What can I spend leftover NDIS funds on?

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Occasionally, you may reach the end of your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan with some funding remaining. While this is not uncommon, you need to be aware that funds that are not spent cannot be rolled over into a new plan.

Key Points

  • Funding from the NDIS aims to help participants reach goals and increase independence

  • Having leftover funds in your NDIS plan is not uncommon and there can be a variety of reasons why this might be the case

  • There is some room for flexibility when it comes to your NDIS fund, meaning the money doesn’t have to go to waste

So what can you do instead? We’ve listed some ideas for what you can spend your leftover NDIS funds on before your plan review.

Using unspent funds

Before you think about what to do with your NDIS plan if you have some funding in your plan that you haven’t spent yet, it’s important to remember what your funds can be used for.

The NDIS will fund supports deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’ to help a participant reach their goals, participate in the community and increase their independence.

So when utilising your unspent funds in your NDIS plan, you will need to be able to prove later if a purchase was ‘reasonable and necessary’ for your particular needs.

Each support category – Core, Capital, and Capacity Building – has differing flexibility on how you can spend your funding.

Your support coordinator or Local Area Coordinator (LAC) may be able to help you identify why you have unspent funds and where you can use them.

Leftover Core funds

Your Core support is made up of funds that will help you go about your daily life while working towards your goals and objectives. It is split into four categories and funding is flexible across all categories.

This is likely to be where you will be able to use most of your leftover funds.

Your needs for daily living are not likely to change, however, if you are wanting to change accommodation, then using some of your leftover NDIS funds to start this process can be a good idea.

If there are any areas where you have spent less than you thought you would need you can use the unspent funds on any of the other categories in Core.

For example, if you had budgeted for a certain amount of funding in your transport costs, but then found a service closer to your living accommodation that cost less, you may be able to use the transport funding for social and community participation.

Are there any social or recreational activities that you’d like to get more involved in? Any classes or community-based activities?

You could think about other activities you might like to try out and participate in such as art classes, library visits, sports, camps or other day trips that could include peer support or mentoring to strengthen your independence.

Leftover Capital funds

Capital support funding provides money in your budget for things like assistive technology, modifications and Specialist Disability Accommodation. Any funds for aids and/or equipment you’re requesting for inclusion in your NDIS budget have to meet certain criteria.

You can only use funds for Capital support for specific items you’ve already outlined in your plan. So if your plan includes funds under Capital support for assistive hearing devices, you can’t then use those funds on a vehicle modification instead.

As you need to request money for these items in your planning meeting, there isn’t much wriggle room and there is unlikely to be leftover funds unless you haven’t purchased the items you have outlined or found cheaper alternatives.

If you are unable to purchase the items funded in your Capital support – for example if the product needed to be made to order and wasn’t ready yet – you will likely be able to access this funding in your next plan.

Leftover Capacity Building funds

Capacity Building supports can pay for therapies or accessing services that help improve your independence. Funds can be used to purchase any approved individual support within a specific category.

Unlike your Core Supports budget, your Capacity Building supports budget cannot be moved from one support category to another. Funding can only be used to purchase approved individual supports that fall within that Capacity Building category.

For example, if you are allocated money under the Improved Daily Living budget, you may initially decide to use 50 percent of the funding on a career counsellor, 30 percent on an occupational therapist, and 20 percent on a podiatrist.

However, later on you may decide to assign a larger percentage to podiatry services or change from occupational therapy to speech therapy. This flexibility allows you to identify what you believe would be the best Capacity Building support to achieve your goal.

Have you ever had leftover NDIS funds, and if so what did you use them on? Let us know in the comments below.

Related content:

Preparing for your NDIS planning meeting
Why do I have leftover NDIS funds?
How can a NDIS plan manager help you?