How a Local Area Coordinator can help you with your NDIS plan

The role of Local Area Coordinators (LACs) in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is fundamental. LACs are the primary point of contact to the NDIS for many participants. This article will explain what LACs are, what they do, and how they can assist you in maximising NDIS benefits.

What is an NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC)?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) collaborates with local community organisations to help deliver NDIS supports to participants. Local community organisations provide participants with access to Local Area Coordinators (LACs) who assist people with disabilities to exercise their right to choice and control over their supports. LACs can help participants with capacity building, including plan development, implementation and review. Local community organisations have a thorough grasp of disability and its impact on individuals, families and caregivers. The LACs they employ have excellent planning and interpersonal skills including communication, relationship-building and negotiation.

How does a LAC help NDIS Participants?

LACs play three main roles:

  • connecting you to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • providing you with community information and support
  • collaborating with your local community to ensure that persons with disabilities feel welcomed and included

LACs engage with participants aged 7 and older to develop, implement, and support their NDIS plan to achieve the participant’s goals. Children under the age of 7 are supported by Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Coordinators.

After your request to join the NDIS has been approved, a LAC will contact you to set up a planning meeting. The LAC will collaborate with you to create your plan, which will be sent to the NDIA for approval. Once your plan has been approved, the LAC will assist you in putting it into action, also known as plan implementation, and ensure that you keep the supports in your NDIS plan while working toward your goals.

Your LAC will assist you in understanding your plan, managing service providers, getting involved in the community and general decision making. As you progress through your plan, they will help you reassess your support with you and your family.

LACs are your primary point of contact for discussing your NDIS plan, answering any issues you might have and assisting you in evaluating your current supports during yearly plan reviews.

They also play a vital role in linking communities in rural and remote locations to NDIS support and assisting people in finding culturally appropriate support services.

What’s the difference between a LAC and an NDIA planner?

LACs work with you to learn about your specific situation, the supports you require in your everyday life, and any goals you have. The information gathered during your planning meeting will be forwarded to the NDIA, who will create a plan. A LAC may gather and present your plan however they do not approve it, this is the NDIA’s responsibility and authority.

While the NDIA does not offer LAC services, they may provide you with an NDIA planner who will help you through your first planning meeting. However, due to the other duties that the NDIA is responsible for – including approving NDIS plans, they are unable to attend every planning meeting nor can they provide all participants with an NDIA planner. LACs help to ensure all participants are assisted in their planning while NDIA planners are responsible for making well-informed judgements about which supports can be included in your NDIS plan.

Click here to find your local community organisation delivering LAC services near you. Also, if you would like to learn more about the types of services and activities that LACs can deliver, see the NDIS page on LAC Partners in the Community.

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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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