Your NDIS planning meeting - what to expect
Your NDIS planning meeting is a very important step in making sure you discuss the things you consider reasonable and necessary to assist you. What can be included in your NDIS plan is often determined by what is discussed in this meeting. That is why it is very important to think about your needs before the meeting. It is easy to forget the questions you want to ask, so it is a good idea to make a list. Then you will be prepared on the day and not feel stressed.
You can have a friend or someone you trust to support you in the meeting and don't be worried about asking questions if anything is unclear or confusing. You will meet with a Planner (either a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) representative.
You will discuss - Your Story
The first step in a planning meeting is to create a 'participant statement'. This will become the 'About Me' section of your NDIS plan so you will talk about yourself and your life situation.
The Planner will talk you through this and write down your answers.
It can be hard to remember everything you want to say, so preparing some information ahead of time will help you to cover all the things you want to discuss. This may include your living situation, health and nutrition requirements, your employment or education situation, your hobbies and interests and how you get around.
You will discuss - Your Needs
Once the Planner has an idea of your situation, they will want to find out a bit more about how much assistance you need in your day-to-day life. They will use a questionnaire called the WHODAS (World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule), which asks you to rank your ability to perform certain functional tasks out of 5.
If you are under 17 the questionnaire is called the PEDI-CAT and is slightly different.
The questions will cover topics like daily assistance, mobility, health and well-being, relationships and questions about fine and gross motor skills. Your answers will help to determine the level and type of funding you receive. Take your time and try to answer as accurately as possible.
You should also discuss the important people in your life are and how much support they provide to you.
You will discuss - Your Goals
Another very important part of your planning meeting is to discuss your goals. You will only receive funding for supports if they relate to and will help you to achieve your goals.
What are your goals? It is a simple question that many of us find hard to answer.
Goals describe what you want to achieve, develop or learn. The easiest way for you to think about goals is to think about what's important to you. What are your dreams, your interests or things you love doing?
Think about the different aspects of your life and what is important to you. It may be:
- finding and keeping a job
- improving relationships
- independence in daily living
- improving your diet to manage health issues
- confidence in money management
- doing more social and recreational activities
- improved health and wellbeing
- building confidence around public transport or learning to drive
- learning something new
- where you want to live, or
- improving communication
Your Planner will ask about two kinds of goals: short term and long term.
Short term goals are those than can be accomplished within the next year and long-term goals look at what you want to achieve over the next 5 years, such as learning to walk unaided. You are usually allowed up to 2 short term and 5 long term goals in your plan. Think about your goals before the meeting and add them to your list.
If you already have a Plan, think about which services or Providers currently work well supporting you and which ones do not. Add this information to your list. It is a good idea to advise the Planner of the services you currently receive and if possible, provide quotes from each provider. Try to organise the quote a couple of weeks before your meeting so you can have it with you at the meeting.
You will discuss - an Impact Statement
The last official step in a planning meeting is to create your 'Impact statement', which is designed to give an indication of the effect your disability has on those around you (particularly your primary carer). This can be a difficult part of the planning meeting as the questions asked might be hard for you to answer. However, it is needed to get a better understanding of your situation, so you can get the NDIS plan that is right for you.
Part of this step is also to discuss what supports you might need in managing your NDIS plan. One question is about Plan Management - if you need financial management of your NDIS plan. The other question is whether you need someone to support you with finding and connecting with service providers. If so, the NDIS might determine to include Support Coordination in your plan. This is subject to the eligibility criteria.
To finalise the meeting, the planner will ask if you would like to add anything that has not been discussed. Take the time to go through your list and makes sure you have covered everything.
The planner will then run you through the next steps and let you know what you will need to do.
It is important to have the contact details of your planner before you leave the meeting. Ensure that you have their full name, phone number and email address, so you can get in touch with them any time after the meeting. The information above is what will generally be covered in a meeting, but each Planner may work a little differently.
After your planning meeting the NDIS will develop your NDIS Plan
After the meeting, the Planner will take the information supplied and forward it to an NDIS Delegate. The Delegate is someone from the NDIA who writes up the plan based on what was discussed in the meeting.
Generally, the participant will receive a paper copy of their plan in the mail. They will also receive a letter with an activation code to link their myGov to the NDIS Portal.
The NDIS Plan details the funded supports that the NDIS has decided are reasonable and necessary to reach your goals and aspirations.
For a support to be reasonable and necessary it must meet all the following criteria:
- Be related to your disability
- Assist you to reach your goals and aspirations
- Provide support for you to engage in activities that increase your social and economic participation
- Represent value for money
- Be effective and beneficial and in line with current good practice
- Take account of what is reasonable to expect your family, support network and the community to provide
- Be most appropriately funded by the NDIS
- The NDIS will not pay for things that are the responsibility of other parts of government
Participants should check that the plan has included the things discussed in the meeting. If you have concerns or questions, contact the Planner and go through the Plan with them.
The NDIS support item regarding meals is - assistance with the cost of preparation and delivery of meals. The NDIS line item is 01_022_0120_1_1 and comes under Core Supports, assistance with daily life - daily activities. Ingredient costs are the responsibility of the participant as per the NDIS guidelines.
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Want more information about the assistance you can receive from NDIS? Go to: NDIS - What help can I get