Navigating the NDIS can be tricky. Although it can be daunting to start the process of finding a support service, the NDIS can provide funding for people with disability to access services and support which are otherwise too expensive to take advantage of, and it can be very helpful to have assistance to co-ordinate the way through the system. This quick guide will explain the start of the process of how to form a plan through the NDIS
What is the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is a Commonwealth government agency that is responsible for the implementation and management of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (or NDIS) to help the over 4 million Australians who have a disability to receive the disability support they need to participate more fully in the community. The NDIS was created after a major reform of disability services in Australia, which were found to have a lack of support and funding.
Essentially, NDIS is here to help fund the costs associated with living with a disability. What is not always clear however, is just how to access those funds and support. That’s where Support Co-ordination comes in.
What is NDIS Support Co-ordination?
NDIS Support Co-ordination is a service that helps people put their NDIS funding to use in effective and efficient ways. NDIS support co-ordination can help with:
- initial assistance to link you with the right NDIS services for your needs.
- providing information on NDIS support process.
- help resolve points of crisis.
- parental training.
- development of important community connections.
How Do I Form an NDIS Plan?
The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is managed by the NDIA, a Government agency that was initially created to determine user eligibility, help users understand the NDIS and determine how much funding users will receive. Your NDIS provider will liaise with the NDIA on your behalf.
What Does an NDIS Plan Include?
Plans through the NDIS are personalised to the individual. Funding through the NDIS is used by your NDIS service provider to work with you to develop a plan, which will guide the support you need to improve your skills over time. Your personalised plan is a written agreement tailored to your individual needs and includes information such as:
- what work you would like to be involved in.
- what your goals are.
- what support you require.
Your NDIS plan is the guideline for planning to get the right support for you and is an area that Newcastle based NDIS providers ConnectAbility have years of experience with. Your individual NDIS plan can include training with the aim to develop your skills across a wide range of essential day to day life skills, including:
- Showering, toileting and personal care
- Grocery shopping
- Planning and preparing healthy meals
- Basic maintenance and repairs
- Communicating with service providers and support networks
- Transport and travel – planning your journey, correct ticketing, accessing public transport and trouble‐shooting issues.
What Levels of Support Are Available?
The NDIA has a three-tiered approach to funded support co-ordination. Each level increases the amount of support provided from the last. The NDIA will determine which level of support you are eligible to receive.
Support connection offers timed, delegated appointments – one hour per week, for example. This aims to strengthen your ability to independently connect with informal, mainstream and funded support. The timing is set as a guide, with the intention of increasing your capacity to maintain support relationships with providers, resolving service delivery issues, and participating independently in your NDIS support plan management.
Support Co-ordination, however, provides a more hands-on support service, but also aims to help strengthen your abilities to connect with, and co-ordinate, informal, mainstream and funded support. This includes resolving points of crisis, helping users develop resilience, and organising supports from a range of service providers who may be required to help users to meet their needs and goals (such as behaviour support, speech therapy, occupational therapy or physiotherapy).
Specialist Support Co-ordination
The highest tier of support set by the NDIA is Specialist Support Co-ordination. This support is also allocated in timed appointments and focuses on addressing high risk and complex barriers to living with a disability.
As the highest level of support co-ordination, specialist support co-ordination is an option for users living with more complex situations that may require specialist assistance to co-ordinate supports and services.
The aim is to reduce the complexity of the NDIS process, while assisting users to connect with appropriate supports and services. ConnectAbility has a dedicated NDIS Case Co-ordinator employed to assist users with the delivery of support linked to this NDIS support tier.
What Happens When You Request Support Co-ordination?
When you select ConnectAbility as your NDIS service provider, we receive a referral to request support co-ordination either from you, your Support Planner or your NDIA Local Area Co-ordinator.
Our NDIS Case Co-ordinator will contact you (or the person making your referral) within 3 working days, either to confirm that ConnectAbility can work with you, or explain why ConnectAbility is unable to accept your referral. We don’t keep a waiting list for co-ordination of Support services, so no one is left waiting for help for unnecessary lengths of time.
What is Included in ConnectAbility’s Support Co-ordination Service?
If we are able to help, support co-ordination will include activities such as:
- Official receipt and confirmation of your plan request for co-ordination of support, and hours allocated.
- Discussion of your current NDIA plan with you, relevant stakeholders and service providers.
- Meetings to identify your support co-ordination goals and to build a service agreement with you.
- Information collection to help you identify appropriate services and supports.
- Meetings with other service providers linked to your plan, to ensure you are meeting and achieving your set goals.
How do I request Support Co-ordination from ConnectAbility?
ConnectAbility Australia recognises and appreciates the level of complexity faced by people living with a disability when tackling everyday tasks and activities and has been operating for nearly 30 years as a registered charity. By choosing us to provide you or a loved one with support, you know you are receiving the quality assistance and access to services to help in your daily life to help you reach your goals.
After receiving a customer support referral form, we will contact you to discuss support requirements and other information we may require. For information or assistance with completing the form, please call ConnectAbility’s NDIS team in Newcastle on (02) 4962 1000 or on the Central Coast on (02) 4349 3700.