Can I or can’t I?
It’s still early days in regards to what Self-Managing will really look like, long-term. However, the concepts are clear.
Those outlined here in this NDIA video https://youtu.be/baU45jGnWS4
We nod our heads in agreement with the notion that we’re aiming for maximum choice & control over our funding. Yet, the most frequently asked question to NDIA staff, on facebook forums and in community workshops is – “am I allowed to…” “can I spend my funding on….” “will the NDIA pay for …..”
Sure, really valid questions. However, aren’t we able to answer these questions ourselves? Isn’t this the intention of self-directed supports? So what are our parameters for how we spend our NDIA funds?
Reasonable and Necessary Guidelines have been outlined by the NDIA. They are our first port of call for choosing supports. https://www.ndis.gov.au/medias/documents/hf5/hae/8799191105566/Reasonable-necessary-supports-fact-sheet.pdf
The 5 key aspects:
- be related to the participant’s disability
- not include day-to-day living costs that are not related to a participant’s disability support needs
- represent value for money
- be likely to be effective and beneficial to the participant, and
- take into account informal supports given to participants by families, carers, networks, and the community.
These guidelines are broad because they are considered within the context of people’s individual goals & circumstances. Meaning that an identical paid support may be reasonable & necessary for one person, but not another.
So when considering a paid support for my 2 boys. These are the 3 questions I ask myself –
- How does this support relate to their plan goals?
- What’s written as the description on the plan? That’s the text box underneath the dollar figure is given for that Support Area. It’s important to check as this will be where planners make note of their intention when allocating this funding. It will also be noted if there are any STATED supports. (STATED funds can ONLY be spent on that item. There is no further flexibility)
- Is this support in-line with Reasonable & Necessary principles?
Whenever I become bogged down in the agency mumbo-jumbo – I take a step back.
Why does this funding exist?
Well, it’s part of a bigger picture. Helping my kids to develop their good life includes a range of supports. NDIS funding sits alongside local community supports, informal networks, and larger govt infrastructure. It exists to enhance my boys’ participation and ultimately the quality of life.