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What Does the 2021 Federal Budget Mean for NDIS Service Providers?

The federal government has just unveiled its 2021 - 2022 budget, and it was heavily centred around Australia’s recovery plan from a difficult year. While there are many things to unpack, one sector stands out in receiving funding - the elderly and vulnerable Australian population. So what does this mean for NDIS service providers? We take a detailed look.

So what was mentioned by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg during the budget? Let’s run through a breakdown of his exact words.

On the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

“...the NDIS has made Australia a better country. Profoundly improving the lives of people with disability and their families….In this budget, we will spend a further $13.2 billion over four years to meet the needs of Australians with disability. As the scheme reaches maturity, our focus is on ensuring its sustainability and that it continues to deliver a high quality essential service for those who need it. Under the Coalition, the NDIS will always be fully funded.”

On Aged Care  

“..we commit $17.7 billion in practical and targeted new funding to significantly improve the system. We will fund another 80,000 new home care packages, bringing the total to 275,000 home care packages available...This package brings our record investment in aged care to over $119 billion over the next four years. We are committed to restoring trust in the system and allowing Australians to age with dignity and respect.”

On Mental Health

“...we extend our support with a $2.3 billion commitment to mental health care and suicide prevention: More Headspace centres to support more young Australians, expanding this model to those aged over 25, with a new Head to Health national network of 40 centres, and increased funding for the treatment of eating disorders.”

To summarise it all in a nutshell - the government has allocated a significant budget to a population that’s in need. So what does this mean if you’re an NDIS service provider? How does this affect you? 

What This New Budget Means for NDIS Service Providers

Statistics show that the need for NDIS is huge, and it’s growing at a rapid pace. 

There are currently over 450,000 people receiving disability support, with over 100,000 people enrolled in the scheme just in the past year. In a few years, the number of people registered under NDIS is forecasted to reach 530,000 and government NDIS spending is said to increase to more than $30 billion in 2024-25.

The good news is, the government has made its support for NDIS very clear. Mr Frydenberg has made claims that it will “fully fund” NDIS and that the scheme has "changed lives, not just for people with disabilities but for their families as well”. However, the treasury has also expressed interest in making NDIS “fairer and [more] sustainable” in the future. 

But as the saying goes, ‘With great budget comes great responsibility.” (Or perhaps it was power, but let’s not digress.) 

With the additional budget, NDIS providers should be ensuring two things: 

  1. More sustainable spending
  2. More need for tracking expenditure 

We define sustainable spending as the ability to spend on not only what’s needed, but what is required for NDIS staff to do the job in the long term. So this means that before you spend the new allocated budget, you need to ask questions like: 

  • How can I best utilise this funding in order to provide care to more of the people who need it?
  • Is this the best value I can get for this particular product/service? 
  • How can I make this money sustainable? I.e how can I prolong the use of whatever budget I have for groceries, medication, etc.?

Besides that, sustainable spending also relates to accountability. We see an increase in the need for NDIS staff to track and justify their expenditure, which is not exactly an easy thing to do. Tracking expenditures include a lot of manual administrative work, which includes: 

  1. Forecasting and manually budgeting expenditure
  2. Storing (and often losing) receipts 
  3. Keying in expenses manually
  4. Using your own money for expenditure 
  5. Requesting cash from your company 
  6. Data entry into the software or spreadsheet 
  7. Submitting claims for reimbursement

When we add all this up, the process becomes tedious and time-consuming. It leaves staff with less room to do what they do best - take care of others.

We at Budgetly think that there is a better way to do this.

How Budgetly’s prepaid corporate cards can help NDIS Service Providers

Using our prepaid corporate cards and expense management software, vital employees of NDIS providers have the freedom to provide the care that’s needed, without being bogged down with administration around business expenses. 

NDIS providers can set and allocate budgets, capture receipts, and claim reimbursements on their expenses. Budgetly automatically categories expenses as it happens, removing the need for tedious manual paperwork. 

Best part? Our prepaid corporate cards are just $10 per card per month, and you can have as many users as you want using one card. Learn more about how we work with NDIS businesses here, or schedule a demo with us today to see Budgetly in action.

 

 

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