If you are found to be eligible for the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), you will receive your access decision letter and will be allocated a certain amount of funding.
The next step is for you to attend your planning meeting with the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) to discuss how to best use your funding to help you achieve your individual goals.
What is your NDIS plan?
Your NDIS plan is basically a roadmap that outlines the steps you will need to take and the support you will need on your journey toward independence.
It will list your short-term and medium-term goals, as well as the supports you will receive from the NDIS, the community and other government agencies that will enable you to turn your plan into a reality.
The plan will also include a breakdown of how your funding will be used across the three NDIS funding categories, known as core supports, capacity building and capital, which you can learn more about here.
While your NDIS plan will be developed at your initial planning meeting with the NDIA, it will also be reviewed at regular intervals.
If anything changes in your personal circumstances, you will have the opportunity to amend your plan and adjust your goals accordingly.
How to prepare for your first planning meeting
The NDIA will reach out to you to set an appointment time for your first planning meeting.
Before your appointment, it’s a good idea to ensure you are prepared to answer any questions and supply any necessary information.
To make this easier for you, we have created an NDIS pre-planning guide to help you prepare for your planning meeting.
Here are 5 steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your planning meeting.
Step 1: Review NDIS planning booklet 2
If you want a complete guide to everything you could ever need to know about your planning meeting, take a look at the NDIS planning booklet number 2.
A large part of the booklet is made up of interactive worksheets that can help you put your thoughts and ideas onto paper before going to your meeting.
Step 2: Think about your current supports
As your NDIS plan will include a section that will list your community support, it can be handy to have this information ready for your meeting.
Take a moment to list your family members, friends, work colleagues, school mates and other key people in your life who provide you with support.
Step 3: Brainstorm your goals
You will be able to discuss your goals with your NDIA planner during your meeting, but it’s best to have an idea of what you would like to achieve before your appointment.
Think about what you want to do to progress your independence journey in the next year, as well as the next two to three years.
You could do a brainstorm on paper, or even have a chat to a family member or close friend to help you figure out what’s most important to you and the type of support you will need to fulfil your goals.
Step 4: Decide how to manage your plan
At your planning meeting, you will be asked how you would like to manage your NDIS plan.
While you’re welcome to discuss this with your NDIA planner, it will be much easier to make the right decision if you already know your options and what will suit you best ahead of time.
You can choose from self-managed, NDIA managed or plan managed options.
As the names suggest, self-managed involves you managing your own plan and NDIA managed means leaving everything to the agency to manage on your behalf.
The plan managed option offers you an alternative that’s somewhere in between.
You can always read more about the different plan management styles here.
Step 5: Get your paperwork ready
It will make everything a lot easier if you’re able to stay organised throughout the entire process.
Start by creating a dedicated place where you keep all of your NDIS paperwork.
You may allocate a certain drawer or create a folder, as long as you can always easily access all of the information you need for each planning meeting.
For your first meeting, you can provide all sorts of documentation to your planner to help them get to know you and the personal circumstances of your everyday life.
The more your planner can understand you and your lifestyle, the more they can tailor your NDIS plan to your needs.
What happens in your NDIS planning meeting?
You can always do a face-to-face meeting, but if preferred, you can also have your planning meeting over the phone. In fact, it’s very common for people to choose the phone conversation option.
If you do opt for a phone meeting, make sure you’re able to have your conversation in a quiet, comfortable place.
As your NDIA planner will need to confirm they are speaking with the right person, you will be asked a series of questions to identify yourself.
No matter how you decide to have your meeting, you are more than welcome to have a family member or friend with you.
Your meeting is an opportunity to take notes and ask as many questions as you like so that you walk away with all the information you need.
What are the next steps?
At the end of your planning meeting, your NDIA planner will talk to you about what will happen next, including how your plan will be reviewed and how to start using your funding.As part of this, you will need to nominate a registered NDIS service provider that will help connect you to various funded supports and services.
Once again, your planner may present you with some options, but it’s always good to go into your meeting with an idea of which provider you would like to use.
Activ are a leading registered NDIS service provider that can assist you with supported accommodation, community programs, educational and employment support as well as behavioural support.
As one of the largest NDIS organisations in WA, we’re here to help you access the support you need.
If you would like to know more about what we can do for you, get in touch with our friendly team today.