Making changes to your NDIS plan can take time and has traditionally required a plan review, which happens automatically when a plan is set to expire.
Shortly after the NDIS launched in 2014, reports began to emerge indicating many participants were facing lengthy delays while awaiting plan reviews, with the backlog sparking an investigation into the process.
Today, NDIS plan reviews are simpler, easier and faster, with a range of options available to participants seeking to have a plan adjusted or changed. These include:
- Request for review
- Internal review
- External review (Administrative Appeals Tribunal)
- Light touch review
- Formal plan review (usually every 12 months)
Here’s a breakdown of each review type, and how and when to request it (except a 12-month plan review, which happens automatically when a plan is set to expire).
Request for review
If your circumstances have changed significantly or if your funding support categories aren’t quite right, you have every right to request a review from the NDIA at any time. To do this, you will need to complete a Change of Situation or Change of Details form that you can find here.
You can also use this form to let the NDIA know if your details – including your phone number, address, or email account – have changed. It’s important to keep your details up to date, so the NDIA can continue to contact you with essential information, and so the Agency can remain in the loop about changes to your circumstances that may impact your plan.
If you or a person you care for is not happy with a decision made by the NDIA, you have three months to request an internal review of the initial decision.
The NDIA aims to complete all internal reviews within 90 days of receiving a request, and the person reviewing it will let you know in writing if they have decided to change the decision or not.
You can request an internal review by talking to someone at an NDIA office, calling 1800 800 110, or sending an email to [email protected] You can also fill out and submit and a Request for a Review of a Decision form to describe why you want an internal review of the decision (NDIA, 2021). This is not compulsory, but it can help to speed a decision up.
External review (Administrative Appeals Tribunal)
If you are not happy with a decision made by the NDIA after an internal review, you can apply for an external review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT delivers independent reviews of decisions made by the NDIA. External reviews can be requested within 28 days of receiving an internal review decision from the NDIA and cannot be requested before an internal review decision is made.
You can apply for an AAT review online, or you can fill out an application form and lodge it directly with the AAT in person, via email, by fax, or by post. You can also give the AAT new information, if you think it will help with the external review. If you need help asking for an external review, you can contact the AAT here (NDIA, 2021).
Light touch review
Unlike changing a decision made by the NDIA, a light touch review is designed to make small changes to your plan if you have a change in circumstance that requires adjusting a plan budget, if you have an Agency-managed plan and want to switch to plan or self-management, or vice versa.
A light touch review can help you to move funds between budgets (i.e., from Core Supports to Capacity Building) to give you more flexibility with achieving your goals. Light touch reviews are not available to every participant, but it may be worth asking your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) for more information.
A light touch review cannot be used to increase the funding of a plan, but it can avoid extended delays you may face in a request for review. To arrange a light touch review, you can contact the NDIA directly or contact your LAC.
A formal plan review (usually every 12 months)
Typically, NDIS participants will work with the NDIA to review their plan every 12 months. A formal plan review – or plan review meeting – is an opportunity for your or someone you care for to look at progress against the plan and set new goals to develop and/or enhance skills and independence.
My Plan Manager contacts clients approximately three months prior to expiry of their current NDIS plan to offer in-depth, 1:1 coaching to prepare for a plan review. The coaching involves going over what was achieved during the term of the current plan, and any life changes that may impact future supports.
We also consider any supporting documentation that may be needed to help our clients to get the best possible outcome from their plan review meeting.
Following a 1:1 coaching session, our team will send a written summary of the discussion, which can be printed out and taken to the plan review meeting to support the conversation with the NDIS planner or LAC.
If you would like to book 1:1 plan review coaching at a time that suits you (and zero out-of-pocket cost), email us at [email protected] or call us on 1800 861 272 from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday (ACDT).