One of the most celebrated parts of our Australian way of life is the emphasis we place on support available to our vulnerable community members. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is designed to support the 4.3 million Australians who are living with a disability, providing access to support and services that help individuals participate in the wider community and reach their individual goals.
The NDIS has standardised pricing in place that outlines the cost of NDIS supports and services. This is updated yearly, with new Pricing Arrangements announced. These changes come into effect on July 1.
For those who are accessing services as a part of the NDIS, understanding the costs involved is crucial in making sure they’re receiving the best outcomes for their money.
Changes made to the 2021/2022 NDIS Price Guide
Firstly, a language change: the NDIS has changed the name of the NDIS Price Guide to NDIS Pricing Arrangements.
Other changes include:
- A 2.95% increase to the base price for supports delivered by support workers. This is reflective of changes to both Australian minimum wages and compulsory superannuation payments
- A 1.1% increase in specialist disability accommodation price limits
- A reduction to the Temporary Transformation Payment (TTP) loading, from 6% to 4.5%
- An extension of transitional pricing arrangements for group-based supports until 30 June 2022
Previous changes to the NDIS Price Guide
These changes come on the back of a number of tumultuous years thanks to the impact of COVID-19. In 2020, COVID-19 triggered a number of changes to the NDIS Price Guide, including access to low cost assistive technology and the option to pay for Support Coordination from an individual’s Core Budget.
Currently, access to low cost assistive technology remains in place. The core budget Support Coordination, however, ended on 31 March 2021. The NDIS moved to support its participants by offering additional supports and cleaning services, which were available until 30 June 2021. As well, all NDIS participants were able to utilise one deep clean until 30 June 2021.
Who does this information impact?
Changes to the NDIS Price Guide (now known as NDIS Pricing Arrangements) can have an impact on anyone who’s accessing NDIS services. As each participant has a plan that’s different, any changes to the pricing of services included in that plan can change the overall structure of support. This is one reason it’s important to undertake plan reviews, as these create the opportunity to check your supports are working for you and are serving the purpose of equipping you to pursue your goals.
Using your NDIS planOnce your initial NDIS plan is created, it’s important that you understand the different budgets, who can play a role in providing support through your plan, and how that plan is managed. An NDIS plan has input from individuals such as a Local Area Coordinator, who support participants by monitoring how the plan is going on a regular basis, or a Support Coordinator.
A Support Coordinator may be funded if there isn’t a Local Area Coordinator in your region, or if more help is needed in coordinating your supports and services. For those who may require a high level of support coordination due to more complex situations, specialist support coordination may be made available.
Some participants may opt to self-manage their NDIS plan. This creates a high degree of flexibility and choice in deciding which supports will be used to pursue your plan goals.
Benefits of self-management include having full choice across the supports you purchase, who provides them and how they’re delivered; flexibility to use any provider that supports those plan goals; the capacity to employ or contract staff directly; the ability to negotiate the cost of your supports so you can guarantee the best value-for-more in your plan outcomes; and control over your NDIS funding, so you can manage your budget for the duration of your plan directly.
If you’re self-managing your NDIS plan, it’s crucial that you remain up-to-date with changes to the NDIS Price Guide/NDIS Pricing Arrangements. You may need to change your supports or negotiate new pricing as a result of any changes to the yearly pricing structure for NDIS support services.
Reviewing your planParticipant check-ins are an opportunity for individuals to make sure their supports are working for them. These were delivered more flexibly during COVID-19, simplified where possible in order to make sure participants had continued access to funding for the support they needed.
The first NDIS plan review generally takes place within 12 months of the plan’s commencement. Your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner will work with you to review your NDIS plan, checking your supports against your circumstances to ensure your needs are continually being met through the NDIS support framework.
If you’ve got an NDIS review coming up, ensuring you’re up to date with any changes to the NDIS Pricing Arrangements is one useful way you can prepare. This will help you to identify any potential gaps in funding against service pricing increases, which can then be discussed with your LAC or NDIA planner.
Changes to the NDIS Plan ReviewAs of 1 October 2019, NDIS participants have access to therapy and nursing disability-related supports without needing a plan review. This can simplify the process of accessing necessary care that’s aligned with personal goals and desired outcomes.
How SAI can support you
At SAI Home Care, we provide carers that are fully qualified to support our clients with expert NDIS support. We’re focused on supporting our clients to maintain their independence with dignity and respect. Contact us to learn more about how we can support you in making the most of your NDIS plan on a yearly basis.
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