Great news from our friends at DSC. The NDIS have updated the coronavirus FAQs and Providers Newsflash about core funding flexibility. The news we have been waiting for since literally the beginning of the rollout was not so much “announced” as it was quietly sneaked onto the NDIS website:
Core supports are now properly flexible*.
That’s right. From 9 May, participants who plan or agency manage their core budgets can now spend their core funding flexibly across all four core categories*. But like all good news from the NDIA, it comes with some caveats.
Below we’ve covered some of the most common scenarios and questions to help you understand what this change means in practice:
MY CORE BUDGET IS SELF MANAGED. HOW DOES THIS IMPACT ME?
Unfortunately this announcement only applies to plan and agency managed funds for now. But the NDIA is planning to roll it out to self managers in June 2020.
CAN I NOW SPEND MY CORE FUNDS FLEXIBLY ON TRANSPORT?
People who were not funded for transport can now spend their other core supports on transport. But unfortunately, people who receive all their transport funding as a periodic payment will still not be able to spend their other core funding on transport.
I RECEIVE ALL MY TRANSPORT FUNDING AS A PERIODIC PAYMENT. IF I DON’T SPEND ALL THE FUNDING ON TRANSPORT, COULD I SPEND IT ON OTHER CORE SUPPORTS?
A periodic payment is a fortnightly direct cash payment to the participant’s nominated bank account. This payment will not be affected by the change.
The periodic payment is only meant to be used on transport supports. However, it is just cash in the bank. So there is really no oversight over it. You cannot put the money back into your NDIS plan, but you could choose to use it to privately purchase NDIS supports.
DOES THIS MEAN EVERYONE WHO PLAN/AGENCY MANAGES THEIR CORE BUDGET CAN NOW CLAIM FOR LOW COST ASSISTIVE TECH?
Yes. Where previously people had to have at least $1 in their Consumables budget to claim these line items, the option is now open for everyone with plan/agency managed core funds.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A CORE BUDGET?
This is just a change to how flexibly people can spend their existing core funding so it does not impact people without a core budget.