The NDIS can make a big difference to the lives of families and carers. It can give you peace of mind that the person you care for has the support they need to achieve their goals. NDIS funding also means that families and carers don’t have to pay for expensive equipment and services themselves.
As a carer, you understand the effects of the participant’s disability on their daily lives, so it’s important you’re involved in the NDIS process. This includes meeting with an NDIA Planner or a contracted NDIA community partner to discuss current supports, goals and what’s needed to achieve those goals.
During the pre-planning stage you’ll need to collect information about the supports the person you care for has now, and who provides them (including support from families and carers). You’ll also need to think about the supports and services the participant might need to help them reach their goals.
Preparing for the planning meeting is very important. The information you give will affect the NDIS plan, including the level of funding support provided. Completing a Carer Statement will give the planner more information about the impact the disability has on the participant, their carer and family. This will help the planner understand the level of support required.
Implementing the plan
When the NDIS plan is approved, you need to action it. This means you need to:
- read and understand your plan
- register for myGov and link to the NDIS Participant Portal myplace, where all your NDIS information is stored
- connect with the person who will help start the plan — either a Local Area Coordinator, Support Coordinator, or an Early Childhood Partner.
The NDIS Factsheet Starting your plan sets out step-by-step instructions on this process.
Managing the plan
NDIS plans can be managed through the online NDIS portal, myplace, which you can access through your myGov account.
There are five options for managing your NDIS funding support plan:
You will need to lodge a claim for services for NDIS funding to be transferred into a nominated bank account. This will allow you to pay service staff or organisations directly. Self-management allows you to choose who provides services; they do not need to be a NDIS-registered provider. Be aware that some choices can place you in the position of an employer, with all the industrial rules and regulations that apply. While self-management gives you more flexibility, it also means you need to be responsible for many aspects of the NDIS plan.
A NDIS-registered Plan Management provider manages the NDIS funding on your behalf. They will be able to advise you on what service providers you will need.
Funding for transport (if it’s included in the plan) can be automatically transferred into the nominated bank account weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
Reviewing the plan
The NDIS regularly reviews plans to make sure that they’re working, and that they’re helping participants achieve their goals.
The first plan review is usually done 12 months from when your plan started. This can be done in person or over the phone. You may need a plan review sooner if your needs or circumstances change.
Factsheets about navigating the NDIS
We have developed a range of factsheets to help you navigate NDIS supports.
Depending on the person’s state, territory, and region in which they reside, they may be asked to meet with a NDIA Planner or contracted NDIA Partner in the Community: Local Area Coordinator, Early Childhood Coordinator or Access Coordinator for their planning meeting.
These meetings can occur either face-to-face or over the phone. If you prefer to meet face-to-face, be clear and advocate for this when the planning meeting is being scheduled.
Early Childhood Partners will generally arrange to meet with you in your home environment.
During the planning meeting, the NDIA will request evidence to show that a person’s disability is permanent and significant. They will seek to understand the impact of that person’s disability on their daily lives.
You can find examples of the questions you might be asked on the NDIS website.
To get the best plan for the person you care for, it’s important to be ready for your planning meeting. This means understanding how much funding you’re getting now, the number of hours and the type of carer support you provide, your challenges and frustrations, and the kind of support the person with disability needs to meet their goals.
You will also need to take documented evidence to your planning meeting to support your case. Recommended documents are:
- Reports, functional assessments and information on the person’s disability
- Good day and bad day scenarios, so that all necessary support is captured
- A completed Carers Checklist or completed Mental Health Carer Checklist
- Documented strengths, interests, challenges in daily activities
- Documented short-term and long-term goals
- Completed NDIS Planning Booklet
- Your Carers Statement
- Evidence of age and residency to verify the participant’s Access Request
- Bank account details (to be used for NDIS participant funds).
You should keep a copy of every document you give to the NDIA and their partners, including the NDIS Planning Booklet
workbook, Carer Checklist, and diary of activities. You should also write down the date, time and name of the person you met, and keep a record of any phone call, meeting, email or letters between yourself and the NDIA or their partners. This means making a written note of any discussions, and keeping copies of any emails and letters that the NDIA sends to you, or that you send to the NDIA.
If you feel unsure about how to connect to supports and services in your community, or what the next steps are when you receive the NDIS plan, you may wish to consider including Support Coordination hours in the plan.
Your planner will advise whether this is likely to be included, based on the information you provide during your planning meeting. If this has been included in the NDIS plan, you only need to speak with a support coordinator to find appropriate supports and services in the community.
The Participant, nominee and/or carer is encouraged to discuss these options during the planning meeting to ensure an informed decision as to how the package of supports will be managed, can be made. Including support coordination hours in a plan, means that you will receive help with connecting to appropriate supports and services in the community.
A participant can change their service providers at any time without needing to wait for a scheduled review.
A review is an opportunity for the participant to reflect back and note which supports are helping them to achieve their goals, along with a time to re-evaluate and identify new interests and opportunities that they would like to participate in – for example, sporting, or special interest group activities.
If you’re not happy about the service you receive, you have a right to make a formal complaint. Complaints may relate to:
- the way you, or the participant, is spoken to or treated
- the quality of services or supports you receive.
Carer Statement example – Claire
2 July 2020 – 156.78 KB
Carer Statement example – John
2 July 2020 – 231.77 KB
2 July 2020 – 1.14 MB
Mental Health Carer Checklist
24 June 2020
This checklist is designed to assist carers to describe the support they provide to contribute to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS*) planning process for someone with a psychosocial disability…
Starting an NDIS plan
2 July 2020 – 111.01 KB
This factsheet explains the process of implementing an NDIS plan