The NDIS will give people with disability more choice about how they live their lives, what services they need and who delivers those services. The NDIS Planners are there to support people with disability plan for a better future. Here’s how the planning system works under the NDIS.
How do you find a Planner?
If you are already receiving disability support services and in a trial site, your details will be passed onto the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) by your service provider for admission into the NDIS. The NDIA will allocate a Planner to you but you can ask for a change if you have another Planner already in mind.
If you’re not receiving support already but think you may be eligible for the NDIS, you can make an access request to the NDIA who will help you determine if you’re eligible for the NDIS. You can also check out the My Access Checker yourself. If you are eligible the NDIA will assign you a Planner.
Your Planner will then get in touch with your to arrange where you would like to meet, when you like to meet and who you would like to bring with you. You can have as many meetings with your Planner as you feel you need. You have a right to have someone you choose to accompany you to support you at all planning meetings.
Anita is the mother of young Lily, who has been taking part in the Hunter trial to prepare her for school next year.
“I had three meetings with my Planner; two were over the phone and one face-to-face at the NDIA in Newcastle,” Anita said.
“Working with my Planner went really, really well. She was on board, she understood, she grasped the situation. My planner was amazing.”
Fourteen-year-old Siohbhan Daley, who is also taking part in the Hunter trial agrees.
My planner was awesome,” Siobhan said.
“She was open to absolutely everything we wanted without having to be pushed. Everything went smoothly. We had about three meetings – two with both mum and me, one with just mum.”
Siobhan’s mum, Caroline, said the planning process was very empowering for both of them – and respected Siobhan’s goal of a more independent teenage life.
“It was a very respectful process that took into account the fact that Siobhan was old enough to make decisions for herself but at the same time needed a bit of guidance from me,” Carolyn said.
So what should you take along to meet the planner and how will it work?
In Step 1 we talked about the need to think and prepare before you meet your Planner so together you can tailor a plan under the NDIS to help you realise your goals. You will also need to take your planning workbook along with you.
Through a number of meetings, the Planner will discuss whether your want to self-manage your plan or would like help from another person or the NDIA. The Planner will then submit all the information to the NDIA for approval.
And recognising that your needs may change over time, your NDIS Plan can too. Plans are reviewed regularly but if your situation changes before the scheduled review, you can ring your Planner to talk about the support changes you’ll need.
The overwhelming message from participants in trial sites across the country is that good communication with your Planner is the key.
“I suppose my message would be to make sure you help your planner understand your situation because everyone’s different. So you need to explain what you would like the outcome to be and what you are going through so they can help support you,” Anita said.
Jane from Lake Macquarie said the NDIS Planner helped her think outside the box in finding supports for her daughter Molly who has cerebral palsy.
“I actually found Molly’s Planner to be very, very helpful in the initial stages of coming onto NDIS because when you’re at home with a child with a disability you are very much just in the day to day and you get very used to your situation although sometimes it can be/is challenging. And she was able to remind us of things outside the square, which could be very beneficial.”
Read more about creating your NDIS plan and hear more from some of the people in the trial sites.