What is an NDIS support coordinator? How do they actually help? What’s the best way to find a support coordinator who will be a good fit for me? If you are asking yourself these questions, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will jump into all things support coordination, explain how a support coordinator can help and if it’s the best option for you.
What is a support coordinator?
A support coordinator helps participants put their NDIS plan into practice with the right support. This includes informal, mainstream, community, and funded support. The amount of assistance provided by a support coordinator varies from person to person, with some people requiring more hours of support per week than others.
There are three different levels of support coordination, each offering different levels of support based on your needs.
- Support connection — A lower level of support that involves helping you understand and make use of your NDIS plan, as well as setting up connections with informal, community, and funded supports.
- Coordination of supports — This medium level of support involves help for you to learn how to organise, manage and implement your own NDIS plan, including connecting with providers and helping mitigate any issues that arise.
- Specialist support coordination — This is a higher level of specialist support that involves working with you if you have complex needs to manage and implement your NDIS plan, and overcome complicated barriers.
How do I get a support coordinator?
The NDIS considers several factors when deciding if you need a support coordinator. These considerations include:
- Your disability and the degree to which it affects your ability to manage and coordinate their supports.
- The goals outlined in your NDIS plan and which supports are needed to achieve them
- Your current support network.
- Any barriers you may be facing that stop you achieving your goals without the assistance of a support coordinator.
If you are interested in having a support coordinator, you’ll need to discuss this with your Local Area Coordination (LAC) or planner who can help determine what level of support you might be eligible for and help request the funding to be included in your NDIS plan.
Once you have funding for a support coordinator you have the choice of picking between a registered or unregistered support coordinator. You can find a list of close-by registered support coordinators by using the Provider Finder tool on the NDIS website.
What is the difference between an NDIS support coordinator and plan manager?
Both support coordinators and plan managers help NDIS participants to manage and make the most of their plans and support. However, they have different roles and responsibilities and are not the same thing.
A support coordinator is tasked mainly with helping you implement the supports within your plan to achieve your goals. They work to coordinate carers, specialists, and supports, as well as educate you on how to get the most from your plan. Simply put, they aim to put your best interests first to ensure you can get the most out of your plan.
Plan managers do not assist with implementing support but instead, help you effectively manage your budget and the financial side of your NDIS plan. This includes making sure services and specialists are paid quickly and accurately, all financial and administrative work is completed in a timely manner, and financial reporting is provided to both you and the NDIA itself.
What does an NDIS support coordinator do?
The role of a support coordinator is varied. An NDIS support coordinator can:
- Help you to better understand your NDIS plan
- Connect you with supports and services
- Plan and coordinate your supports and service agreements
- Establish and maintain relationships with your supports
- Help you review your supports to make sure they are working for you
- Help you build capacity for independence and to manage your own plan in the future
- Prepare for unexpected events
- Assist with any challenging situations
Who needs an NDIS support coordinator?
Not everyone is eligible to have Support Coordination included in their plan. To get Support Coordination funded in your plan, you need to tell the NDIA why you need help using your plan and making the most of it. For example you:
- Are going through a significant life change
- Don’t have family and friends with the time or knowledge to help you find and connect with the right service providers
- Are new to the NDIS with your first plan
How does a support coordinator get paid?
Support coordinators are paid by the hour. This hourly rate is paid for from your NDIS funding. A support coordinator’s hourly rate is set by the NDIA and included in their pricing arrangements page. This pricing is regularly updated to reflect current market rates.
The hourly rate will differ depending on the level of support required (either support connection, support coordination or specialist support coordination).
The funding allocation and type of support coordination you require will be outlined in your NDIS plan under the “Capacity Building” budget section.
What’s NOT included in your support coordination
While support coordinators offer a wide range of support to participants, there are some areas in which a support coordinator is not able to help. While this list is not extensive, it outlines some of the supports not available from a support coordinator. A support coordinator cannot:
- Provide direct services: Support coordinators do not provide therapy or direct services such as personal care, occupational therapy or psychological services. Instead, a support coordinator helps you connect with these service providers.
- Provide plan management services: Support coordinators do not get involved with the financial management of your NDIS plan.
- Make decisions for you: While support coordinators can offer advice and guidance on different supports, NDIS support coordination does not include making decisions on your behalf.
- Handle plan reviews or appeals: Again, support coordinators can provide guidance on the process as well as prepare you for plan reviews and help with the gathering of the necessary documentation, but they do not directly conduct plan reviews or handle appeals.
- Provide crisis or emergency support: Support coordinators do not provide emergency or crisis support; in the case of an emergency, you should contact emergency services.
- Provide employment support: Support coordinators can not provide job placement or direct employment support; they can, however, help connect you with the appropriate services.
Looking for a reliable support coordinator?
If you’re looking for an NDIS support coordinator to help you with your NDIS plan, MyIntegra is here to help. Our Australia-wide network of specialised support coordinators uses their expertise and knowledge to connect you with the right local services to meet your needs.
Finding the right support to help you reach your NDIS goals doesn’t have to be hard when your support network is centred around you. Contact us today at 1800 696 347 or email us on [email protected] and speak to our friendly team about getting started with MyIntegra Support Coordination.