Updated: Mar 29, 2019
How to get the funding you need in your next plan
Is it time to review your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan?
Whether you’re about to enter your second or third year, preparing for your plan review shouldn’t be considered a tedious process. It’s actually a great opportunity to reflect on how things have been tracking and decide upon your goals, projected needs, and desired lifestyle for the months ahead!
If you’ve been happy with the past 12 months and want to continue tracking along the same path, that’s totally okay. While this might be the case, it’s important to remember there’s no guarantee of receiving the same funds next time around.
That’s why getting ready for your plan review meeting is so important. You need to present your National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Representative (aka your Planner) with a clear picture of exactly where you’ve come from and what your needs and wants look like. As a result, you’re more likely to reach the best possible outcome.
To help you apply for your second plan, we’ve prepared some key tips for you to consider.
1. Know what to expect from the review
The review of your plan will be conducted face-to-face or over the phone, depending on what you prefer. You can include a family member, friend, advocate or another person in the review as well.
You will need to provide assessments or reports from service providers to show how you’re currently being supported to achieve your goals. The reports may also contain recommendations for supports and services you might need in the future.
During your review, the questions will be similar to those asked when you first transitioned into the NDIS, but with a larger emphasis on reflection. It’s an opportunity to consider what worked and what didn’t work in your plan and decide if you’d like to change how all or some of your plan funding is managed.
The good news is, supported plan management is available to you for as long as you need it. Alternatively, you might want to move over to a self-managed plan.
2. Consider what worked and didn’t work over the past year
When preparing for your plan review, have a think about what you’re happy with from the past 12 months.
What did your funding help you to achieve?
Were you well-supported in your goals, living arrangements, and job?
If you can highlight how useful your funding was, you’ll improve your chances of retaining that level of funding in your next plan.
However, it all comes down to your goals from the previous year. If you achieved those goals, you won’t be funded for those same goals again. You’ll need to demonstrate:
How your funding will help you to achieve your new goals
Why you need existing supports to continue
For example, let’s say your previous goal was about getting fit and healthy due to difficulties with a mobility issue or chronic pain. Last year’s plan might have funded a physiotherapist, a specialised exercise physiologist, and some assistive technology to help you achieve those goals.
If everything has been tracking well, you might want to continue with the same approach to maintain or further improve your health and independence. If that’s the case, you’ll need to demonstrate an ongoing need for these supports in order to reach your goal, while mentioning your past year’s achievements.
You should also consider aspects of your initial plan that you’re not satisfied with.
Was there a particular area where your funding fell short of the mark?
Was there funding that you didn’t end up using?
Perhaps you had issues with finding suitable support for the allocated funding, or certain support staff stopped working with you and you were unable to replace them. Whatever the situation, this information will help your Planner to better allocate funds, so don’t be afraid to be as honest as possible.
And don’t feel the need to go out and spend any unused funding prior to your review. It doesn’t mean your next budget will be reduced. Each year’s funding is based on the reasonable and necessary needs of each participant.
3. Think about what your life currently looks like
The First2Care app is a great tool for guiding you through questions you’ll be asked by your Planner. The ‘My Life Now’ section covers all the aspects that will come up for discussion, including your activities, living arrangements, relationships, support available, and aids and equipment.
If you’ve used the app before, you can read over your current profile and documentation, then assess whether your circumstances have changed or remain the same. You can then update your plan with your current circumstances.
If you’re new to the First2Care tool, you can read more about how to use the NDIS Pre-planning Template here. The template is easy to use and has helped over 700 participants to date.
This information can be either shared with your Planner or printed from within the First2Care app and supplied during the review to ensure a smoother process.
4. What are your goals for the year ahead?
After reviewing the past year, you might discover you’ve already achieved previous goals or your goals have completely changed! That’s completely normal.
Do you want to:
Pursue a new hobby?
Enter employment or change jobs?
Change your living arrangements?
Increase your independence?
Improve your health and wellbeing?
Widen your social circle?
Also, think about who can help you to achieve these goals and whether you’ll still require NDIS support in the future. Whatever the case, you just need to highlight these with your Planner so the your funding can adequately support you.
Remember, there’s no need to start from scratch with new goals every year, but you can add some more if you wish. Your plan’s supports and services should be helping you make progress, achieve new things and eventually, achieve your long-term goals. Ultimately, a goals-focused NDIS plan is the most effective.
5. Consider resources that could make your life easier
Throughout the past year, you may have experienced times when you lacked the resources or right support people to meet your needs and expectations. You might even be thinking your current providers aren’t the right fit for your future goals.
And that’s okay because you have the right to choose the right support partnership for you.
If that’s the case, now is the time to do a bit of research around the different providers out there to support you to achieve an amazing year! With these tips and a little help from First2Care, getting ready for your plan review doesn’t have to be a headache.
If you have any questions relating to your plan review or how the First2Care app can assist you in the planning, feel free to contact us on 1300 837 721