My First NDIS Plan
Your first NDIS Plan is your gateway into the NDIS and a range of supports and services to help you live a more independent and quality life.
Once the NDIS has determined that you meet the eligibility criteria, you and/or your representative will be contacted by a Representative of the NDIA to have a planning conversation to develop your first plan. In this conversation you will be asked about what supports you currently receive, what your needs are and what your goals are. It is also a good idea to discuss with the Representative of the NDIA what supports you need but are not currently receiving. If you have previously had assessments or reports completed privately or through a mainstream support, you can also provide copies of these to the NDIA Representative.
Following this conversation, the NDIA Representative will assess the information you have provided and the supports you have requested and assess whether these meet the criteria for reasonable and necessary supports (hyperlink to reasonable and necessary supports information.
Once your plan has been finalised and approved by the NDIA, you will be contacted by a Representative of the NDIA to discuss how you put this plan into action and start engaging providers.
Once your plan has been finalised and you have received a copy you can begin implementing your plan. The NDIS can assist you with this process by connecting you with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC), a Support Coordinator, an Early Childhood Partner or another party. Alternatively, if you have one or more providers you would like to use, they may be able to assist you to connect with any other service providers you may need. Most service providers will generally assist you to break down and understand your NDIS Plan as part of their entry to service process when you are commencing one or more services with them.
You can also find Registered NDIS Service Providers on the NDIS website.
When connecting with a service provider, it is a good idea to discuss and sign a service agreement before beginning services or early in the process. This service agreement should list what services you are accessing from them and the total cost for this. It should also list any of their terms, conditions and policies, and what are their and your responsibilities.
Each service providers service agreement is unique to their organisation and their specific policies and procedures and may change during the course of your plan. Following your Plan Review, you will typically need to sign a new service agreement, agreeing on what services you will be accessing from the service provider during the course of your new plan, if you choose to continue to access their services.
In addition to the service agreement, your service provider may request that you complete other documents during the course of your plan. These may include consent documents, giving them permission to share your information with other relevant people or agencies, i.e. your doctor or other service providers, or any disclaimers.
You can find more information about starting your first plan on the NDIS website.
End of Plan Review
An NDIS Plan will typically last 12 months, however Plans may be extended or reviewed early at the discretion of the NDIS. Your Plan Review is an opportunity to look at what supports you have been receiving and how they are helping you to achieve your goals. It is also a chance for you to have a think about what other supports would help you to achieve your goals, live independently and engage in your community.
As part of your Plan Review meeting, you can bring along a support person to help you in the process. This person could be a parent, friend, an advocate or your Support Coordinator.
During your meeting, the Planner or Representative of the NDIA will review any reports or support letters that your service providers have submitted to review how you have been utilising your funds to work towards your goals, what progress has been made, and recommendations they have made for future funding. They will also review any supporting documentation from mainstream services, in particular documentation relating to a diagnosis of a disability.
They will then discuss with the Participant and/or their Representative how the previous plan went and discuss what future goals they would like to set. It is a good idea to brainstorm before your Plan Review Meeting what goals you would like to have for your next plan and what supports you think you will need to meet these goals and then bring these along to your meeting. Any supports you are currently receiving, or supports you or your service providers are requesting or recommending will be assessed by the Planner or NDIA Representative against the criteria for reasonable and necessary supports (hyperlink to reasonable and necessary supports information.
Following your Plan Review Meeting, it can take a few weeks for a new plan to be created, so it is important to follow up regularly with the NDIS if you have not received a copy of your new plan.
Reasonable and Necessary Supports
During your planning or review meetings, you will discuss with an NDIS Planner or a Representative of the NDIS, what supports and services you need to achieve your goals. As part of their decision making process, the NDIS will weigh these against what is reasonable and necessary. The criteria that a support must meet to be determined reasonable and necessary can be found in section 34 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.
Considerations the NDIS make when determining if a support is reasonable and necessary include:
Will the support assist the participant to pursue their goals and aspirations?
Will the support help the participant to engage in community, education or employment activities?
Is the support value for money?
Is the support already provided by a mainstream service or is it the expectation that families or the community provide the support?
If these conditions are all met, to be considered reasonable and necessary, the support or service must:
Be related to the Participant’s disability
Not include day-to-day living costs that are not related to the Participant’s disability support needs
Be likely to be effective and beneficial
When making decisions about reasonable and necessary supports, in addition to the NDIS Act 2013, the Planner or NDIS Representative will refer to the particular operational guideline that relates to the specific support.