Category: Uncategorized

  • Claiming Rapid Antigen Test’s (RAT’s) and other COVID related supports through an NDIS plan

    With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect the way NDIS participants receive supports, it’s important to remember that some COVID related expenses may be funded within your plan.

    Below we list some items that can assist participants in staying safe and healthy during the pandemic.

    This information was sourced from the NDIS website

    Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) 

    Can I claim the cost of RATs through my NDIS plan?

    NDIS participants that need to use a RAT in order to receive reasonable and necessary supports, may be eligible to purchase RAT’s through their core supports. 

    For example, if a participant needs to complete a test twice a week to attend their regular day program they may be able to request a reimbursement for RAT’s purchased for this use. 

    It’s important to remember that the tests claimed through your NDIS plan can only be used to access NDIS supports and not for personal use. 

    What category will RATs be claimed from in my NDIS plan?

    The cost of a RAT will be deducted from the core category of an NDIS plan. Funds are flexible within this category. If you’re plan managed with BudgetNet you can check your monthly statement, budget tracking app or contact us on 1300 402 568 to check your funding levels.

    If you are concerned about not having enough core funding to cover this purchase, you can contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110. 

    How many RATs can I claim through my NDIS plan?

    NDIS participants can purchase the necessary number of tests needed to receive their reasonable and necessary supports. This will look different for each person based on the number of supports they receive on a weekly basis and the testing requirements for these supports. 

    Can I claim a test for my support worker? 

    If your support worker needs to take a test to ensure they are COVID negative and therefore safe to deliver your supports, you may also purchase a RAT for them.

    You cannot claim RAT’s for social visitors to your home. The purchase of a RAT is only for NDIS participants and their support workers in order to access NDIS supports. 

    I’ve purchased RATs in order to access my NDIS supports, how do I get the money back?

    If you are plan managed with BudgetNet, send us your valid receipt and we will reimburse the amount into your nominated account. It’s important to check your core funding level to ensure there are enough funds to cover this purchase before you make the payment.  

    Find out more about claiming a refund through your NDIS plan. 

    How long can I claim RATs through an eligible NDIS plan?

    These measures will remain in place while the pandemic continues to affect the way participants receive supports.  We will continue to update you with any changes made by the NDIS and update our information accordingly.

    Accessing free rapid antigen tests (RATs) 

    You may also be eligible to receive up to 10 RATs over a 3 month period (Max 5 per 1 month) through community pharmacies. This initiative is through the Department of Health and does not require payment through your NDIS plan. 

    As of January 24th, 2022, you can access free RATs if you hold an eligible Commonwealth concession card:

    • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card 
    • Low Income Health Card 
    • Pensioner Concession Card 
    • Health Care Card 
    • Department of Veteran’s Affairs Gold, White or Orange

    Give your local pharmacy a call before visiting to ensure they have supplies and are a participating pharmacy. 

    For more information visit the Department of Health website

     Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

    Can I use my NDIS funds to pay for PPE such as masks, face shields, and gloves?

    NDIS participants can use their NDIS funds to make this purchase if:

    • They are using the PPE to access reasonable and necessary supports 
    • The items are being used when your support worker is providing supports and not for personal use such as visiting the grocery shops by yourself. 
    • You’re receiving a minimum of 1 hour a day of face to face supports on average 

    Note: You cannot claim more than $50 per week on eligible PPE purchases

    How is PPE funded within an NDIS plan? 

    PPE will be claimed from the core category of an NDIS plan within the Disability-Related Health Consumables- Low-Cost support line item: 03_040000919_0103_1_1 

    Can hand sanitizer purchases be claimed from my NDIS plan? 

    Generally, no this would be considered an everyday personal expense. In the circumstance that you receive close personal support and start to use a larger amount of hand sanitizer than you would in normal circumstances, you may be able to claim the costs of the additional hand sanitizer used.   

    We suggest reaching out to our team on 1300 402 568 to discuss your individual circumstances. 

    Low Cost AT to access telehealth and online supports 

    Can I use my NDIS funding to buy a tablet or laptop?

    You may be able to purchase a tablet or laptop using your existing NDIS funds if:

    • It helps you access current supports that may have changed to online 
    • The provider must confirm in writing that the item is necessary in order to continue the service in a safe way, considering government restrictions and social distancing guidelines
    • You don’t already have the item or something similar that would do the same job 
    • Tablets/iPads must be wi-fi only, if you would like one with a data connection you will need to pay the additional upgrade fee from your own pocket
    • General apps or software cannot be funded. Apps that relate to your disability and have been specifically approved within a plan may be funded, this is on an individual basis. 

    Note: a standard tablet i.e an iPad should generally cost no more than $600 

    What category will this funding come from in my NDIS plan?

    While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the way you purchase Assistive Technology will remain flexible. You may use your Core- Consumable budget for low-cost AT purchases (up to $1500). 

    You must not spend more than $750 on electronic devices in order to continue receiving supports in a COVID safe manner. 

    For more on flexible low-cost AT for support continuity visit the NDIS website

    Here are some helpful links from the NDIS:

    Our team of NDIS experts can assist with your COVID related support needs. Reach out on 1300 402 568 or email ndis@budgetnet.com.au.  

    Signing up to BudgetNet Plan Management is simple.

    Complete our electronic service agreement or call our friendly team on 1300 402 568 and we will complete your set up over the phone.

     

  • Guide to Assistive Technology

    What is Assistive Technology?

    Assistive Technology or AT is a piece of equipment, software or device that helps people with disabilities live a more independent life. Examples of AT can be anything from an app on your smart device that reads text out loud to a prosthetic leg. With technology advancing so much over the years, the AT options are endless and truly making life easier than ever.

     

    What is Low-Cost Assistive Technology?

    This category is for purchases under $1500. Generally, these items are available off the shelf and are not customised. However, like all purchases through an NDIS plan, these items must be related to your disability (not considered an everyday item) and relate to the goals set out in your NDIS plan.

    These items will fall under the plan category: Core Consumables

    Examples of some items that may not be funded are weighted blankets, standard TV, mobile phones (that are not adapted due to your disability), and general household furniture.

    Here is a guide to some of the Low-Cost Assistive Technology that may be funded within an NDIS plan. It’s important to remember that each item is funded based on the individual needs of the participant so always check with the NDIS if the item is covered for you.

    General & Personal Items

    • Continence products
    • Key turner aid
    • Smart lights
    • Door handle grip
    • Visual fire alarm
    • Walking Stick
    • Talking clock

    Kitchen Items

    • Electric can opener
    • Adapted cutlery
    • Talking microwave
    • Easy tap turner
    • Safety gloves (cut resistant)

    Lounging Items

    • Noise-cancelling headphones
    • Smart device holder
    • Specialised seat cushions

     

    What is Mid Cost Assistive Technology?

    This category is for purchases between $1500 to $5000. These items may be harder to choose and setup on your own. You will need to get an Occupational Therapist (OT) to assess your need and create a report and submit to the NDIS for approval.

    These items will fall under the plan category: Capital Budget (the item may be listed in your plan as a stated item, which means the funding has been set aside and can only be used for purchasing that specific item)

    Here is a guide to some of the Mid Cost Assistive Technology that may be funded within an NDIS plan. It’s important to remember that each item is funded based on the individual needs of the participant, so always check with the NDIS if the item is covered for you.

    General & Personal Items

    • Custom made shoes

    Lounging Items

    • Pressure mattress
    • Custom shower chair

     

    What is High-Cost Assistive Technology?

    This category is for purchases over $5000. These items are usually a stated item listed in the plan and discussed with the planner during the planning process.

    These items will fall under the plan category: Capital Budget (As these items are usually stated in the plan, the funding is set aside specifically for this purchase and cannot be used for anything else)

    Here is a guide to some of the High-Cost Assistive Technology that may be funded within an NDIS plan. It’s important to remember that each item is funded based on the individual needs of the participant, you must receive NDIS approval before purchasing any of the below.

    General & Personal Items

    • Custom wheelchair
    • Prosthetics

    Kitchen Items

    • Renovations e.g., custom kitchen to suit participants needs

    Lounging Items

    • Ceiling hoist
    • Powered bed
    • Custom furniture

     

    4 steps to purchasing Assistive Technology

    Step 1: Work out what you need

    You may wish to trial certain items to see their impact on your daily life or reach out to an Occupational Therapist (OT) who will complete an assessment and make recommendations. For higher cost items, this step will take place BEFORE a planning meeting so you can discuss the outcomes with your planner and ensure funding is made available in your new plan.

    Step 2: Get a quote

    Next, find the item or engage with a provider who can create a quote based on the OT’s recommendations.

    Once you have the quote you may need to submit that along with any reports completed by the OT to the NDIS for approval. If the item is listed in your plan, the funding has already been allocated for this purchase and you may not need NDIS approval.

    Step 3: Your purchase is approved by the NDIS, now organise payment

    At this stage, your item has been approved by the NDIS.

    Send through a copy of the quote to BudgetNet and we will ensure you have enough funding in your plan to cover the cost.

    Once you have checked your funding, ask the provider to proceed with creating an invoice for payment.

    The provider can send this directly to BudgetNet or you can send it through yourself, whatever works best for you. Payment will be processed.

    Step 4: Get your items

    The best part! The invoice has been paid and you are ready to receive your items and start enjoying the benefits of assistive technology.

    This step can take a while as some items are custom made/ installed. Chat to your provider before this step to see how long they believe it will take so there are no surprises.

     

    Visit our NDIS Directory and search for providers in your area that offer Assistive Technology. Our team are experts in NDIS Assistive Technology funding, if you have any questions we’re here to help- 1300 402 568 or email ndis@budgetnet.com.au

     

    Helpful Links:

    https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/assistive-technology-explained

    https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/assistive-technology-explained/assistive-technology-repairs-maintenance-and-replacement

    https://ourguidelines.ndis.gov.au/supports-you-can-access-menu/equipment-and-technology/assistive-technology

  • Everything you need to know about NDIS plan categories

    While the NDIS is constantly changing, one thing is for sure, understanding your NDIS plan is the best way to ease some NDIS stress. Let’s jump straight into it…

    NDIS plans are broken up into 3 main categories- Core Supports, Capacity Building Supports & Capital Supports.

    If this isn’t your first NDIS plan you have probably come across those category names before. However, under each main category there are different support categories. To have supports/services/items funded through an NDIS plan they must fall within the outline of a support category. Below we break down what is covered in each of these categories. Visit the NDIS Price Guide for detailed descriptions on each of the support categories listed below.

    The information below is only a small snapshot/example of some items that may or may not be funded within your NDIS plan. Each NDIS plan is different based on the persons individual circumstances, disability and goals. Because of this, if you are unsure if an item/support can be covered within your NDIS plan, we suggest contacting the NDIS on 1800 800 110, chatting with your Support Coordinator, LAC or ECEI, or your plan manager before purchasing the item/accessing the service.

    Quotable supports*

    Items with an asterisk (*) in the table below mean this is a quotable item/support, e.g. meal delivery*. Funding for these supports can only be claimed if it has been specifically included in the plan. More information/approval is required BEFORE you can purchase or access these supports. This is done on an individual basis, so reach out to the NDIS or your plan manager to chat about your situation. You may be asked to provide:

    • a report from an allied health or medical professional
    • A quote from your chosen provider that outlines your requirements and the funds needed

    You may also like to check out another helpful BudgetNet article: “What does the NDIS pay for?” for more details around Reasonable & Necessary supports.

    Core Supports

    Core supports help participants with their everyday needs and is the most flexible funding within an NDIS plan. Generally, the budget can be used across all 4 support categories, however, there are a few restrictions- especially within the transport budget.

    Support CategoryDescription What can it be used for?

    Assistance with Daily Life

    Portal: Daily Activities

     

     

    Assistance with your everyday needs.What might be funded:

    Cleaner

    Garden Maintenance

    Meal delivery*

    Linen service*

    Respite- short term accommodation

    Cannot fund: Rent, household bills, medication.

    Consumables

     

     

    Everyday items you may need, this may include continence products or equipment to improve your independence and/or mobility.What might be funded:

    Continence items

    Low-cost assistive technology: e.g walking sticks, modified eating aids, hand rails, some low cost computer software/apps.

    Cannot fund: Weighted blankets, groceries.

    Assistance with Social & Community Participation

     

    Portal: Social, community and civic participation

    Supports you need to participate in social activities and to access your local community.What might be funded:

    Support Worker, Centre Based Programs (Day Programs).

    Cannot fund:

    Recreational pursuits- Movie tickets, museum entry, sporting tickets etc. (for both participant & support workers)

    TransportPaid to help you travel to work, school, or attend appointments that help you reach your plan goals.How transport is paid will be different for each participant.

    The NDIS website has more  information about transport funding.

    Capacity Building Supports

    Capacity Building Supports help participants build their skills and independence. The funding within each support category is not flexible and can only be used for approved items/supports that fall within that support category.

    Support CategoryDescriptionWhat can it be used for?
    Improved Life Choices

    Portal: CB Choice and Control

    Fixed amount to access plan management services.Plan Management

     

    Improved Daily Living

    Portal: CB Daily Activity

    Assessment, training, or therapy to help increase your skills, independence, and community participation.

    These services may be delivered in groups or individually.

    What might be funded:

    Allied Health such as Speech therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy.

    Driving lessons*

    Tablet to access telehealth services*

    Nurse supports

    Art therapy (when conducted by an OT or qualified therapist)

    Improved Learning

    Portal: CB Lifelong Learning

     

     

    Support to help you move from school to further education.What might be funded: Training and/or advice to move from School to TAFE or University.

    Support worker to assist you in preparing for further education.

    Cannot fund: School books, TAFE course fees, University fees.

    Improved Health & Wellbeing

    Portal: CB Health & Wellbeing

    Exercise or diet advice to manage the impact of your disability.What might be funded:

    Dietician, Personal Training, Exercise physiology.

    Cannot Fund: Gym Memberships, Massage.

    Improved Relationships

    Portal: CB Relationships

     

     

    This support will help you develop positive behaviours and interact with others.What might be funded:

    Specialist behavioural intervention support including temporary use of restrictive practices, Behaviour Management Plans.

    Training for carers on how to implement behaviour management strategies.

    Finding & Keeping a job

    Portal: CB Employment

    This may include employment related support, training and assessments that help you find and keep a job.What might be funded:

    Supports for employment

    School leaver employment support (SLES)

    NOTE: funding for this category could also be claimed from core- social & community participation.

    Cannot fund: Work clothes

    Increased Social & Community Participant

    Portal: CB Social Community and Civic Participation

    Development and training to increase your skills so you can participate in community, social and recreational activity.What might be funded:

    Art classes, Sports coaching, classes that build skill or independence, camps/respite that include capacity building activities.

    Cannot fund: Sports uniform, unmodified sporting equipment.

    Improved Living Arrangements

    Portal: CB Home Living

    Support to help you find and maintain an appropriate place to live.What might be funded:

    Support worker to assist you with applying for rental properties, inspecting properties, negotiating contracts etc.

    Cannot fund: Rent, legal fees for rental disputes.

    Support CoordinationFixed amount for a Support Coordinator to help you use your plan.Support Coordination

    Capital Support

    Capital Supports are available to participants who require higher cost assistive technology, equipment and home or vehicle modifications. Funding can only be used to purchase these specific items and usually require an Occupational Therapist report and approval from the NDIA prior to purchase.

    Support CategoryDescriptionWhat can it be used for?
    Assistive TechnologyThis includes equipment items for mobility, personal care, communication, and recreational inclusion. Complex equipment over $1500, assessed and fitted by a professional.

    Most of these items will be quoted or stated supports with funding available specifically for that item and outlined in the plan.

    What might be funded: Wheelchairs/scooters, vehicle modifications, mechanical hoists, prosthetic devices.

    Cannot fund: items unrelated to goals/everyday items such as TV’s, mobile phones, internet bills.

    Home ModificationsHome modifications such as installation of a large custom ramp, bathroom redesign or specialist disability accommodation.What might be funded:

    Builder’s plans, materials and labour can all be claimed from this category depending on the build requirements.

     

    We’ve tried to make this category breakdown as easy as possible and hope it has helped to understand where your services/items funding will be drawn from. Don’t forget, our team are experts with NDIS categories!

    When you’re plan managed with BudgetNet you will receive a monthly statement which gives you the available funding you have in each of these support categories. It’s an easy way to keep track of how much you’ve spent and what you have remaining in your NDIS plan budget.

    For more information about you NDIS funding you can contact:

    If you’re interested in accessing BudgetNet Plan Management, reach out to the team on 1300 402 568 or learn more about our simple registration process.

  • How Does Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Work?

    Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) is a way the NDIS provides supports for children aged under 7 years old with a developmental delay or disability. Below we guide you through how ECEI works and how Plan Management can assist your family on the ECEI journey. 

    What is ECEI?

    ECEI is in place to ensure children with a disability or developmental delay are supported to access their community and reach their goals. The program is available for children between 0 – 6 years old and aims to provide assistance early on to minimise the number of complex supports they may require in the future. 

    How does it work? 

    Step 1: Contact an Early Childhood Partner

    The best way to contact an Early Childhood Partner is through the NDIS. Contact them directly on 1800 110 800 or visit the NDIS website

    You will need to provide written statements from your child’s teachers, family, treating doctor or specialist to highlight why they might benefit from accessing ECEI. The statement should outline your child’s diagnosis or developmental delay and how it impacts their life. The NDIA will confirm if your child is eligible to access the program. 

    Step 2: Work out your child’s support needs

    Your Early Childhood Partner will work with you to understand the appropriate supports needed to allow your child to reach their goals. They will also assist you to access community health centers, educational settings, and playgroups. 

    Step 3: Referral Services 

    Now that your child’s needs are understood an ECEI plan will be developed. At this point, you can request how you wish to manage your plan’s funding. Find out more about the ways to manage your plan. If you would like more information on how Plan Management works, feel free to reach out to our friendly team on 1300 402 568. You can also download our Request for Plan Management form, to bring along with you to your planning meeting. 

    Step 4: Begin receiving supports 

    Once your plan is completed you can begin accessing the services your child requires.  

    How can a Plan Manager like BudgetNet assist your child on their ECEI journey? 

    As parents/carers, it can be stressful to understand and implement your child’s ECEI plan. To make it less stressful, consider having your child’s NDIS plan, plan managed by BudgetNet. 

    Plan Management is when a company such as BudgetNet takes care of all your provider payments/invoices on your behalf. 

    Here are the top benefits to Plan Management:

    • Flexibility: You can access registered or non-registered providers giving you more options when it comes to the items/services you access. 
    • Trusted Advice: Our team of chartered accountants and NDIS experts are here to assist you with any questions, advice, or issues you may have. No long wait times and the ability to speak with the same team member means gives you a truly personalised experience. 
    • Access to a real-time Budget App: Download our app to your smart device and have your child’s funding information available 24/7 from the palm of your hand. 
    • Simple refunds: If you purchase an item with your own money we may be able to reimburse you for your purchase. Read more about claiming refunds.

    What happens once your child turns 7? 

    If your child has a permanent disability and you would like them to continue to receive supports, you may wish to transition over to the NDIS. To do so, you will be required to provide a formal diagnosis. The NDIS will contact you before your child’s 7th birthday to ensure the transition is as easy as possible. 

    Do you have any questions regarding ECEI? Or questions about how Plan Management might work for your family? Reach out to us on 1300 402 568. 

    Already received an ECEI plan and want to sign up with BudgetNet now? Sign our electronic service agreement, we will have your account setup within 24 hours and one of our friendly staff will reach out to introduce ourselves and answer any of your questions. 

  • NDIS Price Guide Update & Provider Payment Tips

    There has been a new Price Guide released by the NDIA on July 1st. We wanted to run through key changes you will come across as a provider as well as a few tips that may be helpful when processing payments. 

    Watch the video below for an update from our Managing Director- Michael Coyne:

    Updates to the NDIS Price Guide:

    Name change- the Price Guide will now be known as the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits. It’s understood that the reason behind the change was to ensure participants understand that the pricing limits aren’t necessarily the set price and there may be room to negotiate rates in the future. 

    No price increase to house cleaning and garden maintenance as well as allied health services. Pricing for these services has remained consistent over the past two years. 

    Participant plans will not be indexed- this means participant funding will not increase in line with increased price limits. This may cause issues if providers are utilising a participant’s entire budget to deliver a service across the life of a plan and then the hourly rate is increased in line with the new price limits. This will cause the service booking to fall short. The NDIA are recommending any participants who may be at risk of this to complete a review of their plan. However, we understand there is a delay on the review process which can be stressful.

    Our suggestion to avoid this issue would be to send us through your signed service agreements. This allows us to quarantine those funds specifically for your service, meaning the funds cannot be spent by any other providers.

    For more information regarding the latest NDIS updates surrounding the price guide visit the NDIS website. The next pricing update is expected in July 2022. Our team are happy to answer any questions you may have surrounding the latest price guide update, feel free to reach out on 1300 402 568. 

    Provider Payment Tips:

    Provider travel- Providers may wish to claim for travel to a participant appointment. This can be done in two parts. Either, time-based (charging for the time it takes to get to the appointment) or non-time-based (charging for kilometres traveled, parking fees, or tolls). 

    Participant travel- Providers may be able to claim for transporting a participant to an appointment, service, as part of their support. This can be charged on a time-based case where providers charge for the time taken to get to the destination, or non-time-based where providers would charge per kilometre traveled based on the prices below. 

    Travel is generally charged at 85 cents per kilometre for a non-modified vehicle or $2.40 for a modified vehicle. However, this is not a hard cap and can be negotiated between a provider and their participant. 

    ABN- the NDIA has changed the claiming process and we must now include an ABN to process the payment. Please ensure your ABN is included on every invoice. 

    Include a breakdown of quantities and rates (as per the NDIS price limits). Most pricing limits are broken down to an hourly rate. It is important to include the hours of service delivered as well as the hourly rate. If you can break it down to specific service dates that will also alleviate any plan date issues that could arise. 

    Include an item code as per the price guide or a description that closely matches. This allows us to ensure we assign the service/product delivered to the correct area of the participant’s plan. This can also help the NDIA understand the services and supports the participant has engaged with as well as help shape their future plans. 

    Unique invoice numbers- our system filters duplicate invoices so you must use unique invoice numbers. Some providers have an invoice process that includes starting at invoice 1 for each participant. In this instance, we suggest including a client code such as their initials. 

    PDF attachment- When emailing an invoice through to us, we ask that you include it as a PDF. This format is ideal as it’s a locked document that can’t be edited and there are no issues with formatting for clients during the approval process. 

    Invoices can be sent to us via email at ndis@budgetnet.com.au via MMS 0428 583 575 or by mail at PO Box 28, Melton VIC, 3337. 

    Need extra invoicing tips and tricks? Find out about our Top 10 Tips for Fast Payments

    We also have some useful resources for providers such as our Invoice Generator and Invoice Checklist. Our aim is to pay invoices within 3 to 5 business days, however, if a problem occurs this could be increased. 

    Here is the best way to avoid any payment problems:

    1. Confirm that the participant has enough funding to cover your service. The best way to do this is to send us a signed service agreement and we will set aside the funding you require. This will also safeguard those funds from being used by other providers. 
    2. Ensure you have the correct hourly rate and item code as per the NDIS guidelines
    3. Confirm that your invoice is correct by taking a look at our Invoice Checklist

    Our team is always here to assist providers in navigating NDIS payments. Reach out to us on 1300 402 568 or email ndis@budgetnet.com.au. Alternatively, if you have a participant that may benefit from accessing our Plan Management services you can complete our Referral form.  

  • How to solve NDIS payment problems 

    We have created this summary which explains some of the most common invoice problem we come across. We try to make the process as easy as possible, please use the below tips to help reduce any billing issues.

    As always the BudgetNet team is available to answer any questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 1300 402 568

    Problem: Not enough funding 

    If a service is provided to a participant but they do not have enough money in their NDIS plan to cover the cost, then the participant will need to pay for the service out of their own pocket.

    To ensure this does not happen:

    • Participants or providers can call us to quarantine the funds needed for a service before it is provided. We just need a copy of the signed service agreement. We will then keep aside the required amount as listed in the service agreement to ensure:
      1. The funds are available for the entire lifespan of the service.
      2. The funds do not get used for any other services.
    • Participants can access our Careview Advantage app to track their funds and ensure there is enough available within the required category for the service before getting started. 
    • Participants and providers are welcome to contact our team before beginning a service to receive support and expert advice from our team.  

    Problem: Invoice errors

    Providers need to create an invoice once they have delivered a service. We have created an easy Invoice Checklist that outlines exactly what needs to be included in the invoice to ensure it is processed without issue. 

    Simple errors such as not including your ABN, service dates, or an incorrect NDIS line item could cause payment delays. 

    To ensure this does not happen:

    Problem: Plan dates 

    If a participants NDIS plan ends midway through a provider’s invoicing period and the invoice is not broken down into individual service dates, our accounts team may get in touch to request further action.

    To ensure this does not happen:

    • Try to break down your invoices into individual delivery dates when including multiple services in the one invoice. This will reduce the chance of any problems occurring due to the participants plan ending midway through the invoice period.

    Problem: Charging over the NDIS price guide  

    Providers can only claim up to the amount listed in the NDIS price guide through a participant’s NDIS plan. If the hourly rate (agreed upon by the participant) is higher than the NDIS price cap, the participant will be personally responsible for paying the additional amount. 

    To ensure this does not happen:

    • Providers can check the NDIS price cap amounts by heading to the NDIS website. There is a lot of information to process when it comes to NDIS funding so feel free to contact our team to discuss the correct category for your service. 
    • If you are unsure if the amount being charged is in line with the NDIS price cap you can call our team on 1300 402 568. 

    Problem: A change in Plan Management provider 

    NDIS participants have choice and control over the providers they wish to work with. This means a participant can decide to change their plan management provider and start using BudgetNet’s services at any time within their plan. The previous plan manager will need to release funds, allowing BudgetNet to take over. Until this occurs, we cannot process any invoices.

    To ensure this does not happen:

    • Providers should communicate with their participants as frequently as possible. This is the best way to stay up to date with any changes to a participant’s plan. 
    • If a participant does advise you of a change in plan manager we suggest contacting the previous plan manager to ensure your invoices up to the changeover date have been processed.

    Our goal is to minimise any payment problems and to continue to process your invoices as quickly as possible. The BudgetNet team is here to support you and ensure any issues are resolved as quickly as possible to avoid payment delays. Contact us at 1300 402 568 or ndis@budgetnet.com.au

    Learn more about our Plan Management services

  • NDIS Glossary- understanding the most common terms.

    Here at BudgetNet, we know how hard it can be to understand the NDIS. Below we list the most common words you will come across on your NDIS journey.

    PEOPLE

    NDIS: National Disability Insurance Scheme, support for people living with disabilities.

    NDIA: National Disability Insurance Agency, the government department that implements the NDIS.

    Participant: Someone who has been approved for the NDIS.

    Nominee: Someone who can make decisions on behalf of a participant.  

    Planner: Someone who works for the NDIA, their job is to create NDIS plans for participants.

    Support Coordinator: Someone who works for a participant to implement their plan and connect them to services/supports to reach their goals.

    LAC: Local Area Coordinator, works for the NDIA and will help write and manage your plan. They will also connect you with new services or supports.

    ECEI Coordinator: Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator, assigned to children aged 0 – 6 years old by the NDIA. They will help children access the NDIS, help create their plan and connect them to services/supports.

    Registered Provider: has completed the registration through the NDIS and can be used by all participants.

    Non-Registered Provider: has not completed registration through the NDIS, can still work with self or plan managed participants.

    PLAN

    NDIS Plan: Each participant receives a plan showing how much funding they have in different categories to use on services or supports.

    Plan Goals: When a planner creates your plan, they will include the goals you want to reach. All supports or items purchased using your NDIS funding must relate to the goals in your plan.

    Funding: This is the money made available to participants as part of their NDIS Plan

    Categories: An NDIS plan is broken up into 3 main categories- Core Supports, Capital Supports, Capacity Building

    Core Supports: This part of your plan is split into four sections: Assistance with Daily Living, Transport, Assistance with Social & Community Participation, and Consumables. Funding is flexible across all four sections of this category.

    Capital Supports: This part of your plan is for higher-cost assistive technology, equipment, home or vehicle modifications, and specialist disability accommodation.

    Capacity Building: This part of your plan is to help you build skills and independence. It covers support coordination, plan management, allied health, employment, and health and wellbeing.

    Item Number/Line Item: The unique code that tells the NDIS which category to claim the funding from a participant’s plan. The NDIS price guide outlines all the line items under each category.

    Price Limit/Price Cap: Each line item includes a price cap. This is the maximum amount the NDIS will pay for supports/items using that line item. Take a look at the NDIS price guide to check the price caps.

    MANAGEMENT 

    Plan Management: Where a company like BudgetNet pays a participant’s providers on their behalf using their NDIS funding.

    Self-Management: Where a participant, family member or nominee manages all NDIS payments.

    Agency Management: All payments are managed by the NDIA.

    Learn more about the different management types. 

    OTHER

    Service Agreement: A document that outlines what a provider is agreeing to offer a participant. This is a legal agreement that is signed by the provider and participant.

     

    There is a lot to understand when it comes to the NDIS. BudgetNet can help answer your questions. Reach out to our team by calling 1300 402 568 or email ndis@budgetnet.com.au

    Need a Plan Manager? Learn more about our Plan Management services.

  • Top 10 tips for fast payments

    We generally pay invoices within 3 – 5 business days from participant approval. Of course, not all payments run smoothly and at times there may be delays. We have created this article for providers to understand how to avoid issues and guarantee fast payments.

    If you follow the tips below your payment could be processed within 2 – 3 business days!

    Tip 1: Ensure the invoice includes a quantity (how many hours you worked) and the hourly rate. If the agreed upon price is higher than NDIS price cap, a separate invoice should be sent directly to the participant as we can only pay up to the NDIS price cap amount.

    Tip 2: If possible, use NDIS codes from the price guide, this makes it easy for us to allocate to the correct category.

    Tip 3: Include all of your business details within the invoice:

    • ABN
    • Contact number.
    • Email

    Tip 4: Ensure the Invoice has clear participant details, ideally 2-3 identification points:

    • Participant Name
    • NDIS Number
    • Address

    Tip 5: Provide your email address on the invoice. Mistakes happen and if it’s easy for us to contact you they can be resolved promptly. We will also email a remittance advice on completion of payment.

    Tip 6: Provide your signed service agreement. We can quarantine participant funding for a provider, meaning those funds cannot be allocated to anyone except you.

    To quarantine funds, we need a copy of the service agreement with an allocated amount within each particular category of the participant’s plan. This must be signed and agreed upon by the participant

    Tip 7: Use a PDF file where possible.

    Tip 8: Attach your invoice to the email. If we need to follow links to download an invoice it can occasionally cause problems.

    Tip 9: Include individual service dates where possible. When invoices are split across plans, we can still process them provided the services are split.

    Tip 10: Use unique invoice numbers. This makes it easier for us to track each invoice, and to notify you when payment is completed.

    Where do I send invoices for payment?

    You can send your invoices directly to us in the following ways:

    Email: ndis@budgetnet.com.au

    SMS: 0428 583 575

    Mail: PO Box 28, Melton VIC 3337

    We have also developed an Invoice Generator if you need assistance in creating an invoice. The Invoice Generator allows you to build an invoice on our website, save it to your computer and send it to us for payment. This way you can guarantee the formatting of the invoice is correct.

    You may also work with participants who may benefit from using our Plan Management services. If so, feel free to complete our referral form.

    If you have any questions regarding an invoice or general payment advice, feel free to reach out to our team on 1300 402 568.

  • Claiming a refund through your NDIS funding

    Some changes have been made to the way a participant claims a refund through their NDIS plan. The NDIS now requires a receipt or tax invoice with an ABN included for all payments to be processed. Take a look at what receipts are acceptable in order to have your refund processed…

    Participants can make purchases and claim the money back through their NDIS plan, as long as:

    1. The item must be considered reasonable & necessary by the NDIS (Visit the NDIS guidelines for more detail)
    2. There are available funds within the correct category of your NDIS plan
    3. An approved receipt or tax invoice is sent along with the request for refund

    It is preferred that an Australian Business Number (ABN) be included on all receipt’s or tax invoice’s from the business you made the purchase.

    Here are examples of acceptable receipts we need a copy of, in order to process your refund:

    RECEIPT                                             TAX INVOICE

    Here are some examples of forms of receipts we CANNOT except:

    EFTPOS RECEIPT         BANK TRANSFER SCREENSHOT      SCREENSHOTS OF ORDER CONFIRMATIONS

                                                      

    Items you will NOT be able to claim a refund for:

    X Second-hand items, purchased from another person who is NOT a business

    X Bank transfer into another account without a Tax Invoice

    If you are unsure if the item you would like to purchase will be covered within your NDIS plan, please contact our team before making the purchase on 1300 402 568.

    To submit your refund Budgetnet:

    Email – ndis@budgetnet.com.au

    SMS – 0428 583 575

    Mail- PO Box 28, Melton, VIC 3337

    Include:

    • A copy of an approved receipt/tax invoice
    • The participants full name and NDIS number

    We will process the refund into the bank account on file.

    If you need to update your bank account details, please include: updated BSB, Account Number and Account Name.

    For more information on refunds feel free to reach out to our team on 1300 402 568 or email ndis@budgetnet.com.au.