With the New Year comes the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme to new areas. Moving onto the NDIS can be a huge step for yourself or someone close to you. To help make the most of this meeting, and ensure you get the best possible result, the team at My Plan Manager has put together our best advice on how to be prepared.
The more prepared you are for the meeting, the easier you should be able to recall and communicate your needs, and the more confident you should feel about advocating for yourself or your loved one, so we recommend you begin to get ready as soon as possible.
The NDIS exists with the intention to give you more choice and control, so start to consider exactly how you want to live your life and what supports you need to overcome barriers and achieve your goals.
> Bringing a support can be a huge help. While you are able to attend the meeting alone if that’s what’s best for you, you’re also welcome to bring one or more people with you who can assist you to fully inform your planner about your situation, goals and needs and can be a safety net that nothing has been forgotten. This may be a family member, a friend, an advocate or one of your current support workers who knows you well.
> Be prepared to detail your life. In your first planning meeting, you will be asked about your day-to-day reality in terms of your social circles including friends and family, hobbies, work, volunteer commitments and any other activities you like to do. This includes things you participate in daily, weekly and occasionally. Bringing a list of these along will be helpful. Think about everything you currently do, not just at work, school or day programs, but things you do outside of them in the mornings, evenings, as well as weekends. These are all activities that have a regular routine or schedule, for example, shopping or going to the gym. Make note too, of things you do occasionally, like going to the movies or sporting events. It’s important to mention if you have transportation needs, what supports you require before, during or after an activity, or other things you might need support for, like personal care or meal preparation.
> During the NDIS planning conversation, you will need to discuss your current supports as well as supports you feel you are lacking. Having a list of the formal and informal support you receive will be a huge help here – this means anyone who helps you manage everyday life or contributes to you reaching your goals. Any factors that affect your informal supports should be mentioned too – e.g if a family member often spends time in hospital. It’s important to be aware of the current gaps in your support system too, where your needs are not being met so that you can communicate these to your planner.>
> Having clear goals and knowing what you want to achieve in life will help your planner to decide what supports will be funded. NDIS plans are based on these personal goals and funding can only be allocated to relevant supports that are contributing to you achieving them. If there is a specific support you would like to receive, think about how it relates to a goal. For example, If you want to ask for funding for a pool hoist, it could be related to a goal of accessing a pool with family and friends, or working on strength and fitness. Think beyond the common items of equipment and consider what would enhance your life or be a unique assistance to achieving your goals.
> You should be asked how you would like to manage your funding. Deciding beforehand will be the best option for you. your options are: Agency managed, Self managed, Plan managed or a combination of all three. If you’d like to work with us at My Plan Manager, you will need to ask for Plan Management to be included. For more information read our plan management blog here
> Bring along any supporting documentation you feel could be relevant to the meeting. Having too much information for the planner is certainly better than not having enough. This could be anything that relates to your life and your supports, relevant to your disability. Information from doctors, therapists, your workplace, school can help to paint a clear picture about your needs. Photographs can be helpful in terms of accessibility needs, especially around your home. For example, if you can’t fit your wheelchair in your bathroom, having a visual picture to share your concrete needs can be a benefit for you and your NDIS Planner and can help streamline the process for you.
> Write down questions before you go. If there’s anything you aren’t clear on, having a list of questions can help to prompt you. Often the planning meetings are long and by the end, being put on the spot for questions can mean something gets forgotten. Having a way to take notes of the answers may be helpful to you too, so you’re able to recall the information later. If there’s any of the NDIS ‘lingo’ you aren’t familiar with, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification – you have the right to understand everything involved with your plan.
Remember, My Plan Manager is always here to help. We want to take the stress out of your NDIS so if you have any questions we welcome you to contact our team via: email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 0451 095 552
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