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Partnering with participants – Q7

A yellow number seven painted on bitumen.

Panel members

If a participant is running low on funding and thinks they won’t be able to continue to access the supports they need, what can support coordinators and other providers do to help them?

KW –

  • Assist them with obtaining the necessary documentation if there has been a change of circumstances to submit a plan reassessment.
  • Look at alternatives, such as fortnightly as opposed to weekly.
  • Look at adding an allied health assistant to reduce therapist costs.
  • Look at in clinic therapy as opposed to in home to reduce travel costs.
  • Negotiate rates with providers if this is an option.
  • Look at mainstream supports available.

DB –

  • Make a plan together as to how to stretch out the funding in the short term. (i.e., ditch the cleaning this month).
  • Link in with mainstream services to plug any gaps.
  • Mentor people in some basic cost saving options, such as learning how to use online delivery or click and collect for shopping trips, rather than a longer support shift, leaving more time to complete errands if needed.
  • Put the decision back in the person’s hands – explain what happens and the processes that are/can be put in place once a plan’s funding runs out. Support the person to make an informed decision about what works for them.
  • Look at why the funding has run out so quickly – can we utilise a complex care plan from their GP to access allied health services?
  • If a person’s circumstances have changed and they need increased supports, put in for a plan review as soon as possible.

EH – One role of a support coordinator is to help participants identify early that they are overspending their budget. Once identified, figuring out the reason for the overspend is really important – where the overspend is not due to a change in circumstances, then consideration should be given to adjusting the supports being accessed. Changes can include the frequency of support, location the support is accessed (travel costs can increase a support to double the price), or if the support itself is required.

If a participant has a justifiable reason for running out of funds due to a change of circumstances (typically this may be changes in support needs, identification of a new diagnosis or changes to informal supports), a support coordinator should identify this early.

Once it is identified that the participant will run out, the support coordinator should – with consent – communicate with the NDIS representative and then assist the participant to collect supporting documents to apply for a change of circumstances. When you submit a change of circumstances, make sure you send all the supporting documents and treat it as a plan review – include participant or informal support statements, reports, letters of support from both NDIS and mainstream providers, to give the best chance of a great result.

ZD – As I stated earlier, support coordinators can conduct an early review within 100 days of the participant’s plan date, or they can conduct a plan reassessment/change of situation out of the 100 days, before plan review date. Both of these options will require urgent reports from all the participant’s service providers, as evidence as to why the participant requires more funding.

Other providers can shorten the hours of current support where possible to make the remaining funding last longer until the plan review/plan reassessment is complete. This usually takes around 6-8 weeks from the time the support coordinator emails all documents and forms to the NDIA.

AT – Put in a change of situation and request for an urgent review. Provide evidence, such as a current budget report, as well as a progress report from the provider and the OT. I’ve also found if relevant to contact the NDIA first to inform of the current budget.

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My Plan Manager acknowledges the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

My Plan Manager acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders both past and present.
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