Moving onto the NDIS can be a huge step for you or someone close to you. To help make the most of your first NDIS planning meeting, and get the best possible result, the team at My Plan Manager has put together our best tips and advice on how to get ready before the meeting.
The more prepared you are for the meeting, the easier it will be to communicate your needs and make sure you don’t forget anything. It will also help you to feel more confident about advocating for yourself or your loved one, so we recommend you begin to get ready as soon as possible. We also have a summary of this article in a handy checklist you can print off.
The NDIS is here give you more choice and control, so start by thinking about exactly how you want to live your life and what supports you need to overcome barriers and achieve your goals. Read our article all about NDIS goals.
NDIS funding can only be allocated to supports that help you work towards your goals. 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. Read our top tips for choosing your goals.
Listing your activities and supports
Be prepared to share lots of detail about 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, 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 – for example, if a family member is only available sometimes because they have to work. Mention current gaps in your support system too, where your needs are not being met.
Managing your plan funding
You will need to decide how you would like to manage your funding: agency managed, self managed, plan managed or a combination of all these options. Read our article about how to choose the right funding management option for you.
Plan management means that a plan management provider, like My Plan Manager, can help you to understand your plan, set a budget and pay your bills for you. If you’d like to work with us at My Plan Manager, you will need to ask for plan management (listed in your plan as ‘improved life choices’) to be included when you’re at your planning meeting. Read our article all about how to get plan management in your plan.
Support in the meeting
While you can go to the meeting alone if that’s what’s best for you, you’re also welcome to bring a support person with you who can help you to tell 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 support workers who knows you well.
Things to take with you
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 that shows your 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. You can also check our NDIS dictionary.
Download the checklist
We also have this article in a handy checklist you can print off.
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.