both the price guide, which does a great job of explaining the intent of each category and the price catalog. The link to these are on the NDIS website and below this video for you to explore later. For now, there are a few more boundaries to be aware of when it comes to using your funded supports. 

The capital budget is not flexible and includes funding for specific items for a specific purpose, so cannot be used to pay for anything else. Stated supports or quote required items are most common in this budget. Stated supports are not flexible. Funding has been allocated for a specific support or service, and you can't use this funding for something else. Quote required items require additional information such as quotes or specialist reports, which will be required before the funding can be made available in your plan. In-kind supports are services that have already been paid for by your state, territory, or the Australian government. You are 90% through understanding your plan. The last piece of the puzzle is how you have chosen to manage your plan and what that means for you. This is captured in a handy table on booklet two, which you may have completed prior to your planning meeting. A few things to note, you have full choice over which providers you use and how you use them. 

The prices in the support catalog are caps or benchmarks, and no matter what plan management option you choose, you have the ability to negotiate the rates that you pay. Your NDIS plan funding will need to last the length of your plan. The My Place participant portal will help you monitor your plan budget. Each plan you have is unique. The funding does not roll over from plan to plan, and there is no use it or lose it approach to planning. Plans can range from six months to three years in length, so please note how long your plan is for so that your supports last you the length of your plan. We've covered off on the main areas of your plan. These were information about you, your goals, and how these can be achieved using a range of supports, reviewing your informal, community, and mainstream supports and identifying how these can support you to achieve your goals. 

We looked at each of the three funding budgets and some of the guidelines on how they can be used. We hope that this has been informative and helpful for you. If you require further support to understand your plan and its individuality, please contact your informal support person, the NDIS a local area coordinator, or the support coordinator that you identified earlier in this topic. The next topic in this workshop series is about finding, engaging, and managing your community mainstream and funded providers. You'll be doing this with the My Community directory and through something called a service agreement. See you then. Thanks.