How to create your first NDIS Plan

How to create Your First NDIS Plan

Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be a significant milestone, and as you gear up for your planning conversation, there might be a whirlwind of emotions. Excitement about being accepted into the NDIS might be mingled with nerves about what your plan will entail.

In this pivotal moment, preparation is key, and this article aims to guide you through the process, ensuring you feel confident and well-informed.

1. Preparing for Your Planning Conversation

Your initial planning conversation, whether with an NDIA Planner, Local Area Coordinator (LAC), or Early Childhood Early Intervention partner, holds immense importance. While these conversations often take place over the phone, some occur in person. Setting both short-term and long-term goals is a crucial part of the NDIS, and your conversation will revolve around defining these aspirations.

Reflect on what you wish to achieve – whether it’s finding employment, fostering connections, or enhancing communication skills.

Consider maintaining a journal tracking your disability-related needs over a week, documenting activities and expenditures. Bringing copies of relevant documents, such as therapy reports and medical diagnoses, can provide valuable context.

Additionally, make notes about therapy, care, assistive technology, and equipment essential for reaching your goals. Remember, even if you overlook something during the meeting, you can still communicate it to your planner afterward.

2. Understanding Support Budgets

While you don’t need to be an NDIS funding expert, having a basic understanding can bolster your confidence. Your plan may encompass three types of support budgets: Core Supports, Capacity Building Supports, and Capital Supports.

Core Supports: Enhancing Daily Living

Core Supports represent funding designed to assist you in managing your daily life. This category encompasses four essential types of support:

  1. Consumables: Covers the purchase of everyday items relevant to your disability, such as continence aids or affordable assistive technology.
  2. Daily Activities: Provides support for daily personal activities, including personal hygiene or household tasks.
  3. Assistance with Community and Social Participation: Facilitates access to community, social, and recreational activities like art classes, sports, library visits, or day trips.
  4. Transport: Offers alternatives to public transportation, catering to your specific needs, which may include taxis, Ubers, fuel, or specialized transport.

Capacity Building Supports: Fostering Independence and Skills

Capacity Building Supports entail funding aimed at fostering your independence and developing essential skills. The support categories within Capacity Building include both common and less common options:

More Common Categories:

  1. Support Coordination: Provides assistance from a support coordinator to help you effectively utilize your plan.
  2. Improved Life Choices: Encompasses plan management, where your invoices are handled on your behalf.
  3. Improved Daily Living: Focuses on therapeutic interventions geared towards enhancing your ability to participate in daily life.
  4. Social and Community Participation: Includes support for public transport training, developing skills for social, community, and recreational engagement.
  5. Employment: Offers employment-related assessments and counseling to support your vocational goals.

Less Common Categories:

  1. Health and Wellbeing: Provides exercise advice tailored to address the impact of your disability.
  2. Home Living: Supports you in gaining or retaining suitable accommodation.
  3. Lifelong Learning: Assists in the transition from school to further education.
  4. Relationships: Involves strategies for positive behavioral support.

Capital Supports: Investing in Significant Needs

Capital Supports involve funding allocated for more substantial expenses and services. This category includes two vital support categories:

  1. Assistive Technology: Covers the cost of equipment essential for mobility, personal care, and communication, such as wheelchairs or vehicle modifications.
  2. Home Modifications: Addresses necessary modifications at home due to your disability, like installing a rail in the bathroom.

More information about these budgets is available on the NDIS website.

3. Contemplating Funding Management

The NDIS offers flexibility in managing your funding, providing three options: plan-managed, self-managed, and NDIA-managed.

  • Plan-managed: Your plan manager handles invoices and guides you within NDIS guidelines.
  • Self-managed: You budget your NDIS plan and process invoices independently.
  • NDIA-managed: The NDIA manages your budget and handles invoices, with restrictions on using NDIA-registered providers.

During the planning conversation, your LAC or NDIA planner will assist you in selecting the most suitable management method based on your needs and circumstances.

4. Acquainting Yourself with Your Approved Plan

Once your planning conversation concludes, your NDIA planner or LAC will inform you of the timeframe for receiving your approved plan. When you do, take the time to familiarize yourself with its contents. The plan details information about you, your support network, goals, and funded supports, ensuring they align with what’s reasonable and necessary for your needs.

By following these steps—preparing for your planning conversation, understanding support budgets, contemplating funding management, and familiarizing yourself with your approved plan—you’ll embark on a journey to create an NDIS plan that truly caters to your unique needs and aspirations.

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