Top Tips for Plan Reviews

Plan reviews are an important aspect of your NDIS journey. Whether they happen every 12 months or every three years, the goal is to ensure that your plan provides you with the support you need, which is why it pays to be prepared. Here are ten tips to help you prepare for your plan review meeting.


Young man with prosthetic leg and young woman working together on a computer
Young man with prosthetic leg and young woman working together on a computer

Tip #1: Plan ahead


It can be helpful to keep a record of any issues, challenges, successes, or any other outcomes that have occurred throughout your current planning period (which typically ranges from six months up to three years). Having a dedicated journal or online document with your experience throughout this time means that you are more likely to remember all the important things, and you can even share this document with your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner to help them better understand your needs moving forward.


It is important to note that if you have any major changes in your circumstances or your current plan no longer meets your needs, you don’t need to wait for your plan review to discuss this with an LAC or NDIA planner. You can request an early plan review.


Tip #2: Prepare supporting evidence


Having supporting evidence is important as it provides the NDIA with the documentation necessary to assess your needs and develop your new NDIS plan.


Examples of supporting evidence:

  • Progress reports

  • Financial quotes

  • Carer statement

  • Participant statement

The person who provides supporting evidence needs to be a qualified professional and should be the most appropriate person to provide the evidence. It is also important to note that they should have been providing supports and services to you ideally for at least six months.


Tip #3: Review your goals


When first becoming a NDIS participant, you would have been asked by your LAC or NDIA planner what your short, medium, and long-term goals are during your initial planning meeting. When you have a plan review meeting, your LAC or NDIA planner will ask about your current goals and whether you plan to maintain your current goals, update your goals or change your goals completely.


Your plan review is a good opportunity to review your goals to ensure they are still working for you and that your needs are reflected in your NDIS plan.


Tip #4: Note your challenges and successes


Making note of any challenges and successes that you have experienced throughout your plan can help you to better understand your support needs and your goals.


Consider:

  • Are your support team providing you with the support you need?

  • Are there any challenges with your support team?

  • How have your support team helped you to work towards or achieve your current goals?

  • Are you having any challenges with your goals and why?

  • What successes have you had with your goals?

  • Are there any changes that could be made to help you with your support needs and goals?

Remember that acknowledging any challenges you are experiencing can help you and the NDIA to better understand what changes may need to be made to your plan, goals or supports.


Tip #5: Review your current support team, providers & informal supports


Your formal and informal supports can help you to work towards your goals and ensure that your NDIS funding is being used as intended. Which is why it is important to assess the quality and level of support that your support team and providers offer, as well as the current circumstances of your informal supports.


Formal supports (paid support from your support team & providers):

  • Are they on time?

  • Do they cancel with little notice?

  • Do you have different staff every time?

  • Are they providing the supports and services they said they would?

  • Are they good value for money?

  • If you have new goals, do you need new support team/providers?

  • Are there any gaps in your support network to be filled by paid or unpaid supports?

Your support team and providers are there to help you, so if you have been experiencing issues with their service, the cost, or any other issues, it may be time to consider another provider.


Informal supports (unpaid support from family or friends):

  • Are your informal supports still able to provide the support they have been providing?

  • Have your informal support circumstances changed?

  • Are there any gaps in your support network to be filled by paid or unpaid supports?

If a family member or friend can no longer provide the support that you need, then your plan review is a good opportunity to discuss any changes that need to be made to prevent any major gaps in your support team.


Tip #6: Review your monthly budget statements


You should try to review and keep track of your funding throughout your planning period, to ensure that you’re not overspending or underspending on your plan funding.


Consider:

  • Did you use all your plan funding?

  • Did you have enough funding to pay for the supports you needed?

  • Are there any reasons you may need additional funding in your next plan?

The review is an opportunity to review your support and to determine if you may require more funds.


Tip #7: Review your current plan


If you are following each of the tips, you will have reviewed specific aspects of your plan like goals and your support network. However, even after reviewing those specific aspects, it’s still important to review your plan. Think of it like an overview of your plan.

  • Has your disability, circumstances or supports changed?

  • Do you need to update your personal details? (For example, have you moved house?)

  • Are you getting the right amount of support?

  • Are there any aspects of your life where you would like to be more independent and what kind of support do you need to achieve this?

Tip #8: Consider big changes


Before your plan review, you should consider whether you want to make any big changes in your life like moving, education, or work. The NDIS may be able to assist you with these big changes. The amount and type of assistance will vary depending on the NDIS reasonable and necessary criteria. For example, if you have been thinking about entering the workforce and that is one of your NDIS goals, then the NDIA may be able to provide supports so you can build your capacity and to help you find and maintain employment. The NDIS may also be able to assist with transport or assistive equipment.


Tip #9: Determine the best option for you to manage your plan funding


You can choose to have your plan funding agency (NDIA) managed, self-managed, plan managed or a combination. Prior to your plan review, you should reflect on the way your current plan is managed and whether that is working for you. If you would like to change the way your plan is managed, you can discuss that with your LAC or NDIA planner.


You should note that if you do make a change, for example you change from agency management to self-management, you are not locked into self-management until your next plan review. If you would like to change to another option after your plan review, you can request this be reviewed early.


Tip #10: Contact your LAC or NDIA Planner


The NDIA may contact you about 90 days before your plan is due to expire. However, if you have not been contacted you can contact the NDIA yourself to request a date for your plan review meeting. It is recommended to contact them eight weeks before your plan is due to expire if you have a lot of changes or you plan is complex. Alternatively, if your plan is not complex or there aren’t any major changes being requested, you could contact them six weeks before your plan expires.


Bonus tip: Remember that you can take a support person with you to your plan review.


Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or support@first2care.com.au.

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