Chapter 13 Section D: Receiving an NDIS plan
OverviewReceiving an NDIS plan means that your individual support needs will be managed in a flexible and autonomous way as the NDIA understands that everyone’s needs and goals are different. When you meet with an NDIA representative to develop your plan, you will be asked about your current situation and what supports you receive, and how you manage everyday activities like taking a shower or cooking your meals. This information helps to form the basis of your plan, working out your supports; how they are reasonable and necessary; how they link to your immediate needs, and how the NDIS can help you to work towards achieving your goals. Once the planning process is completed you will receive an individualised funding amount.
This section will provide information about:
- What is in an NDIS plan?
- Developing your first NDIS plan
- Starting your plan
- Managing your NDIS funding
- Types of support budgets
- What if my needs change?
Generally your first plan will last for 12 months. After your first plan, you may also be offered a longer plan if your needs are less likely to change. We will discuss what to do if your needs change later in this section.
NDIS plan . Your short-term goals are what you believe can be achieved in under 12 months. Your goals might include getting or keeping a job, learning a new skill, enrolling in education, participating in your community, or making new friends. Medium to long-term goals, which can take a number of years to achieve, might be broken down into various short-term goals which could help achieve your long term goals in a less overwhelming manner.
This is called a planning meeting. The NDIA will use the information about your existing disability supports to start working with you to develop your first plan.
All participant plans must be approved by the NDIA. After it is approved, you will receive your plan either in person or in the mail.
The NDIA can work with you to put your plan into action, and depending on your situation, there are a range of people who can help you implement your plan and support you to start receiving supports. These would have been discussed with you during your planning process with your Local Area Coordinator (or an Early Childhood Partner). Some people may also have a Support Coordinator funded in their plan to help them get started. You can start your plan by yourself if you are self-managed. For further information about managing supports in your plan, including making service bookings and using the myplace Participant Portal, visit the participants section of the NDIS website.
All plans are approved by the NDIA, and the individualised funding amount is also determined by the NDIA after working out what supports are needed to help achieve your goals.
There are options available in choosing how you would like to manage accessing and paying your NDIS supported services. All options allow you to exercise choice and control over the providers you use. Your Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator, Local Area Coordinator or the NDIA can answer your questions and help you if there are any problems, and assist you if you would like to change how your plan is managed.
Self-managing your plan means you’re in charge of your NDIS plan, what you spend your support budgets on, what services you employ, and how much money you spend at a time. You are responsible for purchasing supports within your budget that will best help you achieve the goals you have identified in your plan.
The providers you choose do not have to be registered with the NDIS. You can employ your own staff or pay someone else to employ them on your behalf. In most cases, family members cannot be employed to provide support to you.
You can choose to self-manage a part of your budget if you don’t feel comfortable self-managing the whole plan. This means you can have a combination of both NDIA registered providers and service providers which you have directly employed.
If you self-manage you will have more choice and control over the disability supports you can buy. It also means taking on some extra responsibilities regarding record keeping, insurance, payment (tax, pay rates, superannuation) and managing police and working with vulnerable people checks of your service providers. You will need to keep all the invoices and receipts as well as bank statements from your nominated bank account for five years. The NDIA can ask to check your records at any time so it is important to keep them organised so you can show that you have spent your NDIS funds on supports that are helping you achieve the goals in your plan.
If you choose to have the NDIA manage your budgets, they will pay your support providers directly from your NDIS package. You are able to choose from a range of NDIS registered providers. Your providers claim payment electronically from your funding. You cannot use unregistered providers.
If you choose this option, your budgets are managed by a Plan Management Provider. They will pay your providers for the supports you purchase, help you keep track of your funds, and do any financial reporting for you. This is usually an organisation you choose however they must be an NDIS registered provider. With this option the NDIA will pay your Plan Manager directly for these supports and is funded in your plan.
There are three types of support budgets that may be funded in your NDIS plan:
- Core Supports budget
- Capacity Building Supports budget
- Capital Supports budgets
Core Supports help you with everyday activities, your current disability related needs and to work towards your goals. Core Supports budgets fund supports and services related to assistance with daily life and activities; everyday items such as interpreting services, low-cost assistive technology and equipment to improve your independence and/or mobility; assistance with social and community participation such as a support worker to assist you to participate in social and community activities; and transport assistance.
Capacity Building Supports help you build your independence and skills to help you reach your long-term goals and skills for the future. Supports which the Capacity Building budget will fund include the employment of a Support Coordinator; supports to help you find and maintain an appropriate place to live; development and training to increase your skills to participate in community, social and recreational activities; supports related to employment such as training and assessment that help you find and keep a job; supports which help you develop positive behaviours and interest with others to improve relationships; supports to assist health and wellbeing such as exercise or diet advice to manage the impact of your disability; supports to improve learning such as training, advice and help to transition to further education from school such as TAFE or university; supports to help improve your choice and control in life such as NDIS plan management; and supports to help improve your daily living such as assessment, training, or therapy to help increase your skills, independence and community participation in group or individual settings.
Capital Supports include higher-cost pieces of assistive technology, equipment and home or vehicle modifications, and funding for one-off purchases you may need. The Capital Supports budget will fund assistance for assistive technology which includes equipment items for mobility, personal care, communication, and recreational inclusion such as wheelchairs or vehicle modifications. It will also fund home modifications such as installation of a hand rail in a bathroom, or Specialist Disability Accommodation for participants who require special housing because of their disability.
The knowledge and experience of your family members and/or carer is highly appreciated throughout the planning process in the NDIS. You are allowed to bring along a family member, friend, advocate, or anyone else important to you to your planning meeting and to help you make decisions regarding what supports and services you need to achieve your goals, where and when they are provided and by whom. Your family member, friends, advocate, or support person is also permitted to be included in plan review meetings.
It is important to tell your Local Area Coordinator or the NDIA about any change in circumstances that may affect your plan, such as:
- Changes to your disability needs
- Significant changes in your care or support provided by family or friends
- Changes to your living arrangements such as where you live, if you live with new people, if you move overseas or into an aged care or residential facility
- Changes to your job or that you’re looking for a job, or
- If you receive or claim compensation for an accident or illness related to your disability.
If you become mentally unwell and need to go to hospital you can let the NDIA know as there may be more they can do to support you.
If something does change for you that affects your needs or the supports in your plan, you need to complete a change of circumstances form. If you fail to notify the NDIA of a change in your circumstances and you continue to receive supports that you are not entitled to, you may be asked to repay an amount in respect of the funded support services.
If a service, early intervention support or assistive technology has increased your independence and decreased your need for additional support, you may need less funding, or no longer need any funding through an NDIS plan. This means, you may not need NDIS funding now, but you can re-engage with the NDIS in the future if you need to. People who experience episodic disability may also see their NDIS funding levels change over time, just as their disability needs may change over time.