Not every member of the platform will have an NDIS plan, but for those that do, we thought it would be useful to share a few tips.
The NDIS can’t be used for any setup or operating expenses that the general public might face. So you cannot put power, phone or internet bills on your NDIS plan; you cannot put the expense of an employee on your plan; and you cannot put something like a purchase of a device (such as an iPad on your plan).
There may be some flexibility if you mention your endeavour or maintaining work on your plan (something to think about when your plan is next reviewed) but you can claim matters relating to your disability (e.g. it’s fine to have something like a social support worker billed to your plan who is also helping you do some work – such as typing, which is what Gary is doing right now; it’s also fine if you will be using an iPad to help you communicate).
You need to get into the habit of describing what you want to do, or what you’ve done in terms of support to help you engage and produce, despite your disability. It is a semantic dance, but words matter.
Think about whether there are core supports that would free up your time and make it easier to focus on your money-generating endeavours – such as assistance with cooking, laundry, cleaning, yard tasks and maintenance.
If a lot of what you’re doing is on the computer or online, try to engage with a support worker who has good computing skills.
A service coordinator and plan manager can help you operate and plan within the constraints of the scheme.
Choosing to have a self-managed plan might seem a way to avoid these limitations but it is flirting with disaster and might end with a lot stricter limitations on your plan.
If you have a mentor from the platform, they can also be a useful source of ideas and tips.