Updated: May 4
You’ve checked your NDIS eligibility, made an Access Request, provided information about your disability, AND been approved. Congratulations! The next step in your NDIS journey is to prepare for your planning meeting.
The key to a successful planning meeting is to pre-plan. Although pre-planning (planning to plan) might sound a little strange, it can help you get the best possible outcome from the NDIS. During your NDIS planning meeting, you’ll be able to set your support goals and talk about how your funds can help. This can put you in control of what you want for your life and give you the tools and funding you need to achieve those goals.
It is totally normal to feel a little nervous or unsure about this meeting. To help combat some of that uncertainty, the best thing you can do is be prepared. Discover how you can master your planning meeting, what you should bring with you, and how First2Care can help you to achieve your goals while you maintain choice and control over your plan.
What happens in an NDIS planning meeting?
Your planning meeting will be run by a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or an NDIA representative. 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 will likely be conducted over the phone due to COVID-19. If a phone call isn’t the best way for you to meet, make sure you ask for a face-to-face meeting if this is available. 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 the 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 NDIS Plan Management Platform, 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 for?
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 and when you do it. 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, and/or
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?
How will you manage your plan?
During your planning meeting, you’ll need to specify how your NDIS funds and supports will be managed.
You can choose to:
Self-Manage with you or your nominee (such as a parent or family member) taking care of your NDIS plan including processing and paying invoices and keeping track of your funding and expenses,
Plan Manage with a registered Plan Management provider like First2Care, who will make sure you maintain choice and control over your plan without the stress of having to take on the financial and administrative tasks of Self-Management, or
Agency Manage with the National Disability Insurance Agency (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, you’ll need to organise your documentation. This will help streamline the process with your planner and help explain who you are and what you need.
We’ve developed a simple checklist you can view online or print with the documents listed that you might need to bring with you to your planning meeting. Alternatively, you can access our First2Care Plan Management Platform which will take you through each step of your pre-planning, and have you prepared for your planning meeting.
Read more about the benefits of working with a Plan Manager. Alternatively, register on 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
Your planning meeting is an important milestone on your NDIS journey. Being prepared can help you feel more confident and achieve the funding and support you need. We hope you now have a better understanding of what to bring to your planning meeting. If you have any experiences or tips you would like to share about preparing for or attending your planning meeting, let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.
Updated by Mahala Wallace, 4th May 2020