Use it or lose it… Spending you leftover NDIS budget the right way

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

There are plenty of reasons why you may have leftover NDIS funding, whether it’s because you were unsure how to spend it, had trouble accessing supports, or planned to save your funding for a bigger purchase towards the end of your plan. Get to know the ins and outs of underspending, what happens to leftover funds, and how you can prevent underspending from happening.


Woman-with-computer-and-notepad
Woman with computer and notepad

What is underspending?


When it comes to the NDIS, underspending means that you are not using the full funding that has been allocated in your NDIS plan. There are plenty of reasons this may have happened. Some of those reasons may include:

  • Not knowing what that funding is for or how to use it

  • Having trouble accessing supports

  • Worried about spending on the wrong thing

  • Saving your funding

  • Unable to access supports due to health or other reasons (i.e., hospitalisation)

  • Not knowing your maximum weekly spend

Whatever the reason, if you know your overall budget, how much funding you have remaining and how long before your NDIS plan is due to expire then you can make changes before the end of your plan to use your funding effectively.


How can I find out if I’ve underspent?


If you are Plan Managed by First2Care and you think that you may have underspent on your NDIS funding, you can check this by logging into your personal Plan Magic online portal at any time where you can view your budgets in-real-time as well as your latest monthly budget statement. Your monthly budget statement will give you a clear view of how your overall NDIS budget is tracking as well as a breakdown of your Core, Capital and Capacity Building Supports.


It is important to know that if one of our First2Care Client Managers notices that you are significantly underspending (or overspending) on your budget, they may contact you to discuss tools and strategies to help you to use your funding as it was intended.


What happens to leftover funding?


A major misconception when it comes to leftover funding is that any remaining funding will automatically transfer across on to the next plan you receive. This is not the case. If funding is not used, it is returned to the NDIA.


Which means, if you do have funding remaining, it is important to discuss with your LAC or NDIA planner during your plan review meeting the reasons why that funding wasn’t spent and why you feel that you need that funding in your next plan.


How to avoid underspending in the future


The best way to avoid underspending (or overspending) in the future is to understand your budget.


Get to know:

  • How much your overall funding

  • How much your Core, Capital, and Capacity Building funding is

  • Whether those funding categories are flexible

  • What your maximum weekly spending is*

  • Your monthly Plan Magic online portal budget statements (if you are Plan Managed by First2Care)

  • Who you can ask for help (First2Care, Support Coordinator, LAC)

*If you would like assistance in working out your maximum weekly spending, contact your First2Care Client Manager. They can provide you a breakdown of your budget into weekly spending, so that you can be sure to use your plan effectively and as it was intended.


Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or support@first2care.com.au.

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