Make the best of First2Care and create a plan that will help you achieve your goals
By now you’ve probably heard about the NDIS and what it means for people with a disability across the country. You know you need to start thinking about your NDIS support plan, which means you need to start pre-planning.
That is, you need to begin collecting reports from providers and medical professionals, and writing down everything about the support you’re getting and the support you need. But that feels like a lot of information and you don’t want to forget anything.
What if I told you there was an online NDIS Planning Tool that allows you to upload and store all your reports in one place? And that this planning tool guided you through providing everything the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) needs to know, so you could confidently advocate for your NDIS funding you need to achieve your goals?
That’s right. First2Care was put together to assist you with your NDIS journey every step of the way. And the online planning tool is where you want to start – and this guide will get you from NDIS noob to NDIS Rockstar in no time.
Haven’t registered for this amazing planning tool yet? Sign up here.
But first… We want to give you a big, squishy
welcome to First2Care!
We’re always grateful when anyone decides to register for our NDIS Management app. I mean, who wants to learn new computer software when you’ve already got so much to learn about the NDIS?
So how do use First2Care’s Planning Tool?
We’ve heard from many people say their first NDIS Planning Meeting was stressful, confusing and the process was complicated, even humiliating. We don’t want to see that happen to you.
The Pre-planning Template is formatted so that the NDIA can easily create your ‘Statement of Participant Supports’ from the printable NDIS Planning Guide and Workbook in My Life Now.
Because we know there’s a lot of information you need to fill out, you don’t have to do it all at once. You can schedule in time to fill out one section until it’s done.
If you get stuck, you can skip it, fill in what you can, save it and come back later. Or invite an existing carer to review and add something too. They don’t even have to be with you – they can log in remotely and help.
TIP: If you’re a carer filling out the planning template for a participant, you need to fill it out in first person from their perspective – as if they are writing a diary of their life.
The NDIS Pre-planning Template is a diary of your life
Let’s go through each section at a time.
1. Who is helping with Pre-Planning?
By writing down who contributed to your pre-plan (or the participant’s if you’re pre-planning for someone as their primary carer), the NDIA gets to see the people who contribute to your life. It gives them a better picture of your current situation and helps them decide what you might need in the future.
Your pre-planning help might come from carers, guardians, support staff, providers or other relatives and you can invite these people to connect with you inside the app to review the plan at any stage of the process.
2. What regular activities are you involved in?
Regular activities include the things you or the participant takes part in and does every week or every month. These might include attending school or regular sporting programs with a community organisation or service provider. Or it might be regular supported outings to go grocery shopping, or perhaps a regular appointment with a psychologist or occupational therapist.
It’s best to include as much detail as possible. If you or the participant gets support to go grocery shopping, what time does your carer pick you up?
Do they do any meal planning together with you first?
Do they help you write a shopping list and talk about food wastage?
Do they help with the shopping budget?
The NDIS planning tool will prompt you for as much detail as possible. It’s important because the NDIA reviews thousands of plans, they need to be clear about how much help the participant needs to do each activity. There’s no such thing as too much detail.
3. What occasional activities are you involved in?
Occasional activities might include going to the movies with friends once a month. They might include going to the football or travelling to visit family. Just like the regular activities. Include as much detail here as possible.
4. What is life like for you now?
You can include as many items here as you want to. The more the better! There are six categories to help guide you here, but if you need to use a category more than once, that’s okay. In fact, be as detailed as you can be. The Planning Tool encourages you to think about:
Education work and social activities…
Things that aren’t working well…
Things you’d like to change…
Something new you’d like to try…
Activities you’re good at…
When someone helps in the home we…
Your NDIS plan must include a ‘Goals and aspirations statement’ as part of your support statement - which is just a fancy way of saying a summary of all the goals you have in your plan. By asking you to consider your potential, it might help you decide on some goals you’d like to explore in your life that you never thought possible before. Don’t be afraid to dream big!
5. What are your living arrangements?
If the participant is your son or daughter and they are a minor, they will most likely be living in your care. You should describe their current living arrangements and write down if this is adequate, or if you need extra support or respite to care for them to the best of your ability.
If this is the case, you’ll still need to write out the information from the perspective of the child. Give the NDIA as much detail as you can about what you like and don’t like about the current living arrangements – mention things you think might make the situation easier or increase their independence. If you, as the participant are an adult, do the living arrangements suit your emotional needs and encourage independence? Describe what you like or would like to change about your living arrangements to make things better for you.
TIP: Remember, the NDIA want you to grow into your potential. If your living arrangements are stopping you from achieving your goals, then make sure this is clear.
6. What important relationships do you have?
This is an exercise that helps the NDIA gain a better insight into the informal (unpaid) support you get from the people in yours or the participant’s life. These might be in the form of emotional and social support from friends and family, it might be a neighbour who babysits sometimes so a parent can go out. Write down what part each person plays in your life, and how often you see them. Again, include as much detail as possible.
7. What support do you have?
This is where you list all the formal (paid) supports you, or your son/daughter has. It might be an educator, support staff to assist with daily personal activities, therapeutic or behavioural support, community or social support, supported employment, assistance in group living or respite. Write down each type of support the participant gets and include as much detail about why the support is given, and what impact it has had on your life. Categories are provided to guide you through listing all the possible supports so you won’t miss anything.
8. What aids, equipment or modifications do you have or need?
If you regularly use aids or equipment such as hearing aids, wheelchairs or prosthetic limbs you can attach all the details about these here and include photos. You can also include the use of rails, ramps, modified transport such as specialised taxis (that you use regularly) or include details of how you’d like your car to be modified so that you could access transport independently.
Include as much detail about how these items help, or suit your needs. The NDIA will fund modifications to your home or car, and may include funds to maintain, repair or upgrade your equipment if you can prove that these things are vital to your goals, are deemed reasonable, necessary and value for money. For example, the funding of modifications to your home might mean that you need less support in other areas to function independently.
9. What are your goals?
This is the most important part of your NDIS plan. Your goals are what bring everything together in a nice little bow. By now, the NDIA should have a vivid picture of your life, and your support needs, and now you will be able to show how these things come together to help you live a happier life as an engaged member of the community.
In some ways, it might be better to figure out your goals at the beginning and work backwards to decide if your support plan really helps you achieve your goals. The NDIS will only fund supports that will help you reach your goals.
When deciding on your goals, think about what goals you have for your life right now, what goals you have for the next 12 months and what goals you have for the next 5 years and beyond. This will help you prioritise what is important to you.
TIP: Remember the NDIS will only fund support that related to your disability and is ‘reasonable and necessary’ to fulfil your goals.
10. The NDIS Planning Guide and Workbook
When you’ve completed everything within the step-by-step template, the app will format all your information into a printable NDIS Planning Guide and Workbook. You can convert this document into a Word doc a .pdf or an excel spreadsheet. You may wish to print one out early in order to write down your ideas on paper, or email a copy to someone if they don’t wish to sign up to First2Care to give you feedback on your pre-plan.
11. Shared notes
This is a great place for you to share ideas and notes with other friends, family or planners - without filling the template with information. You can upload files and reports here, so you don’t have to stress about having a large file of paperwork ready for the NDIA Planning Meeting. It’s all stored in a centralised location, ready for you to print for your meeting.
Access the shared notes in any section of the NDIS planning tool by clicking the '+ Note' button at the top right in the grey bar.
That’s it! It really is that simple.
Just complete each part, step-by-step and you’ll have a comprehensive plan using First2Care’s online NDIS Planning Tool ready for the NDIA. And when it comes time to review your plan? Everything is there, ready from where you left off.
Get NDIS ready and find out everything you need to
know about pre-planning and the NDIS.
Be NDIS Ready, Register Today
Pssst! Just before you go… to improve the app, we need your feedback
The reason why we developed this NDIS management app is to empower you, and others like you, to take advantage of the choice and control the NDIS will provide. We saw a way to give participants and their families an advantage, to manage and keep track of their funding, the way a banking app enables you to manage and keep track of your money. This is why it’s so crucial that we get this right and make your NDIS journey as easy as it can be. We want you to take control of your support and design your life, so you can do the things you’ve always wanted to.
To do this, we need to get your feedback, to make sure we address any problems early on. We’d love for you to take this quick survey and let us know how we can improve. Take the 5 minute survey now
Read more about the benefits of working with a Plan Manager. Alternatively, register with 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
Have you started using the First 2 Care app? Or have you started planning elsewhere? Do you have feedback for us? We’d love to hear it.