Why do I have leftover NDIS funds?

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Ideally, the funding in your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan should be enough to cover your supports over the running time of your plan, most often this is 12 months. However, sometimes you may be left with some funding left over in your plan.

Key points

  • Having leftover funds in your NDIS plan can occur for many reasons and is not uncommon for participants
  • Don’t spend all your leftover NDIS funding all at once, have a set plan or ideas for spending it
  • Discuss your options for spending leftover funds with your plan manager, but remember you still get to decide how it is spent

If you find you have money left over at the end of this period, you may want to look closer as to why you have leftover funds.

As you have been funded up to a certain amount in your plan, of course, you want to use all the funding you have been provided to get the supports you need to live well.

Once you figure out why you have leftover funding, you can ensure that the funding is used up on appropriate supports before your plan finishes.

Work out why you have leftover funds

The process of budgeting, keeping records and paying for supports outlined in your plan is called plan management.

If your plan is managed effectively then you shouldn’t have a situation where there are leftover NDIS funds.

However, having leftover NDIS funds is more common than you might think. You can have leftovers in your NDIS plan for a whole range of reasons, including:

  • Being unaware of your maximum weekly spend
  • Not budgeting
  • Uncertainty or fear of spending money on the ‘wrong thing’

Once you have identified the reason for having leftover funds, you can look at ways to spend the leftover funds and discuss it with your plan manager.

Talk to your plan manager

While a plan manager will look at participants’ spending, it’s a good idea to prepare some responses based on why the total wasn’t spent, rather than trying to spend it all in a hurry before your next meeting.

Some possible explanations that might help you gather your thoughts include:

  • You had trouble finding a suitable service
  • Health issues impacted the delivery of your service – not being able to make appointments for example
  • Something unexpected came up that interrupted access to your NDIS plan
  • Your circumstances may have changed or life may have simply gotten in the way
  • You might not have been totally aware of what you could use each funding category for

If you aren’t aware of what allocated funds can be used for, had trouble accessing service providers or had periods of being unable to access services for health or other reasons, these will be taken into account and you should share this information with your plan manager.

You might also want to make a budget to bring to your plan review meeting, showing what you need to meet your needs when you have chosen the right provider for you.

Avoiding leftover NDIS funds next time

Your Local Area Coordinator or your plan manager can talk you through your options and what you can do with your plan, but they can’t make the decisions for you. You’re in control.

The main way you can keep your NDIS funding is to prove it remains reasonable and necessary – chase your providers for reports and letters of support and get your support coordinator to write a report or come to your review meeting.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that NDIS funding is all about you, so make it work for you!

The flexibility of how you use your leftover funds depends on which categories you have leftovers in and why you have leftovers. You can learn more about what to spend leftover funds on in our article, ‘What can I spend leftover NDIS funds on?

Did you figure out why you had leftover funds in your NDIS plan? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

What can I spend leftover NDIS funds on?
Preparing for your NDIS planning meeting
What support can I get?