What happens to unused NDIS funding?

Key takeaways
What happens to unused NDIS funding?

The risks of not using your NDIS funding

In most situations, unused NDIS funds won’t roll over into your next plan. 

There is also the risk that at your next plan review, you might even have your fund allocation reduced. 

The NDIS is constantly optimising the resources they have, and if you don’t spend your funds, they’ll assume you don’t need them and allocate it towards other participants.

What are the reasons for unspent funds?

The NDIS does consider each participant's situation when allocating funds at plan reviews. There are some valid reasons that you may not be able to spend all of your allocated funds, which include:

  • Extensive waitlist for services or supports,
  • Illness or injury,
  • Unavailability of service providers,
  • Natural disasters,
  • Family circumstances.

As always, you should document everything, so that you have evidence of your attempts to spend your funds.

On the other hand, there are some reasons for unspent funds that you should avoid, as these could lead to a reduction in future funds. These can include:

  • Keeping funds for a “rainy day”,
  • Uncertainty on how to spend funds.

What are the time frames?

NDIS funds come with specified timeframes within which they must be utilised. These timeframes are determined during the planning and budgeting process and vary based on the participant's individual circumstances. It is essential for participants to plan and budget effectively to make the most of their allocated funds within the given timeframe.

How to keep track of your funds

Seek help

Participants with unutilised NDIS funds are not without options. It is important for individuals in this situation to seek support and guidance to maximise the utilisation of their allocated funds. NDIS support coordinators or plan managers can offer valuable assistance in planning and budgeting, helping participants identify opportunities to utilise the remaining funds effectively.

Focus on consistent spending habits

There are multiple benefits of consistent allocation of funding:

  • For most families, having a routine provides a stable foundation for growth, especially for children. It can also help reduce stress and burn-out that accumulates over time. In other words, be proactive in yours and your families mental health.
  • You’ll also have more secure, long-term support services. For example, it can be difficult and costly for service providers to hire and train staff like support workers. If there are constant interruptions, staff are less likely to commit long-term and providers will struggle to fill shifts. 
  • Lastly, having consistent services will make it easier to budget out your funds across your plan. Your Support Coordinator or Plan Manager will more easily be able to identify opportunities to provide more or less support.

Track your funds using the Myplace Portal

Regardless of whether you're self-managed, plan-managed or NDIA-managed, the myplace portal on the MyGov website gives you access to all your NDIS information. If you would like some assistance with accessing and using the portal, the NDIS provides some helpful guides for participants on how to use the myplace portal.

Tips on using unspent funds

If you’re worried about having unspent funds and have some time before it expires, here are some ideas: 

  • Short-term accommodation (STA) - providers like Ascend Health can arrange accommodation and provide support workers that will give you and your family a break,
  • Physiotherapy - there are many ways that physiotherapists can help NDIS participants, especially children. For example, paediatric services like developmental delay, participating in the community, or managing chronic pain. You can learn more about the services that physiotherapists can help you by visiting our website.
  • Support work - trained support workers from service providers like Ascend Health can provide assistance with participating in social gatherings, engaging in games or sports, household chores and meal cooking, and transportation to and from appointments.
  • Social work - Ascend Health can also support NDIS participants who have complex needs, or who are at risk of harm. We can connect you with support services, and provide advice and guidance on a range of NDIS-related matters.

Just remember that it still needs to meet the reasonable and necessary requirements in line with your goals. 

Ascend Health is a registered NDIS provider providing services in Adelaide, Perth, and the Sunshine Coast. We have capacity for new members across occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, support work, and therapy assistance. Give us a call today on 1800573116 or email hello@ascendhealthgroup.com.au

Increase your capacity with Ascend

Your support services are designed to address your unique goals and want you to feel comfortable with your ongoing support needs. We arrange an initial meet-and-greet between all our new clients and potential students until you find the right support worker for you.

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