Navigating the crazy world that is the National Disability Insurance Scheme can be a bumpy ride. I get it. With new found flexibility and access, also comes an ever changing, complex system that is far from “user friendly”.
So what do you really need to know? Well here are my top tips for attending that first, dreaded planning meeting.
- Plan ahead, and organise the meeting at a time/location that works for you. Many planners will also do online video meetings if that is what suits you best!
- Have all of your paperwork ready prior to the meeting. This may include medical reports, school reports, history, anything that will substantiate what you want and why you need it.
- Take support! Many times a friend, therapist or local expert can accompany you to the meeting so that your voice is heard.
- Here’s the hardest part; as a parent, I am sure you have a laundry list of all the things you love about your child, but today is not the day for that. At the planning meeting, you need to clearly define the worst days. The days where you need the most support, when things are seemingly never going to get better. This way, you will get money for the things you need, and the things the want.
- Have a clear idea of what you would like your child to achieve. The NDIS is very goal-driven, so having a very clear, functional outcome that can be facilitated by NDIS funding will go a long way. For example “due to my daughter’s poor lower limb strength and balance, she is unable to ride a bike, and have the independence to participate with her peers.”
- Be prepared that you will not get all that you ask for- and that is ok. You have the first 3 months of your plan to appeal, or lodge a change of circumstances (because, as we all know, things can change quickly!)
So now that you have attended your planning meeting, how do you make sense of this all important document? What choices do you have surrounding the way you manage, and spend your funding?
To break it down simply, a plan’s funding can be managed in one of three ways:
PROS: The NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) manages your funding, and does all the book-keeping and record-keeping. Providers invoice the NDIA directly for services, meaning you don’t need to be good with money to pay multiple therapists.
CONS: You may only use registered providers (many providers, like myself are not registered, due to the significant upfront time and financial costs). You may never meet the person controlling your money.
PROS: A provider (a plan manager) supports you to manage, keep track of and spend your funding. This allows you to be hands on in the choices, and hands off in the “money management”. You may choose whatever provider you like, as long as they provide you and the plan management with the necessary information. You can learn how to self-manage your plan as you go.
CONS: You need to specify in your planning meeting that you want a plan manager. Sometimes, an extra step between you and the funding, or you and the provider can slow things down, and cause miscomummication to occur.
PROS: Self-managing your funding gives you the ultimate flexibility and choice with how and when to spend your funding. You can negotiate costs directly with providers, hire people directly (e.g. support workers), and set your own terms on how and when supports are delivered.
CONS: It can sometimes be overwhelming being completely in charge of all of your funding. Sourcing providers, keeping track of service agreements, invoicing and reporting can be draining.
Take a deep breath- we are almost there.
So now you have an NDIS plan, and you’ve decided how you’re going to manage your money (there are no right or wrong ways, only the way that best suits you). I bet you’re all thinking the same thing- how and where can I find an Exercise Physiologist to work with us?
Exercise Physiology comes under the all important category of “Capacity Building”, under either CB Health and Wellbeing, or CB Daily Activity. As an Exercise Physiologist, I am purely interesting in “building you up”, be it physically or emotionally.
Where can I find an Exercise Physiologist on the NDIS?
Well firstly, you’re already in the right place, just click below!
But if I am not the best fit, or we don’t live near each other, you can find an index of Exercise Physiologists on the National Body website at essa.org.au. If you are agency-managed, and require an Exercise Physiologist that is NDIS-registered, you can find a list here.
I hope this was helpful- if you ever have a query or comment, feel free to contact me, I offer free 30 minute consultations, with no expectations!