There is an NDIS Choice and Control fact sheet available which explains that there is quite a lot of flexibility in how you can spend the budget allocated to your child’s plan.
This flexibility means that you are not locked into a rigid plan where you can’t have any control if circumstances change. If you follow the guidelines, you do have a level of choice and control where you can decide without having to go back to the NDIA and ask permission.
The table below demonstrateds how funding is flexible across all categories for Core supports. (Yellow highlight)
What does this mean?
This means that you can use the total Core budget across the four support categories of assistance for daily activities, transport, consumables and assistance with social and community participation, in whatever amounts you decide, so long as you stay within the overall Core budget.
You might choose to have support on weekdays or weekends, for 1:1 Supports or a group activity during school holidays or pay for a camp. If you look at the Price guide you will see that there are different rates payable for all these different supports and you can juggle your budget accordingly.
Funding for Capital supports is not flexible, and must be spent as allocated. (Blue) This largely relates to equipment and home and vehicle modifications, which are mostly by quote, so you can understand why this is not flexible.
Funding for Capacity Building supports can be used flexibly only within that support category, (Green), as they are related to particular types of goals, such as work, health and well being, etc.
Service Provider establishment fees
The NDIS Price Guide talks about Service Provider Establishment fees, so that has to come out of the budget for each service provider that is providing 20 hours or more of personal care or community access to a participant (p18 NDIS Price Guide)
Factor in times when you will require more or less support
It might take some thought to figure out how to break down the budget, as not everything happens on a weekly cycle. Examples: You might have requested more support during school holidays. You won’t need the weekly supports when your child attends a short term accommodation facility
What happens to unused funds? If they have not been spent, unused funds are returned to the NDIS at the end of each 12 month period, when your child has their 12 month review and new funds are allocated for the next 12 month plan. However you can use those funds within the Choice and Control guidelines, eg support for an extra ‘social and community participation’ event in the school holidays