Accessing the NDIS can take a lot of planning, paperwork, and time. So, when you finally receive your NDIS plan it can be easy to accept without reviewing it critically. However, to ensure that your NDIS plan contains the funding and information relevant to your needs and goals, reviewing your plan is a vital step that you need to invest time in.
Tip #1: Read your plan
Your NDIS plan is considered active from the approval date listed on the first page, so when you receive your NDIS plan, you should take time to read it thoroughly to better understand your plan and supports.
NDIS plans do not always have the most comprehensive language, so if you need assistance understanding what is contained within your plan, you can discuss this with your Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Support Coordinator (if funded), a Disability Advocate or possibly a friend or family member.
Tip #2: Understand your Funded Categories
Your NDIS plan is made up of three funding support categories: Core, Capital, and Capacity Building Supports.
Core supports is the main support category, and it seeks to assist with everyday activities. Core supports are flexible which means you can use your funding across any of the support items and services within your Core budget.
Capital supports include Assistive Technology and Home Modification funding.
Capacity Building supports are designed to help you build skills and independence in your daily life and to help you pursue your goals.
You may receive funding for all three categories or just one or two. If you know where your funding is allocated, it can help you to maximise your NDIS plan ensuring that you receive the supports you need. If these allocations need tweaking to ensure you maximise the spending of your plan funds, this can be a good strategy.
Tip #3: Break your supports down into hours
When you receive your NDIS plan funding, the funding will be shown as the total funding for your plan period (typically 12 months). The issue with this is that it can be all too easy to think you have enough funding to cover your supports across that planning period but discover after a few months that your funding is running low.
One of the best things to do when receiving your plan funding is to break it down into smaller portions i.e., break it down into week, fortnight, or monthly budgets. When you know how much funding you have available, it’s important to know what supports you plan to access, how much they cost, how often you need to access those supports and how much you need to also set aside for the cost of reports that are generated.
If your Core Supports funding is $16,000 for a 12-month (52 weeks) plan and you want to know how much you can spend each week then you need to divide the cost by the number of weeks.
$16,000 ÷ 52 = $307.69 per week
If your supports cost $50 per hour you can access approximately six hours of support each week.
If you are unsure about how to breakdown your plan funding, you can always speak with your First2Care Client Liaison Officer, and they will be able to help you.
Tip #4: Check if there is anything missing or needing adjustments
When reviewing your NDIS plan, the funding categories and how much funding has been allocated, you should check that your plan meets your needs, goals and addresses what was discussed with your LAC or NDIA planner during your planning meeting or plan review meeting.
If there is something missing, incorrect or that needs to be changed, you can contact the NDIA to request an internal review. It is not uncommon to find your plan writer due to a lack of time may have simply cut and pasted details from the previous plan without fully understanding your new stated situation. Check everything! It’s best to do this sooner rather than later, which is why critically reviewing your plan is so important. If you don’t receive the desired outcome following your internal review, you can request, which is your right, an external review to be carried out by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
An internal review must be completed before you can request and external review.
Tip #5: Activate your plan
After reviewing your plan, if you are happy with it, you’ll need to visit ‘myplace’ your NDIS participant portal. To access the portal, you need to link 'myplace' to your myGov account. Once you’ve done that, you can login and submit your activation code (found in the letter you receive with your plan). The code expires within ten days. If you don’t use the code before the ten-day cut-off, you’ll need to contact your LAC or NDIA planner for a new code.
Read more about the benefits of working with a mid-size independent, professional Plan Manager like First2Care. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.