What is next after planning meeting?
Once you have your planning meeting, your NDIS plan will be reviewed & approved. Depending on the personalized situation and needs, the participant will gain assistance to put the plan into action. This assistance might come to you from the Local Area Coordinator, or you might get help from the Support Coordinator. However, before initiating the process, there are certain simple things that you are required to do.
Read your NDIS plan thoroughly & ensure that it is appropriate. You should also ensure that you can understand all the parts of your NDIS plan & what exactly it means. The participant will also require myGov registration for accessing NDIS myplace portal. So always ensure that you are registered with myGov portal. The myplace portal is a safe, secure site, and you can check out everything about your plan. The participant can look out at his/her NDIS plan, keep track of the budget, and manage services & supports.
You can visit the NDIS website for gaining more information about how participants can use myplace portal. Your NDIS plan will be activated on myplace portal. Along with that, a copy of your NDIS plan will also be emailed to you. It is also a good idea to keep checking the myplace portal each & every day until you receive your NDIS plan.
Getting NDIS plan into action
The NDIS plan comprises of main sections:
- Section I- comprises of some personal details
- Section II- comprises of participant goals, both short term & long term
- Sections III- comprise of support & services that participant requires.
Section III is further broken down into three subcategories:
- The assistance that you get from your family members & friendly
- The assistance that you receive from services within your community (for example health, education, etc)
- The support that you obtain through NDIS
It is your plan that will detail out how much funding you will get. The entire budget will be broken down into three distinct components- core, capacity building & capital.
Core support budget
The core support budget helps you with all your everyday activities, current disability needs, and the related need to work towards your precise goals. The core support budget is the most flexible one.
Capacity-building support budget
This type of budget helps you build your independence and skills for reaching all your long-term goals. Unlike the core support budget type, this type of budget can’t be moved from one support category to another. Thus funding can be utilized only for purchasing approved individual supports that lie in this category of the budget.
Capital Supports budget
The capital support budget involves a higher cost. It includes the pieces of assistive technology, equipment, home/ vehicle modifications. Also, funding for one-off purchases as well that you may require, including Specialist Disability Accommodation. It is extremely crucial to remember that all the funds that lie within this budget type can be utilized for just the specific purpose only & can’t be used for anything else.
Additionally, you have to keep in mind that the core support budget is flexible, and thus you can always organize the supports & services in a manner that best suits you. However, the items within capacity building & capital support budget trend to be fixed. If you have doubts or you are unsure about anything, then you can ask your LAC. Read further about using your NDIS plan from booklet three by visiting the NDIS website.
Self, plan, or agency managed? How to manage your NDIS plan?
During your planning meeting with LAC, you will be asked how you want your NDIS funding to be managed. Since it is the most crucial decision, you need to think about it before you head on to the meeting. Managing your plan is about the ways your supports & service providers will be paid. There are three distinct ways through which the plan can be managed. It is quite eminent to know the difference between the three so that you are in a position to choose the provider that is best for you, your family’s requirements & capabilities.
NDIS Agency Managed
When your plan is agency managed, you can choose the service providers only from the list of all those registered with NDIS. The provider will claim the payment electronically from your NDIS funding. The participants can look at the myplace portal for determining what all claims their service providers are making against the funding and keep track of the budget. By accessing the myplace portal you can track how everything is going on, and you no longer need to worry about the paperwork.
The NDIS will be managing all your bookkeeping along with the records of spending. However, all service bookings must be set up through my place portal.
In this type of funds managing approach, you will be responsible for requesting an invoice from services & support providers once you have availed their service. After that, you will be forwarding the same to the NDIA. The authorities will then transfer the money to your bank account so that you can pay your invoices. Thus in self-managed, you will yourself be handling the financial management aspect of your plan.
The main advantage of a self-managed approach is that you will gain greater flexibility & freedom. The participant will gain access to all supports & services providers, whether registered with NDIS or not. Also, there is a flexibility to negotiate with price as you no longer need to stick to the NDIA price limits. But you need to be organized & carry out all paperwork on your own. Some individuals are quite intimidated by this particular idea of self-managed. However, it is quite worth giving a thought as it imparts a greater level of flexibility, control, and freedom to work with the people of your own choice.
If you are interested in this particular option, try and get in touch with others who have already self-manage their NDIS to get a fair idea of how it is done and what all is involved.
The plan managed option is available to all participants as NDIS is fully funding it. It is just like self-management; however, you hire an independent organization to do all the work specifically for you under this. The plan managers or plan partners are the specialists who help & support you through handling the day to day administration that comes while managing funds. So with a planning partner, you gain an assurance that you have an independent expert by your side throughout your individualized NDIS journey.
The participant is required to ask for it to be actually included within the NDIS plan during the planning meeting. It comes under the improved life choices category. The money required to pay the plan manager for doing all the work for you will be added to your NDIA plan so that you are not out of your pocket.
This is the fourth option that many people are not familiar about. In this, you can have a mix of some agency managed & self-managed. So your funding plan can be part self-managed & part agency managed as well. This is advantageous when you don’t want to do all the paperwork on your own and want to gain greater flexibility & control in some areas. For instance, you might want all your capacity building therapy funding to be managed by the agency & want the consumables continence supplies funds to be self-managed.
Which option is best for me?
Since every participant’s situation & needs are different, thus there is no single size fit for all. Many individuals choose plan managed as it provides a greater level of choice, flexibility, control, saves time, and makes the entire managing of NDI funding, tracking & spending easy & streamlined.
It is extremely eminent to remember that you are still in control, whichever of the option you choose. In all the options, the participant chooses the providers and controls when & how the supports & services are to be delivered. These three provisions are just the ways by which your services & supports providers are paid. You can seek more information about managing your plan by visiting the NDIS website & specifically about the self-managing option.
Choosing your NDIS service provider- What to look for?
Finding the right NDIS service provider in Melbourne is an extremely crucial factor in ensuring that all your goals are met. Whenever it comes to organizing the services & supports for you, it is eminent to remember that you are in the driver’s seat. You have control over everything. It might be possible that you are already satisfied & contented with your existing service provider but you should feel locked into it. There is no need to do things in the manner they have been done before as there is always a possibility of improvement. There might be time now to try out something new & better. You might want to do something that you ever wished for but never got the chance.
Many people are not aware that they have any choice. But yes, you have a complete right to choose your NDIS service provider, and it is just the same as choosing anything else you want to purchase. First of all, what is required to do is to work out what you want, do extensive research, take a look all around, and then make a choice. Like anything else, you can also communicate with others what all they have done and what they like about their supports & services providers. Would they recommend them to you?
Putting an agreement in place before you initiate assists out everyone in understanding what all to expect. A service agreement sets out what, how & also when you will be receiving services & supports.
Given below is a list of questions that you might like to consider while choosing your service provider:
- Which are the service providers in my area that extend the same supports & services that I require?
- Do the services & supports being offered by any of the providers meet my personalized needs? Will they help me out in achieving goals that I have set for myself?
- Do these service providers see me as a person with rights?
- How will service providers make sure that I have the choice & also control over how specific support & service is being extended to me?
- Will the service provider give a guarantee on the flexibility of supports that fits my individual life?
- What all skills, talents & experiences do their employees have?
- Does the service provider charge a reasonable cost?
- What all evidence can be presented before me for depicting that they deliver top quality support & services?
- Does the service provider have an appropriate feedback & complaint system in place which is completely independent of service delivery system?
- What do other individuals with disabilities or their carers say about the services & support quality that provider renders them?
- The NDIS site has additional information to help people find & negotiate with services & support providers. There is also a price guide that can be referred to for finding the maximum costs providers can charge from the NDIS participants.
Know your consumer rights
Whether you pay for a particular product or service on your own or through state/ territory’s NDIS disability care system, you have rights as a consumer.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has an extensive array of resources to assist the NDIS participants in understanding all their consumer rights. There is a consumer guide for helping out all the participants understand & exercise all their consumer rights. Also, there is an industry guide for all providers to ascertain all their obligations while supplying all goods & services to consumers with disabilities. There are fact sheets, videos & easy to understand information on the ACCC website for individuals with disabilities, their families for understanding all their rights as consumers & seeking help if something goes wrong.
There is also the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission, an independent agency established to improve the quality & safety of NDIS supports and services. This commission is responsible for regulating the entire NDIS market and handling all complaints about the quality and safety of all kinds of support & services.
You can access resources for more information available in easy to understand English & LOTE on the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission website.
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