Understanding Your NDIS Plan

Understanding your NDIS plan and all the services available to you can be overwhelming.

In this article, we show you what is available to you under the NDIS, how to apply for funding, and how to prepare for your first meeting. Our experts at Complete Connect are always here to assist you every step of the way to maximise your benefits and help you live the life you desire.

Below we discuss everything available to NDIS recipients so you can find out what support options are available to you.

NDIS Support Categories

Your plan includes three types of funding: Core, Capital, and Capacity Building. The supports will be categorized under these funding types.

There are a variety of categories for you to choose from, each reflecting your own goals and aspirations. Read up on each category and learn what it covers since these categories cover expenses you might not expect.

Core Supports

Core Supports are the necessities for living a healthy and happy life. The funding of Core Supports is flexible, so you can use a Support Category’s funds to fund another support as long as they are both Core Supports (with the exception of Transport (Category 2).)

Support budgets can be moved from one Support Category to another.

Assistance with Daily Living (Category 1)

  • Ensures your independence at home is as high as possible.
  • Aids with everyday activities such as preparing meals, cleaning your house, gardening, and taking a shower, and dressing.
  • Funds respite care as well.

There are a variety of categories for you to choose from, each reflecting your own goals and aspirations. Read up on each category and learn what it covers since these categories cover expenses you might not expect.

Transport Allowance (Category 2)

  • If you are unable to use public transportation due to your disability, this option might be available to you.
  • Allows you to access the services you need outside your home by covering the costs of appropriate transportation.
  • The NDIA or your Plan Manager will pay you or your transportation provider directly and in advance, usually every fortnight or monthly.

Consumables (Category 3)

  • These are supplies you need every day as a result of your disability.
  • Covers products such as dressing aids, nutritional supplements, continence aids, and colostomy bags.
  • Also covers low-risk, low-cost assistive devices such as a walker, sensory equipment, kettle stabiliser, modified cutlery, or apps for your phone, tablet, or in some cases an iPad.
  • Assistance dogs may also be eligible for funding of pet insurance and grooming services.
  • Funding can also be provided for Auslan services or interpreter services.
  • You can determine what you need with the help of an Occupational Therapist.

Assistance with Social & Community Participation (Category 4)

  • Supports your participation in social, community, and recreational activities.
  • Supports your participation, but typically does not cover the actual cost of the activity (the actual activity may be funded in the category Increased Social & Community Participation (Category 9)).
  • For example, tickets for concerts or sporting events are generally not covered, but you could use your funds to hire a support worker to assist you.

Capital Supports

Capital Supports are larger, one-time items that provide you with support in your daily life. They include assistive technology, like wheelchairs and prosthetic devices, or home enhancements that can help you live more independently, such as a ramp to your front door.

Assistive Technology (Category 5)

  • Includes specialized equipment or technology.
  • The program provides funds for things such as wheelchairs, orthotics and prosthetics, portable hoists, vehicle modifications, braille resources, and even the purchase of guide dogs.
  • A therapist’s assessment and a quote from the provider are both required.
  • Included are the costs associated with the repair of disability-related equipment.

Home Modifications and Specialised Disability Accommodation (Category 6)

  • Finances changes or additions to your home that make it more convenient for you to live independently, such as ramps and railings.
  • Modifications can also be implemented with the help of a project manager.
  • Can also provide funding to support the costs of living in a registered Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

Capacity Building Supports

The goal of this funding type is to help you become more independent by providing supports including therapy.

Support Coordination (Category 7)

  • Provides you with the best support so that you can live the life you want and achieve your goals.
  • Provides support for issues that may arise with your service providers.
  • Support Coordination is provided by Plan Partners.

Improved Living Arrangements (Category 8)

  • Assists in finding, securing, or keeping suitable accommodation.
  • Assists you in becoming more independent by funding more appropriate independent living arrangements.
  • Assists with getting a group home, going to inspections, or negotiating contracts might be required.

Increased Social & Community Participation (Category 9)

  • Contributes to the development of your skills and independence by participating in community activities.
  • Funds all kinds of activities, including school, life skills training, and sports coaching.
  • Also, we can help you build your independence by funding the cost of a mentor.
  • Does not cover the costs of someone supporting you while taking part in an activity. The project falls under Category 4: Assistance with Social & Community Participation.

Finding and Keeping a Job (Category 10) 

  • Supports your job search or job retention
  • Funds for services such as resume assistance and interview support
  • The money can also be used to prepare for the move to work after school or for some time away from work.

Improved Relationships (Category 11)

  • Provides support to help you make positive changes to your life and relationships.
  • Funds psychological and social skills development, as well as behavior therapy.

Improved Health and Wellbeing (Category 12)

  • Supports, maintains, or increases your physical mobility or wellbeing if that is compromised by your disability.
  • Includes support from dietitians, exercise physiologists, and personal trainers. 

Improved Learning (Category 13)

  • Ensures a smooth transition from school to higher education.
  • Funds professional advice, application assistance, or orientation support.

Improved Life Choices (Category 14)

  • Develops your financial and organizational skills.
  • Manage your NDIS support plan with Plan Management.
  • Plan Partners provides Plan Management services.

Improved Daily Living (Category 15)

  • This program helps you develop basic skills that can make your life easier.
  • Provides funding for activities like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, early childhood intervention strategies, and group therapy.
  • These funds can also be used for some psychology and exercise physiology projects.
  • During your plan or before a review of your plan to assess your developing needs, you will be funded for any assessments or reports that you require.

Applying For the NDIS

Now that you understand what is available to you, let’s talk about the application process. 

People with disabilities have a variety of experiences, and no two people have the same experience. Individuals with disabilities are provided with support and services through the NDIS. Before applying, you need to meet certain requirements.

The NDIS does not require you to apply if you are already receiving disability support services. The NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) will contact you as soon as the NDIS is available in your area.

To join the NDIS, you must call 1800 800 110 and request an Access Request Form if you do not currently receive disability supports.

You must complete the following steps to request access:

  • Confirm your identity or confirm whether a person is authorized to act on your behalf.
  • Answer questions to determine if you are eligible for the NDIS.
  • Provide proof of your disability.
  • Check your eligibility for the NDIS.

The same disability can affect people in a variety of ways, and no two people will experience the same thing. People with disabilities can obtain services and support through the NDIS, but first, they must meet certain requirements. Complete Connect understands that people have different abilities. One person’s needs may not be the same as another’s.

NDIS assistance is not available to everyone with a disability. Who is eligible to access the NDIS is determined by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). To be eligible, you must be disabled or eligible for early intervention.

To apply for the NDIS, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a proven permanent disability that significantly impairs your ability to participate in everyday activities;
  • You must be a citizen of Australia or a permanent resident or hold a visa under the Special Protected Category.
  • At the time of application, you must be younger than 65 years old; *A person eligible for NDIS can continue to receive an NDIS package after they turn 65 years old until they take up residential aged care.
  • You must be living within the areas currently served by the NDIS.

In the National Disability Insurance Scheme, an individual’s eligibility for direct support can be determined based on a variety of factors. However, not all disabilities are the same.

The extent to which your disability affects the way you live your life and how you function must be disclosed. Depending on your age, you may also be required to provide proof of access to early intervention, such as children under 7 years old.

The NDIA may ask for more information, delay your request, or reject your application if your proof of disability is unclear.

How Do I Prove My Eligibility?

You should provide as much information about your disability and how it affects your daily functioning as possible when applying for the NDIS. Evidence you should include:

  • Provide the type and date of your primary disability (if applicable)
  • Verify the impact of your disability on every aspect of your life (such as mobility/motor skills, communication, social interaction, learning, self-care, and self-management).
  • Discuss the disability’s duration, and the treatment options available (including previous treatments, and if possible, future treatments)
  • Ensure all the information you provide is up to date (i.e. between 6-12 months ago).
  • A professional with expertise in your primary disability should complete the form.

Among the medical professionals most often involved in treating patients are:

  • General Practitioners (GPs)
  • Pediatricians
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Therapists (Speech Pathologists)
  • Neurologists
  • Psychiatrists or Psychologists

Professionals providing evidence should be well-versed in your primary disability and have been seeing you long-term (for instance, for at least six months).

These professionals must be aware of which assessments they are required to provide. The NDIA has a list of relevant assessments that professionals can use (and which you may have to obtain).

Consult the NDIA Access List

To determine who will be admitted to the NDIA scheme, NDIA staff maintain lists. These lists are updated periodically.

Our goal at Complete Connect is to keep you fully informed about important information such as this to ensure that you are in the best possible position to receive and maximize your support.

How to Create an NDIS Plan for the First Time

After applying for the NDIS plan, it’s important to be prepared for your NDIA meeting.

You need to feel prepared for your NDIS planning meeting if you want it to work well for you. Below are a few tips to help you prepare for the meeting.

Analyse Your Current Supports

Taking a moment to think about your support system right now is the first thing you should do. Is there anyone or any organization that makes it possible for you to follow your routine? What do you need to do?

Taking on this task is a daunting one! Identify all of the supports you need for each activity in an average day, week, or month in your life.

You can get help with Complete Connect with specific questions and prompts to help you along the way.

Be sure to include all forms of support in your planning guide, whether it comes from your family and friends or the community.

Identify what works well and what you want to change, and take note of gaps in your supports. What problems do you face each day that could be resolved with better or different support?

Get the Best Result by Preparing for the Worst

It can also be helpful to write down what a ‘bad day’ looks like.

Why is this important? Imagine one of those days when everything goes wrong! As a result, you will be able to include many support services that you may not need but are very important.

Being well prepared goes a long way, although it’s difficult to prepare for the worst.

Goals Goals Goals!

After you’ve determined what supports you need in your life, you need to identify your goals.

You will be asked about your NDIS goals in your meeting with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC), an Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Coordinator, or a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) planner.

These are the things you would like to accomplish, both big and small, in all areas of your life and what you would need to support you in reaching them.

During the planning meeting, it is important to know your NDIS goals. Your plan will include supports to help you achieve these goals.

You might find these examples helpful:

  • Meeting new people and making new friends is something I’d like to do.
  • I am interested in cooking classes so that I can learn how to cook my own food.
  • For my friends and teachers to understand me, I want to speak clearly.
  • To improve my fitness, I would like to visit my local gym.
  • I want to learn how to travel independently using public transportation.

Your goals should be as specific as possible. By doing so, the NDIA will be able to understand what services and supports you will need to live the life you want.

Documentation

Begin collecting information and supporting evidence about your condition. A doctor, therapist, or another health professional can provide this information to you. If you have any reports or assessments that could help the NDIS understand how your condition affects you, bring them along.

Who Should I Invite?

During your planning meeting, who would you like to support you? Bring more than one person if you wish – it is entirely up to you.

Would it be helpful to have family members, friends, advocates, support workers, or therapists present? They may be able to provide details you overlooked.

There’s nothing more important than feeling comfortable with your plan, so make sure it’s the right fit. With Complete Connect’s assistance, you can get the most out of your NDIS plan and live your best life!

Connect Today!

Complete Connect is an Australia Wide NDIS Registered Provider. We provide allied health, daily in-home support and nursing to assist you in achieving complete wellness, care and your personal goals.

For more information about our mission to deliver complete wellness in all areas of each participant’s life, or to join our community, visit our website or contact the Complete Care team by phone on 1300082682. You can also reach us via email at info@completeconnect.com.au. We look forward to hearing from you!

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