While the NDIS is here to help, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming or difficult to understand. This can lead to some mistakes with your NDIS plan, supports or funding during your NDIS journey. But with a few helpful tips, these mistakes can easily be avoided, leaving you to live your life with confidence.
Preparation is the key to success with the NDIS. But where should you start? A great place to start is with the types of questions you may be asked during your planning meeting or plan review meeting. Some of the type of questions your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA Planner are likely to ask questions are:
About you and your current supports (both informal and formal)
How your disability is impacting you
Your short and long-term goals (if this isn’t your first plan, they may ask about some goals you’ve achieved or been working towards in your previous plan and any challenges you faced)
How you want your NDIS plan to be managed (we think Plan Management is the way to go!)
Whether you may need Support Coordination included in your plan
Whether you’re new to the NDIS or have been with the NDIS for a while, always be prepared with any supporting documents from your health professionals (like GP’s and service providers or other relevant information at your initial planning meeting or plan review meeting.
Thinking you don't have choice and control
Your plan, your life. The NDIS is designed to help you live your life with choice and control. So, if you feel like you are not getting the support you need and deserve from a service provider then you are totally within your rights to engage a service provider who will give you what you need.
And this is true even if you have a service agreement in place. You are not locked in to an agreement with a service provider just because you have a service agreement. If the provider doesn’t meet your needs and you are wanting to make a change, you can terminate the contract. You can ask your service provider about their notice period (two weeks is a common notice period) or if you have funding for a Support Coordinator, they can assist you with this as well.
Underspending or overspending on your funding
Your NDIS funding is there to support you through your NDIS plan and journey. But too often, NDIS participants are either underspending or overspending on their funding. This is where having a plan manager can really help. With a plan manager (like First2Care), your NDIS funding will be managed to ensure you are using your funding effectively while maintain choice and control over how your funding is being used.
The best way to manage your spending is to think about the supports you need in terms of hours. How many hours of support do you need each day or each week? And how much funding have you been allocated for those supports? If you’re with First2Care Plan Management, our Client Managers can break this down for you. If your Client Manager notices you are underspending or overspending on your funding, they will discuss strategies and options with you to help get your budgets back on the right track.
Assuming your supports will automatically renew
One thing that many people may not realise is that when you start a new NDIS planning period, your supports don’t automatically renew. Which means, with each NDIS plan you will need to reach out to your service providers and organise a new service agreement.
Although it may seem a little inconvenient, it can be a good time to reflect on the supports and services you’ve previously engaged and make sure they are still working for you. It also might be a good opportunity to request any adjustments to your service agreement.
Holding on to questions you need answers to
There is so much information out there about the NDIS, that trying to find the information that just relates to you can be tough. The easiest way to filter through that, is to ask questions. There are plenty of people available to help you throughout your NDIS journey, like your LAC, your Support Coordinator, your Plan Manager, disability advocates etc. You can also search google, our First2Care blog, Facebook groups and forums.
If you have questions – just ask.
Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.