Each month we share top tips on a specific topic to help participants better understand the ins and outs of the NDIS, their plan and how to use their plan funding as intended. This month, to do something a little different, we asked members of our First2Care team if they had any top tips to share with our participants. Covering invoicing, events and managing your plan, the team have certainly dished up some gems.
Check out the top tips from First2Care below.
Top Tips on Invoices and Accounts
1. Request that your providers send invoices to First2Care
Participants can send invoices to our accounts team if that is their preference. However, this can make the process longer as the provider would need to send the invoice to the participant who would then need to send it to our accounts team at First2Care.
By having your provider send any invoices directly to our accounts team, the invoice can be processed faster. Rest assured that if your provider sends invoices directly to our accounts team, you still have the capacity to review invoices the day before they are processed.
2. Check your invoices
Whether you send your invoices to our accounts team, or your provider does, it’s always a good idea to check the invoices to prevent delays in processing and to ensure there are no errors. If your provider sends invoices directly to our accounts team, prior to the invoice being processed and paid, an email will be sent to you for final approval 24 hours before the invoice is paid. When you receive the final approval email, you should check that your NDIS number, your personal details, the date, service, and hours are all correct.
3. Prevent invoice errors
If you notice an error on an invoice from your provider, like the hours are incorrect or the charge amount, there are three steps that you need to follow.
Step 1: Reply to the invoice approval email from our accounts team and request the invoice is put on hold.
Step 2: Contact your provider to discuss the issues with the invoice, request and changes that need to be made and have your provider send the correct invoice through
Step 3: Follow up with the accounts team to advise them the outcome of your discussion with your provider (i.e., if your provider will send a new invoice).
Tips provided by Jared Bond, First2Care Bills Processing Manager
Top Tips on Events
1. Scout out local events
One of the best ways to find local events is to enter your location and the type of event you’d like to attend into the search section of major ticketing platforms like Eventbrite, Moshtix or Humanitix. Another great resource for finding local events is Facebook. You can easily pop onto the events section of the app or website and search for events there. State websites also typically list upcoming events.
2. Always be prepared
Depending on the type of event you are attending, you may need to consider the following:
Do I need to wear anything in particular?
Do I need sun safety gear like water, sunscreen, sunglasses or a hat?
Will food be provided, is there an option to purchase food or do I need to bring my own?
It’s a good idea to bring your own mini hand sanitiser and a face mask, and of course always remember your ticket.
3. Check out the event program
When you attend events, typically there are event programs letting you know what is happening during the event and where. These are always handy to have and can usually be found on the event website, in your emails or at the event entrance or information stand.
4. Enjoy the event experience
Events can be a fantastic way to engage with the community, but we all know that sometimes events can be overwhelming so here are some helpful tips to make the experience more enjoyable:
If you have a disability, consider what challenges you may experience and tools you can use to avoid them, that way you can be prepared for any situation
If you don’t want to go alone to an event, why not ask some friends or family to join you and make a day of it
Always pack snacks. Even when food is on offer, it’s always good to have a little back up stock of snacks just in case
Wear comfortable shoes if you’ll be walking (nobody like blisters) or if you have a wheelchair, make sure your settings are just right
Tips provided by Celeste Withey, Event Manager
Top Tips on Managing your Plan
1. Understand what kind of changes you can make to your plan
Making changes to your plan has typically been a challenging and lengthy process but following the introduction and process clarification of plan variations and plan reassessments it is now easier to make changes to your plan. By knowing what kind of changes can be made, it can help to ensure your plan suits your needs.
2. Purchase smart devices through Assistive Tech (or other similar companies)
Smart devices can be incredibly helpful tools for those who may need this type of device because of their disability. Companies like Assistive Tech as a great option when it comes to purchasing smart devices because they are a NDIS registered provider and they know all the ins and outs of how to claim without needing mainstream retailers who are typically unfamiliar with the NDIS.
3. Share your NDIS plan with your plan manager
There is a lot of information contained in your NDIS plan that can help our First2Care team to better understand your needs. By sharing your NDIS plan with your plan manager, they can ensure they are working towards your best interests and provide the support throughout your NDIS journey.
4. Get to know Reasonable and Necessary
This is probably one of the most common phrases you’ll come across during your NDIS journey as this guides the NDIS funding you receive and how it can be used. Learning the reasonable and necessary criteria will help you to better determine if a support, service, or item can be funded through your plan.
5. Break down your NDIS funding into hours
Rather than viewing your funding in dollars, to help you better manage your funding and to ensure you don’t overspend or underspend, your plan manager can help you break down your budgets into hours of support.
Tips provided by Josh, QA & Systems Improvement Manager and Tiffane, Client & Provider Services Manager
Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.