Or is it?
Have you ever listened to the well-known Beatles song ‘All you need is Love’ and wondered if that statement is actually true?
While being loved and accepted as a human no matter who you are (or what disability you have) is worth more than all the money in the world, is it really all you need?
Unfortunately, life can be expensive and money really does have a role to play in our lives. To some extent money does “make the world go ’round”. If you or a family member have a disability then it can be even MORE expensive and all the love and good intentions in the world won’t change that fact.
In the world of the NDIS at the moment there are many of changes being discussed, controversies over what should be funded, talk of budget cutbacks and upset participants. We are hearing of more and more participants receiving large cuts to their NDIS funding packages. There are also more people asking the question, “Well what should I do now?!” when they receive their plan back from the NDIS and there is less money in it than they hoped for.
In some situations it may be possible to put in for a review of your plan by the NDIS, as long as you complete the necessary paperwork within 30 days of the plan being handed down. Sadly though, in some cases, the only thing that can be done is to look at what funds have been provided and then get creative to find other ways to meet the goals of the participant.
Some tough choices may need to be made. The first step involves budgeting and planning with the funding level provided in the plan and making sure you know exactly how much things are going to cost prior to starting to use the funds, otherwise you could find yourself running out of money.
Budgeting has traditionally been a very difficult thing to do for NDIS plans. The NDIS pricing system is one of the most complicated areas of the entire NDIS program. Often this means many participants do not know where to start or may not understand what their funding even lets them purchase, let alone how much it’s going to cost!
This is where our NDIS Planning Tool can come in handy. If you haven’t looked at it yet, it's more than worth the time!
We have made it easier for you to work out how much your supports will cost. You can use the Support Item Wizard to find the correct prices and let the system help you to work out your estimated funding based on your needs.
You can easily adjust how many hours of support you can afford to use or even see if there are other ways to cut down your spending. If you have spent the time budgeting and you still find yourself short of the funding you need (after cutting everywhere you think you can) you are going to need to look at more drastic changes.
This includes reviewing your goals and looking at whether you can use less ‘formal’ mainstream supports (i.e. the ones you pay for) and replacing them with more ‘informal’ supports (i.e. the ones you don’t pay for). These informal supports may include assistance from family members including parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties or other relatives.
It can also include getting support from friends and other members of the community through not-for-profit services or local community groups that are in your local area. As much as this may not be the preferred way forward it may be necessary to make your NDIS plan funds stretch.
If you need help to do this then you may find your support coordinator (if you have one) a good person to chat with. Let them know of our Planning Tool and they can help you through the budget planning process in your context.
Alternatively, if your plan is Plan Managed then your Plan Manager should be providing you with the tools you need to look at your budget needs (as well as just paying the bills!).
If they aren’t, maybe it is time to contact us to have a chat. We have developed a more comprehensive online budgeting tool for our plan managed participants to use. We can even set up your support coordinator to have access.
Remember - through all the stress, talk to your friends and family about your NDIS fears and concerns. A load shared is a load halved.
After all – that’s what love is for.