NDIS Plan Review Tips

Are you ready for your (National Disability Insurance Scheme) NDIS plan review? A plan review is an important step for making sure you’re satisfied with your NDIS plan.

If your plan isn’t fitting your needs, an NDIS plan review is an opportunity to correct any gaps, shortcomings or uneven funding that you feel is preventing you from receiving the full support necessary for reaching your plan goals.

During your review, you’ll have an opportunity to explore how your plan has succeeded at meeting your needs during the past year. You’ll also have a chance to discuss options for amending your plan for your evolving needs.

As you prepare for the review of your NDIS plan, it’s important to take an organized approach to weighing plan performance against your plan goals.

Take a look at tips for preparing to have a fruitful, positive NDIS plan review.

Get Your Documents Ready

Showing up for your NDIS plan review prepared will help you to stay focused on the information you’re discussing. You won’t necessarily need to walk into your meeting with a heavy binder full of documents.

However, these key essentials will help to ensure a smooth, organized meeting:

  • A copy of your current NDIS plan.
  • Some personal notes regarding your plan impressions and experiences.
  • Any assessments or reports from service providers that demonstrate how your supports and services are assisting you in achieving your plan goals.
  • Any assessments or reports from service providers making recommendations for new or supplemental supports and services you may need.

If you have a supportive decision maker, they should be present at the meeting. You’re also able to take along a family member, support worker, companion or NDIS support coordinator to help you stay focused and feel comfortable during your meeting.

In addition to face-to-face meetings, phone and video meetings are available through the NDIS. You can choose what’s best based on your comfort level!

Thinking Ahead: Do You Have to Have a Plan Review Every 12 Months?

If you’re preparing for your first NDIS plan review, you probably already know that reviews are scheduled within the first 12 months of your plan starting.

However, all of your subsequent plan reviews don’t necessarily have to be annual if you have a stable situation. You can ask to have your review periods extended up to three years if you’re generally pleased with your plan.

Think About How Your Plan Supported Your Goals This Year

Start preparing for your meeting by looking over your original plan goals. Can you see where your goals and plan neatly intersect?

Here’s a look at some core questions to ask as you evaluate your plan’s effectiveness:

  • Are the goals in my original plan still relevant?
  • Are the supports in my plan helping me to achieve my existing goals?
  • Are the supports in my plan able to help me achieve my updated goals?
  • Are there any new supports that might help me in my goals?
  • What things about my plan didn’t work this year?
  • What things about my plan did work very well this year?
  • Have any goals been achieved this year?
  • What new goals should be added to my plan?
  • Should I consider additional supports?

It’s perfectly acceptable to add new goals after reviewing your plan. However, justification for new supports to help with these goals is helpful.

Typically, notes or recommendations from providers are more than enough. While not required, a health summary from the past 12 months can also be helpful for creating new goals.

Don’t forget that your NDIS plan review is also a time to review if your chosen style of funding management is working for you!

NDIS participants can choose from self-managed, plan-managed or NDIS-managed funding. If you’re struggling to keep up with the responsibility of managing and tracking your own funding, it may be time to consider bringing in a plan manager.

The NDIS will cover all costs associated with this service!

See also: If you are interested in changing the way your NDIS plan is managed, check out NDIS Plans: Self Managed vs Plan Managed here.

Evaluate Your Funding

When reviewing your plan, it’s important to look at your funding breakdown for the year.

First, you should see if you actually used all of your funding for the year. You should also make note if you did not have enough funding to cover all of the supports needed.

In some cases, you may need to request more funding in your plan going forward to cover unmet or changing needs from your existing plan.

If you notice that you have funding left over leading up to your plan review, you might want to consider finding ways to use it for support services before the time on your plan runs out. Any funds that remain unspent when you renew your plan will not roll over to the next year.

Make Your NDIS Plan Review an Opportunity for Growth: Consider New Goals

If you’ve had a successful year of meeting goals, it may be time to consider adding some loftier ones! While this isn’t necessary, many NDIS participants like to use their NDIS reviews to set new goals.

This is an ideal time because new goals often require new funding. For instance, you may decide that you’d like to work toward creating more independence in your life within the next 12 months.

To achieve this, accommodations funding that allows you to plan overnight stays away from your family a few nights per month may be necessary.

If you’re feeling very confident with your progress, you may be ready to request funding for educational and employment training in the next version of your plan.

The NDIS will fund these types of supports if they are in line with your goals. In addition, funding is available for transportation and assistive equipment related to accessing education and employment opportunities.

Tip: Make Sure You’re Replacing Services That Have Been Phased Out

Circumstances can sometimes change to “phase out” supports you’ve been receiving. For instance, a support provider may have passed away, reduced the amount of support given or become unable to provide support.

It will be necessary to bring up these status changes in your meeting to ensure that funding can be redirected to new support providers.

Assembling Your NDIS Plan Review Team: Can Anyone Help With Preparing for Your NDIS Plan Review?

Yes, this is an area where you certainly should rely on help from other to ensure that you feel confident and informed.

If your current plan has funding for an NDIS support coordinator, your coordinator can help you to prepare your plan review!

If you don’t have an NDIS coordinator as part of your current plan, this is an option to explore for your next plan because you could be missing out on support that could help you to maximize all that’s offered through your funding.

Concerns Over Gaps: What Happens When a First Plan Ends Before a Review Meeting?

The NDIS should reach out to you with ample time left on your first plan to schedule your meeting.

If you haven’t heard from the NDIS even though you only have a few weeks left on your existing plan, reach out to inquire about the status of your review.

The NDIS will still cover all of your existing supports until your new plan kicks in if there is a gap.

Final Thoughts on Preparing for Your NDIS Plan Review

An NDIS plan review should not be a cause for worry or stress. This is a collaborative meeting designed to help you get the most benefit from your plan based on your goals.

During your meeting, you will have an opportunity to discuss your experiences with your plan. This is your time to voice your opinion on how your plan can be changed to better serve your needs in the 12 months to come.

Generally, having as much documentation as possible to support your request for expanded or amended supports will make it easier to get your preferred results.

Of course, you may not need any changes to your plan at all if it is serving your goals!

What’s the big takeaway for NDIS participants planning their first plan reviews? Take advantage of all support available from your NDIS support coordinator, NDIS plan manager, family and friends as you prepare for your NDIS support meeting.

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