There’s a LOT of information out there about the NDIS. And trying to understand it all, can feel like an information overload. Luckily, there’s a simple solution – Local Area Coordinators.
What exactly is a Local Area Coordinator
Local Area Coordinators (LAC) act as a bridge between you and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). They can help you understand how NDIS processes work, what kind of supports are available and where to start.
An LAC can help you:
Understand and access the NDIS;
Learn about your current situation and the information necessary to create your plan;
Ensure that you find and start receiving the supports and services that are in your plan; and
Review and make changes to your plan (if needed).
If you’re not eligible for a NDIS plan, you can still speak to an LAC about supports available in your community.
LAC and the NDIA
LAC’s are not part of the NDIA. Instead, they operate under the NDIA’s Partners in the Community Program. This partnership program helps to deliver Early Childhood Early Intervention services for children aged 0-6 and LAC services to people aged seven and older.
The NDIA can’t conduct every planning meeting themselves. So, part of what an LAC does is share some of the load – that way people aren’t rushed through the system. Many people will actually have their first planning meeting with an LAC, not a NDIA planner.
Although LAC’s can’t approve NDIS plans, they can make recommendations in line with NDIS legislation.
Get prepped for your planning meeting
Your planning meeting is very important as it can help determine the funding outcome of your NDIS plan. Whether your planning meeting is with an LAC or NDIA planner, being prepared for the meeting can help you to build the plan you need.
Your LAC will likely spend between 1 to 2 hours helping you develop your NDIS plan. During that time, they will talk with you about your disability and the supports you may need. Be sure to bring any supporting documents like reports or recommendations from specialists, have a clear idea of what your goals are, and any other relevant information. You can even download our pre-planning checklist to get you started.
What happens next?
When your NDIS plan has been approved, you’ll be contacted by your LAC for a meeting either over the phone or in person. They can assist you to understand and implement your plan by helping you choose and connect with service providers. The role of an LAC is more significant during the planning phase of your NDIS plan. Once you’ve been approved, and you’ve begun your NDIS journey, your LAC will take a step back. If you need ongoing support, there are other options like Support Coordination and Plan Management.
Plan Managers (like us!) offer financial and administrative support to help you maximise your NDIS journey. At First2Care, we will always put your needs first to ensure you maintain choice and control over your NDIS plan, without having the stress of managing your plan finances yourself. You’ll be able to access a greater network of service providers (both NDIS register and unregistered) and you can be confident knowing we’ll process all your invoices and payments within two business days. To have Plan Management included in you NDIS plan, speak with your LAC during your initial planning meeting. If your plan is already in place and you would like to transition from either Agency or Self-Management, contact our friendly First2Care team. They can help you to seamlessly make to move to Plan Management.
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.