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Not happy with a decision from the National Disability Insurance Agency? Read on.

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By Chris

This article is part of My Plan Manager’s guest blogger series.

A note from My Plan Manager: The tips and information in this blog are taken from personal experience and may not mirror your own National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) journey. If you haven’t yet read ‘Need help with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)? Here’s where to get it (starting at pre-access)’, turn around and start there!

Once you’ve read that, come back to this article where Chris shares his NDIS tips from personal experience.

The process of becoming a participant in the NDIS can begin with a verbal access request, where a person with disability, their family member or guardian calls the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and asks to apply. Another option to apply for the NDIS is to submit an access request form. Both of these require supporting evidence from a treating professional.

Note: We recognise that everyone’s experience with the NDIS is different. However, you can contact a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) free-of-charge to help you apply as the first step when you are thinking about requesting access to the NDIS.

Once done, contact a disability advocacy organisation for support. Most advocacy organisations will help to unpack the terminology and jargon that is often used in the disability sector and having someone by your side who is familiar with those terms and phases really helps. Most advocacy organisations will do this for free.

If your application to access the NDIS is approved, the first thing to do is to go to a pre-planning meeting that’s usually held with a Local Area Coordinator – or LAC. LACs help NDIS participants to develop, review and implement their plans. During the 90-minute catch-up, the LAC will gather information and work with you to determine what to put in your plan.

You can ask your current providers to help you prepare for this meeting, and they can even join your pre-planning call with your LAC. 

The process is challenging, but with patience and perseverance, you can make it through the experience.

If your application to access the NDIS is turned down, don’t panic. This decision can be challenged through a number of review pathways that you can find at the end of this article.

Once your eligibility is established, the NDIA will contact you to set up a planning meeting. During this meeting they will ask a series of questions about your experiences in regard to your disabilities, what disabilities you are diagnosed with and what services you think you will need. There may come a point in this meeting where they ask you to justify your needs, so it is a good idea to have someone from the organisation that helped you with the pre-planning meeting there with you for support.

It is always good to have someone else with you to take notes when you speak to the NDIA. If you’re not able to have a third person with you then politely tell the NDIA that you can’t talk at the moment and arrange a time when you can have someone else take part in the conversation. Do not take no for an answer to this request as they cannot force you to talk to them.

After the meeting, the NDIA will present you with your NDIS plan. If you’re happy with it, that’s great. If not, you have 90 days to request a review. Often people aren’t aware of the 90-day limit, so keep it in mind, because you have a time limit to challenge the NDIA’s decision. If you can’t resolve the matter by way of a review, this is where legal aid and/or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal come in. These are both free services and both have specialist teams that deal with matters relating to the NDIA.

Both options have resulted in positive outcomes for me, so I leave the choice to you. Just remember, these people are on your side, so always be polite with them.

You can find more information about getting a decision from the NDIA reviewed here: https://myplanmanager.com.au/not-happy-with-your-ndis-plan-heres-what-you-can-do-to-request-to-change-it/.


This month on Kinora, our online community for people with disability, their supporters and service providers, we’re exploring eligibility and access to the NDIS. If you have questions about applying for the NDIS or this pre-planning phase, log on to Kinora to connect with a coach who can point you in the right direction.

Log on to Kinora now.


Hi I’m Chris. I’m a 44 year old Autistic person. Originally from California, I ran away to Australia as soon as I could. Raised in the country, life wasn’t easy with an invisible neurological difference, especially when that difference wasn’t even widely known about. On top of that I didn’t even get a diagnosis until I was 39 years old.

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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.
© My Plan Manager 2020
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