How to get the best outcome from your planning meeting
Scheduling your NDIS planning meeting is an important milestone as you move onto the NDIS. At this meeting, you’ll set your support goals and talk about how your funds will help you achieve these goals.
You might feel a bit nervous about this meeting. And that’s ok. But there are some things you can do to avoid feeling overwhelmed or confused.
The key is pre-planning. Pre-planning puts you in control of what you want for your life, so you get the best possible outcome from the NDIS.
Preparing to plan might sound a little strange. But planning can be tricky, and if you haven’t planned much before, you might need some help.
In this article, we share our tips to help you confidently prepare for your NDIS planning meeting (and we’ve include a bonus NDIS pre-planning checklist to help you).
We also explain how the First2Care app, our free pre-planning tool, can help you get together everything you need for a successful meeting.
What happens in an NDIS planning meeting?
Your planning meeting will be run by a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or an NDIA staff member. You should expect a lot of questions about your current support services, daily living activities and your goals. This information lets the NDIA know how much support you need for the next year.
Your planning meeting can be conducted over the phone or in person. If a phone call isn’t the best way for you to meet, make sure you ask for a face-to-face meeting. It’s important that the meeting makes you feel as comfortable as possible.
You’re welcome to bring anyone you like to the planning meeting, including a family member, friend, advocate or someone from a service provider. The meeting can be long, so a support person will help you remember details and ask questions.
What should I do before my meeting?
You can get ready for your NDIS planning meeting by thinking carefully about how your funding can help you.
The questions below will help you explore your goals, opportunities and priorities. You can also talk about the things you want in your life with a group of people who support you. They may suggest things that you haven’t thought of yet.
As you’re working through the questions, you can write notes, make recordings, take pictures and draw mind maps.
Or you can use the First2Care app, which prompts you through the steps to create a complete report ready for your planning meeting.
Developing your first NDIS plan
1. What’s important to you?
Your NDIS Plan is about you. It should reflect who you are, what you value, and the life you want to achieve. Sharing your experiences and interests will help you and your planner create a plan that’s right for you.
Think about some of the great things about you, and what you need to feel your best.
☐ What are some things that you like and are good at?
☐ What are some things that you need to stay safe and well?
☐ Are there any things that make you unhappy, anxious or stressed?
2. What are your support needs?
In your planning meeting, you’ll be asked to describe how you manage your everyday activities. This helps your planner understand what your abilities are and what equipment, accommodation or help you need to take care of yourself or your home.
Think about what your week usually looks like and the activities that you do each day. It can be helpful to create a timetable showing what you do when. You can also take photos of your activities and equipment and bring them to the planning meeting.
☐ Do you need any equipment, aids or consumables (e.g. bed protectors, incontinence pads)?
☐ Do you need assistance with transport or vehicle modifications?
☐ Are there any home modifications that you need?
☐ Are there any areas in your life where you feel unsafe or where you might need extra help?
3. Who are your current supporters?
You’ll also be asked about the support you currently receive. This includes paid support like health services and help for work and social activities, as well as unpaid support from friends and family.
If possible, bring quotes from your service providers to your planning meeting to help guide your budget.
Think about who the important people are in your life and how much support they provide.
☐ Do you get help from a support person to participate in your daily activities?
☐ Who are your current service providers (e.g. speech therapists, occupational therapists, doctors, teachers)?
☐ Are there any changes you’d like to make to the type or amount of support you currently receive?
4. What are your goals?
The next step is to think about the goals you want to set for your NDIS plan.
Goals are things you want to achieve with the support from the NDIS and other supports and services. You should focus on what you need right now, as well as what you might need in the future.
Your goals might involve:
● learning and education
● finding and keeping a job
● becoming more active in your community
● Improving your housing options and living arrangements
● improving your health and wellbeing
● improving relationships and making friends
● becoming more independent
● increasing control and choice in your life.
Think about what you enjoy about your life right now, and if there is anything you would change.
☐ What are your interests or the things you love doing?
☐ What currently works well and what doesn’t?
☐ Are there new things that you would like to try?
☐ What are your dreams and is there anything preventing you from having the life you want?
5. How will you manage your plan?
At your planning meeting, you’ll need to specify how your NDIS funds and supports will be managed.
Funding can be managed by:
● you or your nominee (such as a parent or family member)
● a registered plan management provider, or
● the NDIA.
If you think you’ll have a lot of services and equipment to organise, you might be able to get funding for a Support Coordinator to work with you.
Get the best outcome from your planning meeting
It’s important that you feel ready for your planning meeting and don’t feel pressured or overwhelmed.
With the right preparation, your NDIS plan can give you greater choice and control to achieve your goals and live the life you want.
What should I bring to my NDIS planning meeting?
Before your meeting, it’s important to get all your documentation together. This will help streamline the process with your planner and help explain who you are and what you need.
This checklist can help you gather all the things that you might need for your planning meeting. If you’re using the First2Care app, some of this information will already be included in your NDIS Planning Guide and Workbook that you print from within the app after you complete the pre-planning template.
☐ Birth certificate (and/or drivers licence and Medicare card)
☐ Contact details (email address, postal address and phone number)
☐ Bank account details (BSB and account number)
☐ MyGov login and password details
☐ A list of any questions you have
Information about your disability and health
☐ Diagnosis from specialists
☐ Occupational therapist and speech pathologist reports
☐ Home modification assessments
☐ Neurophysical assessments
☐ Medication charts
☐ Psychological assessments and mental health reports
☐ Incontinence assessments and management plans
☐ Care needs assessments
☐ Manual handling assessment and training
Other documentation about your life and supports
☐ A list of your current disability supports
☐ A list or schedule of your regular daily living activities (work, study and social)
☐ Hours of personal care
☐ State or Commonwealth disability funding packages
☐ List of equipment, aids and home modifications you require
☐ Letters from current support providers
☐ Letters for study facilities or workplaces about your needs
☐ Quotes for equipment, consumables, home/vehicle modifications and any other supports you want to include in your plan
☐ A list of your hobbies and interests
☐ Photos of how you like to live your life and/or equipment or modifications you need at home
☐ Any accommodation or residential care agreements
If you’d like more information about the First2Care app, please contact our friendly team on 1300 837 721.