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Tori’s Top Tips to Navigating the NDIS

Tori is Your Side’s Team Leader for NDIS. She is an expert in the field with a beloved caring, passionate and creative personality to match. Get to know Tori here.

Take the time to understand your NDIS plan

Your NDIS plan will include lots of information about you, about your support network (your family, unpaid carers and friends) and services or groups you already access in your community.

Most importantly it will list your goals. The goals in your plan are based on the discussions you had in your planning meeting, and are linked directly to your funding. Goal-setting is a really important part of the NDIS, and the supports and services you can access with your NDIS funding should all be working towards your goals.

Your plan will also list your funded supports, and state how much money has been allocated in each support category and what the funds are for.

If you need support to understand your plan you can speak with your ECEI (Early Childhood Early Intervention) Coordinator; your Support Coordinator or a LAC (Local Area Coordinator). Anyone can speak with an LAC, regardless of your NDIS funding.

To find your nearest LAC Office – CLICK HERE

Learn about how to manage your NDIS funding

Within your plan you will see that funding falls into different categories, and can be used for different reasons. There are three support budgets that may be funded in your plan: Core Supports, Capacity Building Supports and Capital Supports. You might not have all three of these supports in your plan; it will depend on your needs and the goals that you set. Understanding these different support budgets will help you decide how to use your funding. For more information on the support budgets – CLICK HERE.

It is also important to consider how you would like to manage your funds. There are benefits to exploring who will manage your NDIS funds – who will pay the bills for services, who will keep track of how much money you have left etc. The three options for managing your plan funds are: Self-Managed, Plan Managed, and NDIA Managed.

People who choose to Self-Manage their plan are responsible for managing their own funds, purchasing services and supports, making agreements with providers, claiming and paying for supports and keeping invoices and receipts. This might sound like a lot of work, but there are some benefits to self-managing including choice and flexibility.

Self-managed participants can use any provider they choose, even if that provider is not NDIS registered. For more information on self-managing CLICK HERE.

If you choose to use a Plan Manager you still have the flexibility of choosing providers that are not NDIS registered, and you have the benefit of a plan manager working with your service providers, paying invoices, managing your budget and giving guidance about your funds.

Having your funds managed by the NDIA means you are able to access services from providers who are NDIS registered, and those providers claim payment for services directly from the NDIA. The NDIA will manage all invoices and records of spending, and you can access the myplace portal to see what claims have been made and track your budget and funding. The great thing about all of these options is that you can use a combination of all three. You might like to have some funding sitting with the NDIA, and some funds that you self-manage. That choice sits with you!

Build a clear picture of the services that you would like

It’s so important that you access services that not only meet your needs, but that align with your values and beliefs. What is important to you?

When considering this, you might like to think about:

  • Who would you like to support you – a man, a woman, someone of the same religion as you, someone who speaks the same language?
  • Do you want the provider to have the same religious beliefs as you? Or work in the community that you are a part of?
  • How do you want the service to be delivered? Online, in person or in a group setting?
  • When and where would you like the service to be delivered?
  • How would you like the provider to communicate with you?
  • Do you want one provider or multiple providers to deliver your services?

All of these questions and more may help you build a clearer picture of the supports that you would like to access.

Compare providers to find the right one for you

  • There are a few things that you may want to consider when comparing providers. At the end of the day, the choice sits with you.
  • If you are contacting providers you might want to ask some questions like:
  • Are you a registered NDIS provider?
  • What makes your services different to other providers?
  • What areas do you service?
  • How would I be involved in choosing and managing my services with you?
  • Do you have workers that match my needs? (including language, culture, religion, sexual identity)
  • Can you provide me a quote for the services I need?

Make sure your team of providers is working towards your goals

You never have to share your plan details with a provider if you do not want to, but there can be benefits in sharing your goals. If you decide to share your NDIS goals with your provider, they should be working with you towards achieving those goals. This means that providers and care workers know what you want to achieve with your NDIS funds and will take steps to work towards that with you.

Your provider might check in with you every few months to see if the service is still achieving what you had hoped and ask if there is anything that needs to be changed. If you have changed your goals during that time, it’s good to let your provider know so they can change and work with you. Providers may also reference your goals, and any progress towards them, in support letters when it is time for your plan review. This helps you and the NDIA see that the funds in your plan are assisting you to achieve what you wanted to achieve when the plan was put into place.

How to contact Your Side’s friendly and expert NDIS Team:

  1300 134 332

  ndis@yourside.org.au

  Refer online HERE.