There are a few things you should know in order to maximise your NDIS plan reviews. In this article, we’re giving you the plan review run-down to help you prepare for your next one!
What is an NDIS plan review?
Your circumstances and support needs will change from time to time, and that’s why plan reviews are so important for NDIS participants. It’s an opportunity to make sure your NDIS plan still meets your needs, and that your plan goals are still relevant. To make it easy for everyone to access a plan review, they can be held face-to-face, via video call, or even on the phone.
There are three ways that a plan review can occur. The first way is a part of the NDIS plan cycle: the NDIA will call you before the end of your plan to set up a plan review. This helps the NDIA develop your new plan in accordance with any new support needs or goals. The second way to access a plan review is by lodging a Change in Circumstances request. If your circumstances (such as your living arrangement or your condition) change, you or someone in your support network can lodge a ‘Change in Circumstances’ form with the NDIA. They will usually require supporting evidence, but we’ll talk more about that later. If your Change in Circumstances request is approved, your plan may be reviewed and tailored to meet the needs highlighted in your request. The third way is a review of a planning decision; if you think a decision that was made about your plan is wrong, you can request an internal review. This is sometimes referred to as an S.100.
What to expect from your plan review
Plan reviews allow you to request new or modified supports that accommodate your changing needs and capacities. They are also a good opportunity to reflect on what has worked well in your plan, and review the supports that didn’t work so well. This is your chance to ensure you are getting the maximum benefit from your plan right from the start!
You can also adjust the logistics of your plan. For instance, you can change how your plan funds are managed. You may already know this, but you have three options for managing your NDIS plan: you can use an NDIS plan manager (a service provider that manages your billing and budgets for you), be ‘agency-managed’ by the NDIA, or be self-managed. You can choose any of these options. Note that you can change your plan management arrangement at any time, but your plan review presents the perfect opportunity to change this.
If your funding is working for you and your situation is not likely to change, you can also request to have a plan that lasts for more than 12 months; the maximum length available is three years. This way, you can go about your life with a longer period of time between plan reviews – unless you lodge a Change of Circumstances request with the NDIS as we mentioned above.
What to think about before your NDIS plan review
Being prepared for your plan review may mean the difference between getting changes approved and not getting changed approved – but keep in mind that evidence is required to get additional funding approved. Spend some time thinking about the following questions in the lead up to your plan review so that you are ready to discuss your plan:
- What worked well?
- What didn’t work well?
- Will you continue to need NDIS support for the foreseeable future?
- Do you want to change how your plan funding is managed?
- Have you made progress towards achieving your NDIS plan goals?
- Have you changed your mind about any of your NDIS plan goals?
- Which services would help you to achieve your NDIS plan goals?
- Do you have any questions about your plan?
It’s worth writing some notes for your plan review to keep you on track, especially if there’s a lot to discuss. If you have a Support Coordinator or a Psychosocial Recovery Coach, they can apply their NDIS expertise to help you to come up with answers to these questions.
Remember, a plan review is a great opportunity to speak directly with someone from the NDIA – so don’t miss out on your chance to have your say!
What to bring to your plan review
Before your plan review, you need to gather reports and evidence from providers who have worked with you on your NDIS plan goals, especially if you want to include them in your next plan. This will help prove to the NDIS that you are benefitting from your plan and funding, and that continuing with a plan would be best for you. If you have a Support Coordinator or a Psychosocial Recovery Coach, they can help you get these reports sorted for your plan review.
Likewise, if you are seeking changes to your plan, you will need to submit extra evidence with your review request – evidence that supports and justifies your request for additional funding. Reports from your GP or assessments from a psychologist or an occupational therapist are just a few examples of documentation that can back-up your request for funding changes. It’s a good idea to have as much evidence as possible, but your Support Coordinator or Psychosocial Recovery Coach can help you gather the right information and put together an argument for why these changes will benefit you.
This is essentially everything you need to do to prepare for your plan review.
Who can come with you to your plan review
Good news: you can bring anyone with you! Many people bring a friend, carer, or family member, but you can also bring a support worker, support coordinator, psychosocial recovery coach, or advocate. Make sure you brief the person on what you want to say and achieve at your plan review, so that they can help you if you forget something important.
Questions that your plan reviewer may ask
My Care Space has compiled a great list of questions that you may be asked during your plan review. Depending on your circumstances, they might ask the following questions:
- Are you happy with your funding?
- Do you want the same funding for your next plan?
- Tell me what’s been happening since your plan started.
- What is your living situation?
- How do you get to and from work?
- How do you access the community?
- Are your current activities building your capacity?
- How do you manage your finances?
- Why have you needed more support than your funding allowed?
Among many other things, Enhanced Lifestyles Support Coordinators or Psychosocial Recovery Coaches can help you to prepare to maximise your plan review. Want to find out more? Speak to one of our friendly Customer Relations team members about Psychosocial Recovery Coaching or Support Coordination by calling (08) 8340 2000. Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form and we will get back to you soon.