How to apply for the NDIS

By October 17, 2019December 9th, 2019Enable Magazine

In part one of our National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) masterclass, we covered what the NDIS is and provided a checklist to confirm your eligibility. 

The next step in your NDIS journey is to lodge an NDIS ‘access request’. An access request is your opportunity to formally confirm your eligibility to access the NDIS by providing information about yourself and your. An access request can be made by phoning 1800 800 110.

During your phone call, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Your name, age, where you live and your Australian residency status.
  • Details and evidence surrounding your disability and how it impacts your everyday life.
  • Medical reports from your medical specialist or allied health professional.
  • Whether you consent or not for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to discuss your circumstances and disability with other providers. These may include Centrelink, your GP or your current support worker and/or carer. 

After your initial access request, you will receive a letter from the NDIA requesting any necessary evidence that you need to provide. 

What happens next?

If you are deemed eligible for the NDIS, you will be contacted to arrange a planning meeting to discuss your support and funding needs. In your planning meeting you will meet with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to discuss the necessary supports required over the next 12 months. 

It is important to be well prepared for this meeting and come with a clear idea of the support and services you need. The planning meeting will form the basis of what the NDIS planner considers including in your plan. The NDIS Planning Booklet is a great resource to support in your preparation. This can be completed and brought to your first meeting.

The planning meeting generally follows 5 steps: 

  1. Introductions 
  2. Your background 
  3. Your needs 
  4. Your goals 
  5. An impact statement 

1. Introductions

When you first arrive, you will be introduced to your planner; they may either be a LAC or a representative from the NDIA. Remember that if you are invited to a Planning Meeting, it means that you are already eligible so this meeting is to ensure you get the most out of your plan.

2. Your background

After initial introductions, the planner will walk you through the ‘about me’ section of your NDIS plan. This section serves as a snapshot of your circumstances and life. As a reminder, we recommend you bring a written statement, which covers all the key points of your current situation.

Prior to your meeting, it is good to put your needs and life goals in writing along with appropriate evidence, so your planner knows exactly what you want to get out of your plan. 

3. Your needs

After your planner has been given an overview of your situation, they will need to find out more about your day-to-day assistance requirements. To determine your needs, they will use the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS) survey, which covers subjects such as daily assistance, mobility, health and wellbeing, relationships, and fine and gross motor skills. It is important that you answer as accurately and as specifically as possible. Your answers will determine the extent and impact of your disability, and the type of funding you receive.

4. Your goals 

The next step of your planning meeting will cover your short-term and long-term goals. Identifying your goals is critical as this is one of the cornerstones of the NDIS, and funding is only allocated to support services which are linked to your goals. We recommend that along with your written statement, you bring two short-term and five long-term goals to your meeting.

5. Impact statement

The final step is to formulate your ‘impact statement’. The impact statement is an indication of how your disability affects those around you, predominantly your main carer. While this can be quite an emotional part of your meeting, it is needed to comprehensively understand your situation and ensure that your NDIS plan is tailored to your individual needs. 

During this last part of the meeting, your planner will ask you what support you may need in managing your NDIS plan. Depending on your needs, this may include adding Plan Management and/or Support Coordination. All NDIS participants are eligible to be plan managed or self- managed, or a combination of partly agency managed and partly plan/self-managed. It is important that you raise this during the meeting and ask your planner to explain the difference between the types of funding that is covered by the NDIS.  

If you’d like to include Plan Management, which is assistance in managing the NDIS funds you receive, or Support Coordination to assist with recommending and securing service and support through with local service providers, you must to ask for it during your meeting. All NDIS participants are eligible for Plan Management, but not necessarily Support Coordination.

If you have further questions in regards to applying for the NDIS or preparing for your planning meeting, call us on 1300 22 44 38.

In part three of our NDIS masterclass series we will cover different approaches to managing your NDIS funding, and what disability support you can expect to access. 

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