Protecting Your NDIS Funding From Fraud

03 Jun 2024

Guides & Articles

We live in a time when scams and fraudulent activity are becoming more frequent and sophisticated. The NDIS is just one of many targets for people attempting to commit fraud. It is important to remember, though, that the majority of providers are good and can be trusted.


So, what is fraud?

Fraud is a crime committed with intent or deliberately. People who commit fraud try to gain benefits for themselves or others by being dishonest.

Fraud is more than carelessness or making mistakes. If someone unintentionally does the wrong thing, we call this non-compliance.


Types of ways people commit fraud against the NDIS:

• unlawfully obtaining and using NDIA information or restricted data

• providing false or misleading information

• using fake documents and invoices

• making claims for services or products that were not provided

• misusing funds

• theft

• unlawful disclosure of official information

• accounting fraud (e.g. false invoices, misappropriation)

• fraudulently claiming leave, travel and other entitlements

• misuse of assets, equipment or other facilities.


Who investigates fraud cases?

The Fraud Fusion Taskforce was established in November 2022 and involves experts from 16 government organisations, including the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, the NDIA, Services Australia, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, and others.

The Fraud Fusion Taskforce members share information and work together to uncover, investigate and prevent fraud so that NDIS participants can continue to get safe and good quality support.

The NDIS states criminal behaviour will always be investigated, and perpetrators will be prosecuted.


What can you do to avoid being a victim of fraud?

You can do several things to protect yourself and your NDIS funds from fraud. As Plan Managers, we have a number of tools you can use to strengthen your protection and are always there to support you if you ever have any concerns about a provider.


Here are five steps you can take to help you notice anything that seems off.

1.Ensure you have service agreements in place.

Having a service agreement with every provider you engage is an excellent form of protection. A service agreement lays out what you and your provider have agreed to when it comes to what services will be provided, how much will be charged (including travel and any reporting if agreed upon), how many hours of service/support will be provided, what the provider is responsible for and what you are responsible for. As your plan manager, when we have your service agreements on file, we can track invoices based on what you have agreed to. If any invoice doesn’t align with the service agreement, we immediately go back to the provider to question the differences and reach out to you for more information.

2. Look over your monthly statements.

Be sure to review the monthly statements we send you (every plan manager must send through a monthly statement). Your statement will list every invoice we have paid for and is broken down into sections for you to read easily. The first section is an overview of your support budgets, detailing what percentage of your budget you have left. Then, the following section lists all of your invoices paid for in the statement period, organised by support budget and provider. Here, you can review every invoice, the service dates and the total charged.

3. Approve invoices before they are paid by us.

If you would like, we can set you up with invoice approval. This means invoices aren’t paid until you have reviewed and approved them. After you approve them, we will process them for payment. By reviewing all invoices, you can confirm the service was provided, the number of hours, and the hourly rate is correct.

4. Have your dashboard set up.

Be sure to ask us to set you up with your plan management dashboard (most plan managers will have a dashboard for participants). Access to your dashboard gives you a live view of your funding anytime you want. Using the dashboard to keep track of your budgets and invoices that have been paid means you can pick up very quickly if you think something looks wrong instead of waiting to pick this up when you review your monthly statement.

5. Keep up communication.

Keeping an open line of communication with your providers and plan manager (if you are plan managed!) is so important. If you have concerns with invoices, speak to the provider and ask questions. If you feel you can’t talk with the provider, call us and explain the situation. We can investigate things further for you. We are here to support you with any concerns you might have. If you don’t bring up your concerns, we can’t help! Keeping communication open with your plan manager can go a long way in protecting your funding.


How to report fraud:

If you think someone is doing the wrong thing with your funding, report it! You can always call us at 1300 467 284 with your concerns, and we can investigate and pass on details to the NDIS. You can also call the reporting line directly.

-Call the NDIS Fraud Reporting and Scams Helpline on 1800 650 717

-Email: fraudreporting@ndis.gov.au

-Fill out the fraud reporting form