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2019 Support Management Solutions Pty Ltd T/AS First2Care. Provider Registration No. 4050003364 First2Care.

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Customer success: from pre-plan to approved NDIS participant plan

Blair with shirt and tie

Are you preparing to submit your NDIS participant plan? If so, you might want to read this story about one of our customers who used First2Care’s pre-planning tool to get ready.

Meet Blair

Blair loves food, sport, and cars - in that order. He also enjoys playing Power Chair Football/Soccer with the Brisbane Strikers team - a team that’s won the Queensland Power Chair Football Association (QPFA) League for the last 3 years in a row.

In between eating good food and watching/playing sports, he studies IT at the University of Queensland.

Blair has muscular dystrophy and recently went through the pre-planning and planning process to get his NDIS participant plan approved. He’s kindly agreed to tell me about this process and how he used the tools and overcame a few hurdles to get a plan through that he’s happy with.

Getting started

When Blair was looking into creating his care plan, he was a bit uncertain at first. But then he heard about First2Care through his friend, Mark. Blair ended up checking out our site and Facebook page then coming along to our official launch back in September 2017. Then when he was ready to start preparing for his NDIS planning meeting, he signed up for First2Care’s app.

Using a pre-planning tool

First2Care has a free pre-planning tool built in to help participants lay out their NDIS goals and supports ahead of their planning meeting. This avoids feeling overwhelmed or pressured in the moment, and helps you cover all the important details to include in your plan. That way, you get more control over what’s written and how it’s organised to (hopefully) improve your chances of getting your plan approved.

Blair described his experience using the First2Care pre-planning tool. He felt fairly confident with it, saying, “It was super easy to use and navigate. If you have no idea about what to do, I think First2Care would be extremely useful given how it breaks everything up.”

The NDIS planning meeting

Once you’ve been approved to join the NDIS, you’ll be contacted by someone at the NDIA for a planning meeting. During this meeting, you’ll talk about your NDIS goals, what you might need, and the supports you currently use. Then you’ll put together a plan.

Blair brought his pre-plan to this meeting, including all the details he’d put together in the First2Care app. This helped him feel more organised and get the information he needed to across to his NDIS representative.

“Despite my planner demonstrating a huge lack of knowledge, my NDIS planning meeting went extremely well in terms of its eventual outcome. I provided a lot of information, which I’d submitted to my NDIS portal prior to my meeting, which I also took printed on the day. I took all the information I had submitted on the First2Care app, plus additional information.”

Want more tips on this part of the process? Read our article about preparing for your NDIS planning meeting.

Getting your NDIS participant plan approved

After your planning meeting, you’ll hear back from your NDIS representative about what supports are approved. Usually, if you’ve properly justified and explained everything (which is something a pre-planning tool will help you do), you’ll get most things approved in your plan. But if you feel as though you’ve made a reasonable request and it hasn’t been granted, you can appeal the decision like Blair did.

“When I officially received my plan, I was disappointed with it. But upon emailing the planner and saying that I would need to appeal it, they then informed me that they had made a mistake with their figures and came back with an amended plan which I was much happier with.”

NDIS planning tips

Blair had some great tips on to improve your chances of getting your plan through. In particular, he recommends being as specific as possible about the costs of everything you’re proposing.

“If you can provide solid costs for things at your meeting or in the information that you provide, I think that seems to work well. Everything that I had provided exact costs for was approved – this was mostly consumables.”

“Although I described in detail the amount of care I require, I probably didn’t detail the cost as well as I could have. I talked about the care that I had been receiving but said I needed much more without giving exact costs, which I think let me down a bit. But I still had a very good outcome.”

Ongoing planning

Usually, your NDIS participant plan will need reviewing every 12 months, but you can also request the NDIA to review it any time your situation changes. So it’s worth thinking about your plan semi-regularly to make sure it includes everything you may need in the future.

Even after your initial plan is approved, it’s worth using your pre-planning tool to record new goals and ideas, ready for next time your plan is reviewed. First2Care’s premium app includes a goal tracking feature you can use to streamline this process, so you can update your pre-plan with your new goals and progress at any time.

Want to try premium? You can sign up for a free 30-day trial, which includes access to all our premium features like goal tracking, support coordination, NDIS provider database, and budget tracking. Plus our pre-planning tool, which is free forever.

Over to you…

Are you about to create your NDIS participant plan? Is there anything you’re unsure about, or do you have any pre-planning tips or tools to share? Leave a comment and we’ll continue the discussion below. Plus, make sure you sign up for our free pre-planning tool so you can feel confident when you go into your NDIS planning meeting.

And if you want to find out more about Blair, you can find him on Twitter and Instagram where he shares about all things food and sports.