Updated: Apr 23, 2020
As an NDIS or eligible NDIS participant, you’ll know it’s important to provide as much evidence as possible in support of your initial NDIS application, and down the track at your scheduled plan renewal meetings. This is so the NDIA can have a clear picture of what types of supports and funding you might need included in your next NDIS plan. One document that can be very useful to include is an Impact Statement (also known as a Carer Statement). This can be helpful in supporting your application, because your carer will know you and your individual needs far better than your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) representative. If you have a primary carer, you might want to consider asking them to write an Impact/Carer Statement.
Understanding the role of a carer
There is an important distinction between a carer and a support worker. Although both can provide vital care to a person with a disability, occasionally these terms can be mixed up. A carer is considered an informal, unpaid support, like a parent or guardian. Whereas a support worker is a formal, paid support.
Carers play an important role in the lives of NDIS and eligible NDIS participants. They provide necessary, unpaid care and support, and are a constant presence in the life of the person (or persons) they care for. Carers help with daily tasks, learning and activities, and often provide emotional, social and financial support as well. A carer or the person they care for may wish to engage a support worker(s) for extra assistance.
What is an Impact/Carer Statement?
An Impact/Carer Statement is written by someone who provides care or is involved in caring for a family member or friend living with a disability. It’s designed to inform the LAC or NDIA representative of the nature of care that is given. Many primary carers will attend scheduled planning meetings as a support, and are asked to detail their role either verbally or in written format.
Although it is not compulsory to include this in your NDIS application or to provide it at your planning meeting, a written (or verbal) statement can be a great benefit to a participants NDIS plan. The NDIA can use a written statement to help verify how much care and support is needed, which could affect the level of funding received.
What are the benefits of including this?
The most important benefit of providing an Impact Statement is to give a more rounded and concise view of a participants’ disability and the care that is needed to assist with this. Often informal supports, like carers, can provide much needed insight into the reasoning certain paid supports or therapies are required, as well as the support they provide to the participant on a day-to-day basis. It is vital the NDIS understands what this caring role entails so that the NDIS plan allocated to the participant cared for will meet their needs, as well as support an ongoing caring role.
Having an Impact Statement can also be of use for carers who:
Want to ensure all the information provided is well-detailed and thorough;
Find it difficult to verbalise the details of support the participant being cared for needs;
Speak English* as a second language; and
Feel they may be too emotional when discussing the details of their care and the impact of the participants’ disability has had on the participants’ life and theirs.
*If English is a second language, and as a carer you find it challenging to communicate effectively, contact the LAC or NDIA representative prior to the meeting.
What can be included in an Impact/Carer Statement?
When writing an Impact Statement, it’s important to address each of the eight categories detailed within the NDIS with an explanation of the supports provided, how often, the cost involved, any resources used (such as materials, computer, phone, transport etc.), and in some cases the emotional impact that can occur.
The eight categories are:
Daily Living: This covers assistance with daily living and personal activities, such as assistance getting the participant in and out of bed, showering or bathing, and other daily life tasks;
Home: This covers assistance with household tasks, such as tidying the kitchen and other household spaces, and washing, drying and ironing laundry items;
Health & Wellbeing: This covers ‘Improved Health and Wellbeing’ under the NDIS Capacity Supports category, such as personal care, assistance with dietary and cooking needs, cleaning, increasing or maintaining physical mobility as directed by a GP or specialist, medication (if required), and mental and other wellbeing practices;
Skill Development & Learning: This covers ‘Improved Learning’ under the NDIS Capacity Supports category, and the assistance provided towards learning and education development undertaken by the participant or eligible participant;
Employment: This cover ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’ under the NDIS Capacity Supports category, and the activities undertaken by a carer to encourage or assist in the participant or eligible participant finding and maintaining employment;
Social & Community Participation: This covers ‘Increased Social and Community Participation’ under the NDIS Capacity Support category, such as social activities, classes and camps;
Relationships: This covers ‘Improved Relationships’ under the NDIS Capacity Supports category, with carers assisting in the relationship needs of the participant or eligible participant, including what is needed to start, develop and maintain lasting and positive relationships; and
Life Choices & Control: This covers ‘Improved Life Choices’ under the NDIS, by assisting with the participants’ or eligible participants’ choice and control, especially around planning and planning management (for example, engaging a Plan Manager like First2Care to assist with the financial aspects of an NDIS Plan). Consider what kind of control, as given by the participant, that you have regarding things like, accommodation, finances, activities, and social and practical engagements.
You can also choose to include in your Impact Statement:
How the role affects you;
Your ability and willingness to keep caring for the participant in the same way in the future;
The impact your caring role has on your own personal needs and goals, such as work, study, travel, social life and activities; and
If you are the primary carer, you can include other informal supports, such as family or friends.
How can First2Care help?
At First2Care, we want to ensure your NDIS Plan Management is simple and transparent. Participants can engage our Plan Management team at no extra cost, by including “Plan Management with First2Care” in their NDIS Plan under the Core Supports category, ‘Improved Life Choices’. Engaging a Plan Manager gives participants the freedom to stay in control of their NDIS plan. While we track your NDIS funding, and process invoices and payments, you can focus on your personal goals.
For carers and participants wanting to include an Impact/Carer Statement in their application, we have designed a template that can be printed or followed as a guide. You can also upload this statement to your First2Care NDIS Plan Management Platform.
The First2Care NDIS Plan Management Platform has been designed to help NDIS participants and eligible participants to navigate their NDIS plan from pre-planning to plan reviews. Participants can edit and update their profile, input their goals, load important documents and invoices and see how their NDIS budget is tracking all in one easy platform.
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
Carers play an important role in the lives of NDIS participants and eligible participants, so when applying for an NDIS plan or going to a NDIS plan review, incorporating an Impact/Carer Statement can be an excellent way for the NDIA to gain a more rounded understanding of the care provided. What is your experience as a carer or participant? Have you provided an Impact/Carer Statement? How has that benefited you? Let us know in the comments below.