What can I spend my funding on?
When you receive a Disability Services assessment saying that you are eligible for support you will also be told the type and amount of specialist disability services the Department recommends for you.
Funding is not always available immediately after the assessment but when you do receive a funding allocation you can choose to self-direct those funds under Your Life Your Choice.
If you want to consider Your Life Your Choice you should contact your local Disability Services regional office to discuss this with them. If you meet the eligibility requirements they will then send you a letter providing the service categories that you have been assessed for and the amount of funding you have. If you want to discuss your assessment you can contact your local Disability Service regional office.
Service Types and Service Categories
When you self-direct your support through Your Life Your Choice you may purchase supports and services from within the service category/s that you have been assessed for by Disability Services.
The service categories are:
Service category 1 - Accommodation Support - Services that provide support needed for people at home
Service category 2 - Community Support - Services that provide support needed for a person with a disability to live in the community
Service category 3 - Community Access - Services designed to provide opportunities to gain and use abilities to enjoy full potential for social independence
Service category 4 - Respite - short-term and time-limited support in or out of the family home to assist in supporting and maintaining the primary care giving relationship, while provide a positive experience for the person with disability
Service category 6 - Alternative Forms of Communication - may include interpreter services, alternative formats of print medium
Service category 7 - Goods and Services - when assessed as needing to maintain independence and current living environment
Each service category has a number of sub-categories under it. For example, Community Access has two sub categories - 3.01 Learning and life skills development and 3.02 Recreation/holiday programs. Under the traditional funding model if you were funded for 'learning and life skills development', for example, you were limited to spending your funding on this purpose alone. If you receive your funding under Your Life Your Choice, however, you would be able to purchase 'recreation or holiday programs' too as this is listed under the same service category, Community Access.
In addition, if you have received funding under category 3 Community Access but you have also been assessed as needing category 1 Accommodation Support (or a sub-category starting with a 1), you are able to purchase any supports listed under the Accommodation Support category with these funds. For example, if you are also assessed as requiring 'in-home accommodation support' which is listed under Accommodation Support, you would be able to purchase this or other items under the Accommodation Support service category e.g. personal care (1.06) or support for a holiday (1.083).
This provides greater flexibility for you when choosing supports and services to meet your assessed need and achieve your goals.
If you would like more information about this, Host Providers or Disability Services regional offices will be able to assist.
Some example service categories are outlined in this table.
What can I buy with my funding?
On the Department website, Disability Services suggest that the following questions will assist you to decide if you should be buying a certain support or service with your funding:
- Is the support or service you intend to buy related to your Disability Services assessed needs i.e service category/s?
- Does it relate to your goals and priorities?
- Is it of direct benefit to you?
- Is it required as a result of your disability?
You will need to consider these questions for each purchase. All these questions, not just one, should be answered with a "yes".
The buying supports and services guide provides useful information to assist your decision-making about the purchase of reasonable and necessary supports to help achieve your goals for a good life.
What can't I buy with my funding?
You will also need to think about the things Disability Services funding cannot be used for:
- supports and services funded by other local, state and commonwealth government programs
- day-to-day living expenses (i.e. electricity, gas, telephone, internet, general household fittings, furniture and whitegoods not used by the person with a disability in meeting their disability support needs, food, groceries, rent or the purchase, running or maintenance costs of vehicles)
- illegal activities, gambling or activities that are harmful to your health (e.g cigarettes)
Disability Services funding cannot be used as additional income.
In terms of reporting your purchases to Disability Services, you will need to ensure that what you have purchased is compatible with your Disability Services assessment and that you code these items based on the particular service category it belongs to.
It is likely your Host Provider will take responsibility for providing you with a system to manage this or will report for you. However, it is probably a good idea to become familiar with the categories and how your disability support needs fit into them. This will be helpful for engaging in the planning processes with the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the future.
If you are receiving your funding from Disability Services under the Direct Payments model your regional office will assist in ensuring that your Statement of Support and Funding includes the service type codes and what you are purchasing matches your assessed need.
The table, Exploring some of YLYC Service Categories, outlines supports and services that can be purchased under SOME of the service categories that could be funded under Your Life Your Choice.
Examples of organisations that provide products or services in Queensland which may be of use to people engaged in self-direction. This is a limited list that will be added to over time. Other useful contacts are included in each Topic Resource List.
- buying supports and services guide
- Service categories - examples
- Table - exploring SOME of the YLYC Service Categories