Every day, Integra helps thousands of Australians like you to manage their NDIS plans and achieve their goals. Here’s our top 5 tips to get you on your way to achieving your NDIS goals.
Tip 1 - Define your NDIS goals
Identify what is important to you in terms of your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and lifelong activities and what support you will need to do these. Every NDIS plan is based on goals, and supports will only be funded if they will help you achieve them.
Below we have used the NDIS’s own categories to help get you started.
- independence in daily living
- participating in the community and doing more social and recreational activities
- finding and keeping a job
- improving relationships
- confidence in money management
- improved health and wellbeing
- getting around and building confidence around public transport or learning to drive
- learning something new
- where you want to live, or
- improving communication.
Tip 2 – Think about how many NDIS goals you'll need
You can have as many goals as you like, but it pays to understand exactly what the NDIS will fund. The NDIS will include funding to help you achieve your short to medium term goals (up to 12 months, or longer if you have a longer plan).
Longer term goals might still be included in your plan, but they won’t necessarily be funded. So, it may be worthwhile breaking your long-term goals into shorter goals that represent the tasks you want to achieve to reach your ultimate aim.
Generally, each Participant has two to three goals included in each NDIS plan. If you have lots of goals, then think about how they may relate to each other or be grouped together under a broader goal. For example, if your goals include being able to feed, toilet and dress yourself then the goal may be “To achieve independence in daily living tasks and activities including A, B, C……”.
It’s important also to understand the NDIS approaches age groups differently. For Participants under 7 years old, there is a recognition of the importance of therapy and it may be delivered throughout the year, whereas for older Participants it may be worth developing mini goals as generally therapy support is budgeted at 10 hours per goal.
Tip 3 – Get your evidence sorted
The NDIS is an insurance system that requires evidence of need before it will fund supports. Evidence based reports from professional therapists (e.g. occupational therapists, psychologists, speech pathologists, and dieticians) with training, skills and expertise are a important element in determining whether a person with disability will receive NDIS funding.
A great place to start, is to ensure you have reports from specialists or therapists that outline the functional impact of the disability and what will be done to make an improvement to reach specific goals. For example: “To achieve a 10% improvement in gross motor skills that increases body coordination and strength, and increase my ability to undertake daily activities of everyday living”. A report that includes specific recommendations such as this that fit under a Participant’s goal, such as “To increase my independence in my home,” will be considered by the NDIS Planners when they decide how much support is included in the plan.
Tip 4 - Understand what is reasonable and necessary
Reasonable is something that is fair. Necessary is something you need because of your disability. The NDIS funds ‘reasonable and necessary supports’ relating to a person's disability to help them achieve their goals.
The NDIS Local Area Coordinator or Planner will ask for information on which supports are reasonable and necessary to your situation. So be prepared to explain to them why and how they are:
- related to your disability
- not a day-to-day living cost that is unrelated to your disability support needs
- value for money
- likely to be effective and beneficial to you.
The Planner will take into account the unpaid, informal supports provided to you by family, carers, networks, and the community. So, make sure you’re clear about the sustainability of these supports and whether they contribute to your independence over time.
Here are some examples of supports that are often deemed reasonable and necessary:
- Support workers to help with personal care activities
- Therapy supports
- Aids and equipment
- Home modifications
- Mobility equipment
Ask yourself, would someone without a disability be expected to pay for this? If the answer is ‘yes’, it’s a mainstream cost. Things like housing, food, holidays and vehicles are considered mainstream costs. If changes or modifications or additional supports are required to access or use these everyday activities or tasks, then they may be reasonable and necessary.
Tip 5 – Go for maximum flexibility!
Be willing to explore options to meet your goals. There is a large amount of flexibility within your NDIS plan. If something isn’t working, then you have the power to change it.
One of the choices you have over your plan is how the funds are managed. Plan Management is an option for how your NDIS plan funds can be managed, and it allows you to use both registered and unregistered Providers. Selecting Plan Management will give you more options to help you meet your NDIS goals.
Let Integra help you to achieve your goals
Integra is a plan manager with expert knowledge of the NDIS. We help you to pay your providers fast and keep track of your budget. No matter where you are in the process, give our friendly team a call on 1800 696 347 to find out how we can help you get the most from your NDIS plan, or sign up online today.