Plan reviews are an important part of the NDIS process and help Participants to think about what’s important, what’s working and what’s not, and any changes that need to be made for the next NDIS plan.
NDIS plan reviews can also present challenges for people who don’t prepare properly, or who haven’t used all their previous NDIS plan budget.
But don’t worry, no matter what situation you’re in, or what has happened in the past, a plan review is a great opportunity to re-set and refocus. Let’s get ready for your NDIS plan review!
When should a plan review happen?
Generally, an NDIS plan review happens towards the end of your existing plan.
For example, if you have a 12 month NDIS plan, the Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or Planner will contact you anytime within 3 months of your plan end date, to organise a meeting. Before you agree to a meeting date and place, here’s some things you may want to consider.
How much have you used of your current Plan?
If you’re tracking well with your NDIS plan, you don’t need to rush into a plan review meeting.
If you think you’re on track to over-using your NDIS plan or running out of funds, then it’s a little known secret you can call or email your LAC and ask for a review to occur as early as 100 days before your plan is due to end.
If you’re under-using your NDIS plan, you might want to consider ways you can use it before it expires, and also think about the reasons why you have underspent your budget. Was it because you waited too long to start your plan? Did you get put on a waiting list? Did you have trouble locating the right supports? Were you sick or unavailable, or were your providers sick or unavailable? Did you have to change providers?
Where is the best place to have the meeting?
The LAC or Planner might say they want you to meet at their office, but you do not have to do this. You might want to have the meeting at your home or in a neutral space. You might want to consider how much travel is involved and who is going to come with you. It’s a personal choice where you choose to have the meeting. You may also want to show the LAC or Planner firsthand some of the issues you want help with through your NDIS plan. This may help give them a clearer understanding of what’s involved.
Who will attend the meeting?
If you’re a Participant, do you want support at the meeting. Do you want a family member or a therapist or advocate present? You can choose to bring whomever you like (note that Support Coordinators tend not to attend planning meetings, but they can help organise relevant reports that will be important for your plan review).
If you’re a nominee, for example, for a child, will you bring the child? Your child might provide the LAC or Planner a much clearer picture of the issues you’re talking about, or may also distract you from getting all your points across. If you are a family, you should talk about the role each will play in the discussion and plan it accordingly. You’ll want the plan review meeting to be as impactful and productive as possible.
What should you bring to the meeting?
When thinking about the best date to have your planning meeting, think about how long it may take to organise relevant reports or quotes from specialists and therapists. You may benefit from having a review of your progress toward your current plan goals, and inclusion of new supports or goals. You might find you have completed some of your goals. This can help you decide what to keep in your future plan, and what you might want to add. You may want to allow up to 4 weeks for these reports to be done.
Can I ask for a plan review earlier?
Yes, you can ask for a regular plan review anytime within 100 days of the end of your current plan. Or you can request a plan review at any time. If your circumstances change, such as changing address, or a condition worsening, or certain supports no longer available to you that you rely on and cannot source any more, you must also notify the NDIA about your change in circumstances.
What if I am moving from ECEI to NDIS?
If you’re over 7 years old and have previously had support through NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI), the change to NDIS can mean you need to adjust the way you approach plan review meetings. For example, once a person is over 7 years old, the therapy supports you require need to be explained in greater detail, with an emphasis on ongoing goals. Generally, the NDIS will limit therapies once a child has turned 7 years old, to blocks of 10 hours per goal. So, it’s best to prepare with relevant reports and a series of recommendations from allied health specialists to help you maximise the support you receive.
Quick refresh - What the LAC or Planner will ask you at the Plan Review
Here is a quick refresh on how the plan review meeting runs. During your planning meeting, the LAC or Planner will ask questions including:
- Confirm your personal details, such as your primary disability and any changes.
- Confirm your informal, community and mainstream supports, including activities or help you get from family members, friends, and the local community (these supports will be mentioned in your plan, but you won’t receive funding for them).
- How you feel you have progressed on your goals over the last plan. What you think your new goals should be.
- How much you have used in your last plan and any factors that influenced how much of certain supports you used.
- What you want to achieve in your next plan. You will need to provide new goals and new evidence of the needs or supports you want to address. This is where reports and quotes will come in handy!
- How you’re managing your everyday activities, and the type of supports, services, equipment, accommodation or help you may need in your home or to get out and about.
- For any new activities or tasks you want to do, remember to think about what support is required to do these independently and/or safely. What supports and services are you likely to need to overcome the impact of your disability so you can do these activities safely and independently and achieve your goals?
- How you want your plan to be managed (who will organise the payment your bills). Integra recommends you consider Plan Management as an option as it provides you with greater flexibility to use both registered and unregistered providers, and you don’t have the hassle of paperwork or separate bank accounts.
- The last 15 minutes or so of the meeting will include a questionnaire on how easy or hard you find certain activities and tasks. The way you answer these questions will influence how much funded support you receive in your plan. If you can, it might help to think of your worst day, rather than your best day. Be honest, but fair to yourself.
Want to know more about Plan Management?
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you get the most from your NDIS plan by using a Plan Manager like Integra, then get in touch with our friendly team today on 1800 696 347.
If you’re ready to get on board now, you can use our easy online plan management sign up form.