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Using your NDIS plan

Young woman teacher and little girl on private lesson

Once you’ve gone through the planning process, met with your Local Area Coordinator, and been approved for an NDIS plan… what comes next?

 

 

Once you receive your NDIS plan, you will be able to begin using the funding allocated within it. The NDIA must provide you with a copy of your plan within 7 days of it coming into effect.

You will need to register online for myplace, the NDIS Participant Portal. It is a secure website for you to view your NDIS plan, request payments and manage services with providers.

Your NDIS plan will have three sections:

  1. About Me
    This section gives details about where you live and who you live with. It explains the people in your life who support you, and provides details about your day-to-day life. This is the first part of your Participant Statement
  2. My Goals
    This section lists your goals and the things you would like to work towards during this plan. This is the second part of your Participant Statement.
  3. My Supports
    This section explains the types of supports that will help you work towards your goals. It will include:

i. informal supports: such as friends and family.

ii. community and mainstream supports that are external to your friends and family, such as health or mental health services, schools, community groups, hobby clubs, or other government services.

iii. NDIS reasonable and necessary support budgets. You can choose how you spend the amount in each budget support area. Where a support is listed in your plan as ‘stated’, you must purchase this support as it is described. You cannot swap ‘stated’ supports for any other supports.

There are three major support areas that the NDIS will fund, and depending on your individual needs and goals, you may have funding in one or more of these areas.

Core

A core support enables you to complete activities of daily living, and enables you to work towards your goals.

Core budgets are flexible across the four sub-categories:

  • assistance with daily living
  • transport
  • consumables
  • assistance with social and community participation.

You may choose how to spend your core support funding across the different sub-categories, but you cannot re-allocate core support funding to other support purposes (i.e. capital or capacity building).

Capital

Capital support is an investment, such as assistive technologies, equipment and home or vehicle modifications, funding for capital costs (e.g.to pay for Specialist Disability Accommodation). 

Budgets for this support purpose are usually restricted to specific items identified in your plan. These include Assistive Technology and Home Modifications, as well as Specialist Disability Accommodation.

Most items are ‘quotable’, which means that providers must negotiate a price in a Service Agreement with you.

Supports can include assessment, delivery, set-up, adjustments and maintenance costs.

Capacity building

Capacity building enables you to build your independence and skills. Budgets are allocated at a support category level, and must be used to achieve your goals.

These supports include:

  • coordination of supports
  • improved living arrangements
  • increased social and community participation.

Your LAC is responsible for helping you understand the different sections in your plan, and helping you connect with different service providers.

If you would like to continue to use your existing service providers, they must be registered with the NDIS (unless your plan is self-managed – you will have discussed this during your planning meeting).

Your LAC will also help you to explore and connect with different community and mainstream supports as you require them.

You can find a list of all NDIS registered service providers on the NDIS website.

A Service Agreement is a document that details the obligations for both you and the service provider.

It is important to note that you do not have to continue with an existing Service Agreement if you are unhappy with it.

A Service Agreement will generally include the following details:

  • What supports will be provided under your Service Agreement – this may include specifying the type of therapy or intervention (e.g. sessions with a psychologist to assist with anxiety).
  • How, when, and where these supports will be provided (e.g. 1 occupational therapy session per fortnight, to be held at the OT’s office).
  • How long these supports will be provided for (this is likely to depend on the funding amount allocated in your individual NDIS plan e.g. 1 psychology session every month for 12 months).
  • How any issues that arise will be dealt with (who can you talk to about any issues you are having, and what is the plan for resolving them?
  • Your responsibilities as a participant (including how much notice you will have to give if you are unable to attend an appointment, if, and what the cancellation fees will be).
  • Your service providers responsibilities (including how they work with you, and how to deliver your supports in the right way).
  • The process for making changes or ending your Service Agreement.

If you are unhappy with the supports that are listed in your NDIS plan, there are processes in place to help you resolve any issues.

An Internal Review is a process where an independent NDIA staff member reviews a decision that has been made by the initial NDIA staff member. This is the most appropriate course of action if you disagree with a decision about the supports in your plan.

A Plan Review involves the NDIS doing a re-assessment of a participant’s support needs, and preparing a new plan on behalf of the participant. You can also request an Unscheduled Plan Review if there have been changes to your life which you feel affect your NDIS plan.

Find out more about plan reviews on the NDIS website or call the NDIS on 1800 800 110.

For more information

If you’d like more information about the NDIS generally, or to get advice on your specific circumstances, contact the Amaze Autism Advisors on 1300 308 699, email info@amaze.org.au or use the webchat on this site.

This service is open from 8am–7pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

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