Your NDIS plan review is an opportunity for you to talk about your current and future goals, if any big changes are needed or if there are gaps in your current NDIS funding. Being prepared for your plan review can be the key to helping you to get the funding that you need (or maintain your current funding level) for your next plan. Check out our top ten tips so you can be prepared when it’s time for your NDIS plan review.
Tip #1 – Keep Records
Keeping records throughout your planning period is important as it can be used as evidence to support your funding needs during your planning meeting. However, we know that keeping records is not necessarily seen as a “fun” thing to do. The key is to find a way that works for you. Some options are:
Keep a diary (i.e., a physical notebook, your phone, or your computer)
Store all your NDIS and disability related documents in one place (i.e., if your provider gives you any documents during your appointments, keep them in a folder or a box that you can easily refer to)
Make regular voice memos that can be reviewed before your plan review
Ask someone to assist you in keeping records (i.e., an informal support or a professional)
No matter how you decide to keep records, be sure to make note of any problems or challenges as well as your successes.
Tip # 2 – Reflect on your goals
Goals are a big part of the NDIS. During your initial planning meeting, you would have been asked about your short and long-term goals. The goals that you shared will have helped to inform how much funding you received in your current NDIS plan. Your plan review is an opportunity for you to reflect on what goals you have been working towards, whether your current goals are still of interest, or whether you have new goals that you would like to work towards. It’s a good idea to note down approximately two to three short-term goals and three to five long-term goals, to make sure that you have them ready to go for your plan review.
Remember, you don’t have to change your current goals during your plan review if you are still focused on working towards them.
Tip # 3 – List what supports worked well and what didn’t
Making a list of what supports worked well for you and which ones didn’t is an opportunity for you to reflect on areas in your life that you would like to stay the same and those that may need to change. When doing this, be sure to list why they worked and why they didn’t to help the LAC or NDIA planner to better understand your needs.
Tip # 4 – Review your providers
Take time to consider the quality and level of support that your providers give. Ask yourself:
Are my providers on time?
Are they professional?
Do they cancel often or with little notice?
Have they delivered the services outlined in your service agreement?
Do you need to change providers because your goals have changed?
Ensuring that you have the support team you need to achieve your goals and live your best life is important. If you have had issues with providers, you can talk to your Support Coordinator about changing to a different provider. If you don’t currently have funding for a Support Coordinator and you think this could be of benefit to you, discuss this with your LAC or NDIA planner during your plan review.
Tip # 5 – Review your informal supports
Most people will have an informal support network (also known as carers) made up of family and friends who provide unpaid support and assistance. Sometimes there may be a change to your informal supports, where they may no longer have the time or ability to provide the same level of support they previously have been providing. During your review, you can discuss your informal supports and whether you may need something like respite (or short-term accommodation) funding to be included in your plan, or if you need some informal supports to be replaced by formal supports and require funding to do this.
Tip # 6 – Track your budgets
This can be a big one for many participants, and it is particularly important to track your budgets throughout your NDIS plan so that you can avoid over or underspending on your NDIS funding. Having a Plan Manager (like us!) can make this easier for you. With First2Care, we send out monthly budget statements and provide access to in-real-time budgets through your personal Plan Magic online portal. If there is a case where you have over or underspent on your funding, and you are First2Care Plan Managed, your personal client manager can provide you with strategies to get your budgets back on track.
Tip # 7 – Ask yourself if the way your plan is managed is working
There are three options for participants to manage their NDIS plan – Agency (NDIA) Management, Self-Management and Plan Management. You have choice and control over how you want your plan funding to be managed. Opting for Self or Plan Management, gives you greater flexibility to access a broad range of supports (NDIS registered and unregistered). And with Plan Management, you get the freedom of Self-Management, without having to do the administrative and financial tasks associated with your NDIS plan (we take care of that for you). Plan Management comes at no extra cost to you as it is part of the Capacity Building Support category and can be funded simply by requesting Plan Management to be included in your NDIS plan.
Tip # 8 – Compile evidence
Once you have all your evidence – records, diary notes, letters, assessments, any quotes that you may need, your goals, a review of your formal and informal supports, what is working, what’s not working and why, and any other information you feel is relevant - you’ll need to compile it all together, so it is ready to go for your plan review.
Tip # 9 – Consider what support you might need during the meeting
During your plan review, you can bring a support person with you. You can bring your Support Coordinator, an advocate, therapist, family member or a friend to assist you in feeling comfortable during the meeting and to support you as you present your supporting evidence and documentation to the LAC or NDIA planner. Be sure to discuss with your support person prior to the meeting what role you would like them to take during the plan review.