Ten questions to ask in your NDIS planning meeting
Knowing how to navigate the NDIS planning process can be overwhelming for some people. Families tell us that there is a huge amount of information to take in from sources, and that sometimes they may receive contradictory advice. It can be hard to know what’s right!
You naturally want the best outcomes for yourself or your loved one in the transition to the NDIS. Based on the experiences of people we have supported throughout the process we know that being prepared for your meeting goes a long way towards achieving an optimal package.
It’s important to remember that although planning meetings follow a basic format, our experience is that no two plan meetings are the same.
So, we’ve compiled a list of questions that, in our experience, could be useful for you to discuss with your planner at your meeting.
1. How will the plan be sent to me?
Some people have their plan mailed to them and others are emailed. At your planning meeting you do need to confirm with your Planner how you’d like to receive your plan. Also this is an opportunity to check your details – such as your home address or email address – to ensure the Planner has the correct information for you.
2. Does it matter if I don’t have a computer or use email?
If you do not have use a computer or have email, then please advise your Planner. They can then ensure your plan is posted to you.
However if you are “email ready”, then your plan information will likely be sent to you electronically. Your Planner will give you instructions on how to access the NDIS portal to find and manage your funding online. You will have to register for a mygov account first, through which you can also manage your Medicare, ATO and Centrelink accounts if you so wish.
Many libraries offer basic computer courses free if you require some tuition. Additionally if you are funded for Support Co-ordination in your plan, then this person will be able to assist with access to the NDIS Portal.
3. If I remember something AFTER this meeting or want to send you some extra information, how do I send it to you? (e.g. an assessment from an Occupational Therapist or a quote for equipment). How do I contact you if I need to check on anything?
At the very least you should ensure you have the Planner’s name and an email address for any additional documents or information you want to send later.
4. Will I be able to review the plan before it is finalised?
Not usually. When your plan is completed the Planner will phone you to advise this. They will also go over the funding package over the phone. The plan will then be sent.
5. How long after my planning meeting will I receive my final plan?
This varies between 2 days and one month. It’s best to receive clarification from your Planner about the current timeframes they are experiencing.
6. What if something is missing from my plan? Who do I call, what can I do, what is the process of appeal? Do I have to accept my plan if I am not happy with it?
The NDIA have a process for requesting review. It is important to check your plan fully and ensure that you understand it. If your feel the plan does not meet your needs, you can request a review.
7. Who will help me to understand my plan? (e.g. what does my plan mean, how can I use the funds allocated in each section)
Your plan may appear confusing at first. In some areas Local Area Coordinators help people to understand and implement their plans. Alternatively this can be the role of your Support Coordinator, if you have one. Often your Service Provider will be able to assist you and can also provide you with accurate quotes for the services you currently receive. Knowing the costs of services will help you to make more informed decisions.
8. What is a Support Coordinator and will I be funded for this?
Support Coordinators can help people to understand and implement their plan. They can provide information about the services in the area and assist you to connect to them.
Funding for Support Coordination may be possible with your NDIA plan however this is individually allocated and you need to discuss your requirements with your Planner. The funding for support co-ordination is on top of the other funding.
9. What is Plan Management?
A Plan Manager is a person with financial experience and qualifications who can manage the financial aspects of your plan. The funding for Plan Management is on top of the other funding in the plan.
If you think you need Plan Management, you need to discuss your requirements with your Planner.
10. Once I have my plan, how long do I have to make a decision about who will provide my supports/select providers while still receiving my current supports? (e.g. how long can I continue to receive current supports until I have to sign a service agreement, do my current supports stop the day I receive my plan unless I sign a service agreement?)
Any funding you have with the State Government ceases on the same day your plan starts.
Because of this, your current Service Providers will appreciate being informed that your plan has been completed. They will ask to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss your current support arrangements. If you wish to continue your current supports (or purchase additional supports) your Service Provider will ask you to complete a new Service Agreement. Alternatively if you wish to alter or cancel services, then your Service Provider will help you to do this.