Getting on with life
This is the good part. Now that you have your plan in place, and you have chosen your service providers, you can just get on with life.
But don’t just set and forget. It is a really important to keep track of how things are going through the myplace portal. While the NDIA are still ironing out some of the bugs with the portal, it is important to persist because you can keep an eye on how your funding is going. Sometimes providers make mistakes when they submit invoices. You want to make sure the funding is being used the way you want it to.
If things change
Sometimes things change. Sometimes they can change quickly. Even a small change in your circumstances, like an illness in the family, can have a big impact on your life. It is important to tell the NDIA as soon as possible when thing change.
Some changes won’t require a full review of your plan. Others will. If things are a lot different you will need to fill out a change in circumstance form. You can download the form from the NDIS website or you can get a copy from your local NDIS office. Or you can call 1800 800 110 and request a form be sent to you.
At the end of 12 months your plan will come up for review. Plan reviews are an important part of the NDIS. They allow everyone to check back in and see how things are going.
Most people will have a plan review with their Local Area Coordinator (LAC). The conversation with your LAC will focus on what has been working well, and what supports might need changing. If things in your life have changed in the last year, this is a good time to let the LAC know. Or if you have achieved some of your goals, you might need to set new ones.
Before you go into the meeting, have a bit of a think about what has been going well, what hasn’t been going so well and what your goals for the next couple of years might be.
After your first review, your next plan might be set for a longer time – like two years. But it will be different for everyone, depending on your situation.
Once your plan has been approved, the plan will be updated in the myplace portal. The NDIA will also send you a copy either by mail or email.
It is important to remember that if you have any unspent money in your current plan it won’t roll over to your new plan – the new plan will completely replace the old plan. So don’t hang on to funding and “save it for a rainy day” – the NDIS does not work that way. If that rainy day arrives you can go back to the NDIS and explain why you need to change your supports.
You can read more about plan reviews on the NDIS website.
What happens if you are not happy with a decision the NDIA has made?
If you are not happy with a decision made by the NDIA, you can apply for an internal review of the decision. When you apply, you need to explain why you think the decision was wrong. You can find a copy of the form on the NDIS website.
If you are not happy with the outcome of the internal review, you can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The AAT is independent of the NDIA and will review the decision. There are disability advocacy organisations that have been funded to help you through the process. They will help you free of charge. You can find a list of those organisations on the Department of Social Services website.
There is more information about internal reviews and appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on the NDIS website.
Disability Loop has good summary of what to do if you are not happy with a decision made by the NDIA, which includes a list of organisations that can help you through the process (although it hasn’t been updated for a while).