Sometimes finding the right support for your needs can feel complicated, time consuming and even a little overwhelming. Under the NDIS, participants have more choice and control than ever before over who provides support and how to access it. But sourcing and managing multiple providers and services may not be something you want to do. This is where Support Coordination can help.
What is Support Coordination and how can it help?
Support Coordination can be included as part of an NDIS plan to help participants maximise their funding and achieve their goals. There are three levels of Support Coordination, each providing a different amount of support.
Support connection – a short term assistance to help you source providers that meet your support needs, with you maintaining the responsibility of coordinating support and selecting your providers yourself.
Coordination of supports – a longer term assistance which is maintained throughout your plan, to provide support through connecting you to and coordinating all your supports.
Specialist support coordination – a specialist support for more complex situations, often more along the lines of case management.
A Support Coordinator can help you to improve your knowledge and understanding of the NDIS. They help to build your skills, reach your goals, live with more independence, grow relationships, connect with your community and maintain choice and control.
To do this, your Support Coordinator can:
Help you understand and implement your NDIS Plan, and navigate the NDIS portal
Connect you with support providers and services that can help you to achieve your goals
Negotiate with your support providers on what services they will offer, how much it will cost from your funding, and organise service agreements
Connect you with local places where you can meet people and be active in your community
Write reports to the NDIS about your progress, including any needs you may have that are not being met or regarding funding needs
Help you prepare for your plan reviews and organise reports from your service providers
What are the benefits of having a Support Coordinator?
A good Support Coordinator can help to you maximise your NDIS funding, ensuring that you get the most out of your NDIS Plan. They can support you in making decisions regarding the services you receive. Having a Support Coordinator that you can trust to uphold your wants, needs and decisions can be a huge benefit in helping you to build your capacity and achieve your goals.
How to access funding for Support Coordination
At the moment, Support Coordination is available to all NDIS participants as a temporary measure due to the current pandemic, COVID-19. This temporary measure allows NDIS participants to access Support Coordination using their Core Budget.
Let’s break this down:
If Support Coordination is already included in your NDIS Plan, you are can use your Core budget to access additional hours of this service if your Capacity Building funding for Support Coordination run out.
If Support Coordination is not already included in your NDIS Plan, you can use your Core budget to access this service.
What are some important questions to ask Support Coordinators?
Choosing a Support Coordinator is a big decision. A mistake that some participants make, is hiring a Support Coordinator straightaway. Taking the time to make sure the Support Coordinator is the right fit for you is important. As is finding a Support Coordinator that you trust, and who has the skills and knowledge base to support to achieve your goals.
Here are 10 key questions to consider asking prospective Support Coordinators:
How long have you been offering Support Coordination as a service?
How well do you know the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA’s) systems and requirements?
Have you worked with people similar to me before? (Goals, interests, family or living situation, age, disability type, support needs, etc.)
How much success have you had helping people achieve their goals? Are you able to provide some examples?
What ideas do you have around how we would achieve my goals?
How well do you know the supports and services in my local area, and the providers and services that I’m thinking of using?
What success have you had in negotiating service delivery, agreements and prices on behalf of other participants?
Are you experienced in, and know the requirements for applications and documents within the NDIS?
What are your prices? How will you charge me? What is included?
What is your notice period for ending our service agreement, should I wish to change to another Support Coordinator?
How your Support Coordinator can work with your Plan Manager?
More and more NDIS participants are choosing to engage a Support Coordinator to help them with the management of their providers and services, alongside a Plan Manager to help them with the financial and administrative tasks associated with their NDIS Plan.
Support Coordination and Plan Management are both excellent tools to manage your NDIS Plan, while ensuring you maintain choice and control. At First2Care, we aim to work closely with your Support Coordinator so that you live the life you want to live with confidence, knowing that you have the support you need to the most of your NDIS funding.
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.