A planning meeting is an important milestone in your NDIS journey. In this meeting, you’ll be able to discuss your support needs as well as your short and long-term goals with a planner. Your NDIS plan and the funding you receive will be determined by what is discussed during this meeting. This means, it definitely pays to be well prepared.
Although you and your needs will be assessed by the NDIA on an individual basis, you can expect your planning meeting to follow a similar structure to that of other eligible and current participants. There are six main steps to your planning meeting.
Step 1: Getting to know you
Just like with any meeting, your planning meeting starts with formalities. You’ll be introduced to your planner (and vice versa), and then they will start asking you some basic questions.
These questions might be about:
Your personal details;
Hobbies, work, volunteer commitments and other activities you might participate in;
Your community, including social circles of friends and family, and any mainstream supports you may have;
How you manage everyday activities and your routine;
What you need to help take care of yourself or your home, including your equipment needs;
Your personal goals, both short and long-term;
How you would like to manage your plan; and
The support you need to use your NDIS plan.
Step 2: Creating a Participant Statement
The NDIA need to get to know you and your individual needs to be able to assess the kind of support that should be included in your NDIS plan. During your meeting, your planner will talk you through creating a ‘Participant Statement’. This statement will give a brief overview of who you are, to make up the ‘About Me’ section of your NDIS plan. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget to mention some important aspects of who you are in the moment. Making notes before the meeting is a great way to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Think about your:
Health needs, including how you get around;
Living situation; and
Education, employment, hobbies, and interests.
Step 3: Learning about your support needs
Now it’s time to focus on your assistance and support needs. Your planner will give you a questionnaire, called the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule or WHODAS (those under 17 will take a different questionnaire called the PEDI-CAT). The questions will cover topics like: daily assistance, mobility, health and wellbeing, social circles and relationships, and motor skills. All you’ll need to do is rank your ability to perform the tasks listed out of five. The responses you give will help determine the level and type of funding you’ll receive.
Step 4: Personal goals
Your goals are one of the most important sections of your NDIS plan and your planning meeting. Why? It’s one of the main reasons you will receive funding for a support. Thinking about you goals before the meeting, and taking the time to write them down beforehand, is a good way to ensure you don’t leave anything out.
Your planner will ask you about your short, medium and long-term goals. Generally, you’ll be able to list two short-term goals, which are goals you’d like to achieve within the next 12 months and up to five medium or long-term goals, which are those goals that might take between two to five years or more to achieve.
Examples of short-term goals:
This year, I would like to find and maintain a job or volunteer work that uses and expands my skills and talents
This year, I would like to be more confident taking public transport to participate in family or community activities
This year, I would like to improve my communication abilities with my friends, family and the community so that I can be more independent
Examples of medium/long-term goals:
I would like to move into my own home to start living more independently
I would like to learn to walk or move around unaided in order to become more independent
I would like to further my education and skill-set so I can find and maintain a job that helps grow my skills and talents within the community.
Your goals should focus on an outcome, rather than a support needed to achieve the goals. So, if you need Speech Therapy, then talk about your goal to communicate. If you want to take an overseas holiday, maybe your goal is to be more confident taking public transport. Think about where you want to be in the next 6 months to five years, what your goals are and what you might need to do to get there.
Step 5: Impact/Carer Statement
Your planner will create your ‘Impact Statement’. This statement is designed to indicate the effect your disability has on your primary carer (if you have one) and others around you. For some this step might bring up an emotional response, but it’s important to remember that it is necessary to help your planner better understand you, and to help you get the NDIS plan you need.
To help make this step easier, we have designed an Impact/Carer Statement Template that can be downloaded before the meeting.
Step 6: NDIS Management Supports
You will be asked how you would like to manage your NDIS plan funding – Agency, Self, or Plan Management.
Agency Management is where the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will manage your bookkeeping and records, and will pay your support providers for you. You will only have access to NDIS registered support providers.
Self-Management is where participants manage everything themselves, from bookkeeping to paying providers. You will have access to both registered and unregistered service providers.
Plan Management is where a registered Plan Manager manages your NDIS funding. You will have the same freedom, choice and control of self-management, without the stress. Your Plan Manager will keep track of your records and funding through to processing and paying invoices. You will be able to access both registered and unregistered service providers.
If you would like to be Plan Managed by First2Care, speak with one of our team on 1300 322 273 or email email@example.com. You can also use our First2Care Referral Form in your planning meeting if you would like First2Care as your Plan Managers.
You may also need someone to help you find and connect with service providers. If this is the case, the NDIA might include Support Coordination in your plan. While everyone can opt for a Plan Manager to manage their funding, not everyone is eligible for Support Coordination. One reason you might be eligible for Support Coordination is if you don’t have an informal support network who are able to provide a similar style of support. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
At the end of your meeting, you’ll be asked if there is anything else you might like to add that hasn’t been discussed. This is also a good time to review everything your planner has written down and ask some clarifying key questions to ensure there is nothing lost in translation or misinterpreted.
Read more about the benefits of working with a Plan Manager. Alternatively, register on our FREE NDIS Plan Management platform, so we can start helping you best manage your plan today.
Read more about First2Care’s Plan Management features.
Over to you
We hope this helps you understand what to expect in your planning meeting. Your planning meeting shouldn’t be stressful, so with a little pre-planning you should be able to master your planning meeting with confidence. If you’re a current NDIS participant and have already had your first planning meeting, we would love to know how it went for you and if you have any tips to share with future participants.