The NDIS can be tricky to get right, but it’s worthwhile being prepared and informed about what you can do to make sure you get the best possible NDIS plan and put great arrangements in place to suit your needs.
At Integra, we have lots of experience talking to Participants, their families and representatives. There is no question we haven’t heard, and lots of tricky NDIS situations that we have helped people avoid.
Here’s our Top 5 NDIS mistakes you can avoid or fix.
1. Not being ready for your Planning meeting
It really is important to prepare for your NDIS meeting. One of the best ways you can do this is to understand what the Planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC) will ask you, and have some responses prepared. You may even want to bring someone along with you. The planning meeting includes some discussion about you and your supports (the people and services around you that help with your activities and tasks), what your short (12 months or less) and long term (3 years or more) goals are and how you’re progressing, how you want your NDIS plan managed (we reckon Plan Management is a great option!), and whether you need Support Coordination.
Make sure you get reports from specialists and therapists about your disability and what you’re working on, quotes for equipment or home modifications. You will also be asked questions towards the end of the meeting about how your disability is impacting you. These questions are taken from WHODAS or PEDI CAT questionnaires and how you answer may affect the size of your plan. It’s a good idea to respond to these questions while thinking about your worst day, rather than your best.
2. Not starting your NDIS plan
We hear a lot from Participants who take too long to activate their plan and get services going. From the time your LAC or Planner contact you to let you know the plan has been approved, it is active. Plans last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. So a delay of even 1 month can mean you’re at risk of not using your NDIS plan to full effect. If you don’t use it, you may lose it next plan.
3. Not spending your NDIS plan
You have worked hard to make sure you get a NDIS plan that meets your needs and will help you achieve your goals. One of the worst mistakes is to not use your NDIS plan. Think about how many hours of support you need each day or week. Do you have any regular breaks you take which may mean you need less support at certain times of the year? Or if you have capital supports approved, what steps do you need to take to receive these supports, do you need to organise quotes, does the provider have a waiting list, and if so, how long?
4. Not using your options of ‘choice and control’
If you think you’re not getting what you need or deserve from a provider, then you’re free to choose another provider. Remember, YOU are the decision maker with the funding, so you can always take your business elsewhere!
It’s also handy to know that Plan Management provides more advantages over Agency (or NDIA) managed plans, because you’re not restricted to NDIS registered providers and can use unregistered providers who are often smaller and more responsive to your individual requests.
5. Not understanding NDIS lingo or processes
Because NDIS is for lifetime support, it’s really important to understand the main characters in the NDIS and how they work.
At Integra we have pulled this handy reference pack together (Top 10 NDIS terms you need to know) so you know what some people are talking about.
You also need to keep records of your services and payments because you can be audited. If you select Plan Management with Integra, we can help you keep your records in one place which you can access anytime, 24/7.
Now you know some of the main areas where people can get into trouble with their NDIS Plan, it’s over to you. Integra can help you avoid the pitfalls in many of these areas. So, if you’re ready to take control of your NDIS plan, get in touch with our friendly team today on 1800 696 347 or sign up online.