A Guide to Home and Living with the NDIS

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A Guide to Home and Living with the NDIS!

A Guide to Home and Living with the NDIS!

22 May 2024 – Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The NDIS empowers participants to live independently by offering funding for Home and Living needs.  This support varies based on individual circumstances, ensuring tailored assistance for everyone. Home and Living is categorised as a stated support within the Core Budget, which means the allocated funds are exclusively for Home and Living needs and can’t be flexibly used across other budget categories.

The NDIS offers three main Home and Living options:

  1. Supported Independent Living (SIL)
  2. Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)
  3. Individualised Living Options (ILO)

Since SIL is the most popular choice for plan-managed participants, let’s dive deeper into what it entails, including the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.

Supported Independent Living (SIL)  

Supported Independent Living (SIL) supports people with disabilities who want to live independently, offering various services to assist with daily tasks while maintaining independence.  SIL is perfect for those who want to live independently but need help with daily tasks.  With access to support services, participants can develop skills, confidence, and self-sufficiency.  SIL offers a flexible, person-centered approach, allowing individuals to choose the support that suits their needs.

SIL can be provided in group homes, shared accommodations, and individual units.  Services include:

  • Personal care: help with bathing, dressing and grooming.
  • Household tasks: help with cleaning, cooking and laundry.
  • Community participation: support to join social groups or events.
  • Health and Wellbeing: access to healthcare and emotional support.

The NDIA sets the prices that providers can charge. It’s important to note that the rates outlined in this article are taken direct from the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.   These rates outline the maximum price.  A participant can negotiate a lower rate in accordance with their needs and budget.

Item Number Item Name and Notes Hourly Rate
01_801_0115_1_1 Assistance in Supported Independent Living –  Weekday Daytime $65.47
01_802_0115_1_1 Assistance in Supported Independent Living –  Weekday Evening $72.13
01_803_0115_1_1 Assistance in Supported Independent Living – Weekday Night $73.46
01_804_0115_1_1 Assistance in Supported Independent Living – Saturday $92.12
01_805_0115_1_1 Assistance in Supported Independent Living – Sunday $118.78
01_806_0115_1_1 Assistance in Supported Independent Living – Public Holiday $145.44
01_832_0115_1_1 Assistance in Supported Independent Living – Night-Time Sleepover $276.27
01_821_0115_1_1 Assistance in Supported Independent Living – Weekly Agreed

How can NDIS participants access Home and Living Options?

The NDIS may fund reasonable and necessary Home and Living Supports, if they can’t be met through mainstream, community, informal, or other supports. To access these supports, you need to formally request them from the NDIS by completing a change of details or situation form, calling 1800 800 110, emailing enquiries@ndis.gov.au, or visiting a local office.

First, the NDIS requires good evidence from your allied health professional to include Home and Living supports in your plan. This evidence should be recent and from a relevant professional, such as an OT. Your evidence needs to explain your daily support and housing needs, your functional capacity and its impact on daily life and housing needs, and what other home and living options you’ve explored and why they don’t meet your needs.

An Occupational Therapist (OT) can help with Home and Living Assessments. An OT will visit your home to assess your eligibility for these supports and determine the level you need. During the visit, the OT may ask specific questions, observe how you perform tasks, and discuss the support you might require. They will work with you to understand your Home and Living support needs and provide the required evidence to submit to the NDIS.

Contact My Plan Assist

At My Plan Assist, we help NDIS participants and their network of support workers with valuable information. If you need further details about NDIS pricing limits or assistance in submitting a compliant and well-formatted invoice for efficient payments, reach out to our knowledgeable team at info@myplanassist.com.au or call (07) 5641 2277.

My Plan Assist is a local registered plan management team dedicated to providing personalized and caring plan management support for NDIS participants. We are committed to helping participants track NDIS funds, streamline administration tasks, ensure efficient provider payments, and maximize the value of participant plans. Learn more at www.myplanassist.com.au or contact our friendly team today!

Let’s Uncover the Important Role of a NDIS Support Worker!

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The Important Role of a NDIS Support Worker!

The Important Role of a NDIS Support Worker!

21 May 2024 – Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The success of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) greatly depends on the dedicated and compassionate NDIS support workers who provide essential assistance to participants.  Their primary responsibility is to promote independence and help clients reach their potential by providing both physical and emotional support.  This article explores the roles and responsibilities of NDIS support workers and how they contribute to improving the lives of people with disabilities!

What Kind of Support Does a Support Worker Provide?  

 

Assistance with Self Care: One of the core responsibilities of a NDIS support worker is assisting participants with their personal care and daily living activities. This includes tasks in the home such as dressing, grooming, and meal preparation. Support workers ensure that participants maintain their personal hygiene, health, and nutrition effectively.

The NDIA sets the prices that providers can charge. It’s important to note that the rates outlined in this article are taken direct from the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.   These rates outline the maximum price.  A participant can negotiate a lower rate in accordance with their needs and budget.

Item Number Item Name and Notes Hourly Rate
01_011_0107_1_1 Assistance with Self Care Activities – Weekday $65.47
01_015_0107_1_1 Assistance with Self Care Activities – Evening $72.13
01_002_0107_1_1 Assistance with Self Care Activities – Night $73.46
01_013_0107_1_1 Assistance with Self Care Activities – Saturday $92.12
01_014_0107_1_1 Assistance with Self Care Activities – Sunday $118.87
01_012_0107_1_1 Assistance with Self Care Activities – Public Holiday $145.44

 

Household Cleaning & Yard Maintenance: This support item enables participants to maintain their home environment.  This may involve undertaking essential household tasks that the participant is not able to undertake.

Item Number Item Name and Notes Hourly Rate
01_019_0120_1_1 House or Yard Maintenance $53.09
01_020_0120_1_1 House Cleaning and Other Household Activities $54.07

 

Specialised home based assistance for a Child: This support item provides specialised assistance in the home that is required due to additional requirements of a child’s disability and may be provided to strengthen the sustainability of informal supports.

Item Number Item Name and Notes Hourly Rate
01_016_0104_1_1 Specialised Home Based Assistance for a Child $55.03

 

Assistance with Social and Community Participation: NDIS support workers play a crucial role in promoting social inclusion and community engagement. They assist individuals in accessing social and recreational activities, attend shopping trips, accompany them to events or appointments, and facilitate connections with local community groups. By fostering social connections, support workers help participants develop meaningful relationships and lead enriched lives.

The NDIA sets the prices that providers charge participants and sets out benchmarks for what providers can charge. It’s important to note that the rates outlined in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits outline the maximum price and a participant can negotiate a lower rate in accordance with their needs and budget.

Item Number Item Name and Notes Hourly Rate
04_104_0125_6_1 Access Community – Weekday $65.47
04_103_0125_6_1 Access Community – Evening $72.13
04_105_0125_6_1 Access Community – Saturday $92.12
04_016_0125_6_1 Access Community – Sunday $118.87
04_012_0125_6_1 Access Community – Public Holiday $145.44

 

Building Independence 

NDIS support workers are instrumental in fostering independence and empowering participants to make choices about their lives. They work closely with individuals, respecting their autonomy and promoting self-determination. By providing guidance and encouragement, support workers help participants build confidence and develop the necessary skills to make informed decisions.

Qualifications and NDIS Support Workers 

Vocational Qualifications: Whilst it is possible to become a NDIS support worker without formal qualifications, obtaining a vocational qualification such as a Certificate III in Individual Support is a desirable asset to have.

Prior Experience: Having prior experience is essential to offer superior support and care. One way that aspiring NDIS support workers can boost their credentials is by volunteering.

Police Check: A participant may choose to request their providers get a NDIS Worker Screening or a police check before commencing. Such checks are vital in ensuring that vulnerable people are supported by workers with good character who act with honesty and integrity.

Ongoing Training & Development: Another vital aspect of a NDIS support worker’s role is staying up to date with industry knowledge and best practices. A support worker can improve their sills by engaging in professional development opportunities, attend relevant training sessions, and seek continuous learning to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Documentation and Reporting

Accurate documentation and reporting are essential aspects of a NDIS support worker’s role. They maintain records of their interactions with participants, document progress, and report any changes or concerns to the relevant authorities. This information ensures continuity of care and aids in future planning and decision-making processes.

My Plan Assist

At My Plan Assist, we help NDIS participants and their network of support workers with valuable information. If you need further details about NDIS pricing limits or assistance in submitting a compliant and well-formatted invoice for efficient payments, reach out to our knowledgeable team at info@myplanassist.com.au or call (07) 5641 2277.

My Plan Assist is a local registered plan management team dedicated to providing personalized and caring plan management support for NDIS participants. We are committed to helping participants track NDIS funds, streamline administration tasks, ensure efficient provider payments, and maximize the value of participant plans. Learn more at www.myplanassist.com.au or contact our friendly team today!

Understanding Companion Cards: What They Are and How to Obtain One

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 Understanding Companion Cards: What They Are and How to Obtain One!

Understanding Companion Cards: What They Are and How to Obtain One!

07 April 2024 – Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

A Companion Card allows those with permanent disabilities to bring a companion along to events and venues without the extra cost.  It’s a key that unlocks a world of social activities, fostering a sense of independence and belonging in the community!

What is a Companion Card?  

Have you ever come across the Companion Card? It’s a fantastic initiative by the government designed to support individuals with disabilities. This program enables them to bring along a companion—be it a family member, friend, or a disability support worker—to various participating venues and events free of charge for the companion.

What’s exciting is that the list of participating places is continuously expanding. From movie theaters and rock-climbing centers to iconic locations like theme parks and cultural hubs, the options are diverse.

The Companion Card is recognized nationwide, though you need to apply within your state. The application process is fairly straightforward, typically taking about 4-6 weeks to complete. Here’s a simplified guide on how to obtain your Companion Card.

Eligibility Check 

Securing your Companion Card beings with confirming your eligibility and understanding the application process. It’s free to apply, and there is no age restriction which means that anyone with a permanent disability can benefit.

To apply for a Companion Card in Queensland you must first check that you meet the criteria:

  • Australian citizenship or residency in the state of application
  • A significant and permanent disability
  • The need for high-level support during social activities
  • A lifelong requirement for care

Keep in mind that NDIS eligibility doesn’t automatically translate to meeting the criteria for a Companion Card. It’s a separate assessment.

Application Form 

The next step is to obtain the application form.  We’ve included the form for Queensland in the links below.

Complete the Form

When it’s time to fill out the form, begin by completing and signing Section 1 of the application.  You may receive assistance from anyone during this process.

Then you will need to acquire two colour passport style photographs of yourself, taken against a plain background.

Health Professional or Service Provider verification

Once you’ve completed Section 1, take the form to your health professional or service provider to complete Section 2.

They will need to:

  • Verify your details.
  • Provide a written statement confirming your lifelong need for significant attendant care support.
  • Sign the back of your photos (follow the instructions on the Companion Card Application Form).

Submission Options 

When it’s time to submit your completed form, you have two options: in-person submission or via mail.  For in-person submissions, Queensland Government Services Centres (QGSC) are at your service in Brisbane, Cairns, and Maroochydore.

Alternatively, if mailing is your preferred method, send your signed application form and photographs to:

  • Companion Card Smart Service Queensland
  • PO Box 10817, Brisbane Adelaide Street QLD 4000

What Happens After You Submit Your Application! 

Be aware that processing can take up to six weeks.  Oh. and if you’re declined, don’t despair.  The letter with your decision will often include directions for appeal, giving you the chance to clarify information or provide additional evidence.

Remember to review your state’s renewal process, typically required every five years, ensuring uninterrupted access to your favourite venues.

Exploring Participating Venues! 

With your Companion Card in hand, a world of opportunities awaits.  Discover the growing list of participating venues where you can now enjoy stress-free access with your trusted companion by your side.

Here’s a few key places that accept a companion card:

  1. Movie Theatres: Hoyts and Event Cinemas
  2. Bowling Arcades: Zone Bowling
  3. Theme Parks: Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild
  4. Arts and Cultural Centres: HOTA (Home of the Arts)
  5. Transport: TransLink accepts the Companion Card in south-east Queensland.

Let’s recap! 

Opting to apply for a Companion Card today is an excellent decision.  It unlocks access to a wide range of venues, events, and activities for you and your companion.  The Companion Card is designed to foster inclusion, offer financial relief, and ensure equal participation.  Don’t hesitate to begin the application process – it’s a move towards deepening meaningful connections within the community.  A world of experiences awaits, just one ticket away.

5 Quick Tips to Find the Right NDIS Plan Manager for Your Needs

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5 Quick Tips to Find the Right NDIS Plan Manager for Your Needs

5 Quick Tips to Find the Right NDIS Plan Manager for Your Needs

25 October 2023 – Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Choosing a NDIS Plan Manager is like finding the missing piece of the puzzle for your plan-managed funding.  Let’s be honest, an exceptional Plan Manager will make your life simpler!

But with so many Plan Managers out there, picking the right one can be a tricky task.  So how do you navigate this challenge without becoming overwhelmed. Let’s talk about the importance of selecting the perfect plan manager for your needs and what qualities to look for.  After all, you plan manager will have full access to your personal details including your NDIS Plan.  Your funding is in their hands, so trust is key!

 

1. Must have attributes!

 

When it comes to choosing a Plan Manager, everyone has different priorities, but there are some must-have attributes that exceptional plan managers possess.

A top-notch plan manager will:

  • Pay your Service Providers and Support Workers without delay.
  • Offer caring and personalised support and be available to promptly answer questions.
  • Help you keep track of your budget and offer helpful alerts.
  • Work with you to reduce any potential for plan overspend.
  • Guide you in staying within the NDIS spending guidelines.

 

2. Experienced and Knowledgeable 

 

When selecting a plan manager, look for a team of experienced and knowledgeable NDIS plan managers who can expertly guide you through any questions you may have.  You want a team that can advise you on eligible claims, staying up to date with the latest NDIS changes and updates.

Choose a team that you can count on to consistently provide you with accurate information.  With a skilled team that possesses a comprehensive understanding of the NDIS, you can be confident in achieving better outcomes!

 

3. Small vs Large? 

 

When choosing a plan manager, consider whether you’d prefer the personal touch and attentive support of a small business or online platforms and call centres offered by larger organisations.  Perhaps you may even lean towards a local business that welcomes face-to-face meetings.  Not all plan managers can provide this level of service, so it’s wise to consider these factors before making a commitment.

Regardless of size, it’s crucial to have the support you need.  That means having a plan manager who is easily reachable and responsive to your enquires.  So, why not give your prospective plan manager a call to ensure they offer prompt service?  Your time is valuable, after all.  It’s essential to choose a provider who promptly answers calls and emails to ensure your needs are met.

 

4. The importance of an Independent Plan Manager.

 

When it comes to plan management, it’s crucial to opt for a dedicated business that offers independent services.  Why?  Because an independent plan manager is solely focused on plan management, without any ties to larger NDIS provider organisations.  This means you can rest easy knowing there are no internal conflicts of interest.  The last thing you want is to feel pressured or limited in your choice of providers.  By choosing an independent plan manager, you’re safeguarding your interests and ensuring you maintain complete control and unbiased decision-making.

 

5. Explore Online Reviews and Recommendations

 

Hey, here’s a tip for you – it’s always a good idea to check out the reviews of a Plan Manager on Google.  This way, you can get a sense of what other people have to say about their experiences.  Having different perspectives from others can provide valuable insight.  It may just provide you with the confidence and knowledge to help you make your final decision.

 

So, let’s recap! 

 

It’s important to remember that a great Plan Manager can make all the difference in your NDIS journey!  It’s not a one size fits all decision.  You need to do what’s right for you.  Remember, a good plan manager will simplify your support.  They will also help you in getting the most value out of your NDIS plan and funding.  While choosing the right plan manager can be tricky, if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to find the right fit for you.

Ready to get started? Why not contact the plan management team at My Plan Assist.  The small team are focused on your needs and providing responsive and valuable support.  They’ll take care of business, freeing up your time to focus on more important things!   It’s important that you choose wisely and embrace the adventure ahead! Call the team on (07) 5641 2277 today and get the support you need!

NDIS Early Childhood Approach: Why Childhood Support is Key to Positive Outcomes

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NDIS Early Childhood Approach: Why Childhood Support is Key to Positive Outcomes

NDIS Early Childhood Approach:

Why Childhood Support is Key to Positive Outcomes

12 July 2023 – Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

If your child isn’t reaching the expected milestones for their age, it may be time to think about NDIS early intervention. Early support for young children living with developmental delays or disability is important to ensure they reach their full potential. With NDIS and the early childhood approach, you can connect your child to the right support and make a positive difference.

If your child has a developmental delay or an impairment impacting their ability and milestones, they may be eligible for NDIS early intervention support and funding.  Read on to understand more about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) early childhood approach.

 

What is Early Childhood Approach

 

The NDIS is a national scheme that helps people with disability.  This includes helping children with developmental delay, developmental concerns or disability through their early childhood approach.  

Early childhood is a critical stage that sets the foundation for how children develop. Early childhood intervention is all about giving children with developmental delay or disability, and their families, support to enable the child to have the best possible start in life.  

Early intervention may involve therapy, ongoing consultation and support from allied health professionals, interventions, and development programs that can help a child with development delay or disability including autism spectrum disorder to develop skills, independence and reach specific milestones. 

 

What age is supported under the Early Childhood Approach 

 

The NDIS early childhood approach helps children younger than 6 with developmental delay or children younger than 9 with disability, and their families, to access the right support when they need it. 

If your child is 6 or older, please see our NDIS application process tips here.

 

Does my Child need a Diagnosis to get NDIS support?

 

Children younger than 6 do not need a diagnosis to get support through the early childhood approach where there are concerns about their development.  

When considering if your child has a development delay, think about the following areas they may be struggling with or slower to reach than their peers: 

  • Speech and language (how they understand and communicate) 
  • Gross motors skills (how they move) 
  • Fine motor skills (how they use their hands and fingers) 
  • Cognitive (how they think and learn) 
  • Personal and social (how they relate with others and develop independence) 

 

What funded support is available? 

 

If your child is eligible for the NDIS early intervention program, you may receive funding to help reduce the impacts of disability or developmental delay, and to build a child’s skills and independence.   

These supports may include: 

  • Funding for suitable early intervention services such as occupational therapist, speech pathologist, physiotherapist, psychologist, social worker, early childhood teacher and developmental educator. 
  • Family-based education, workshops and training to support your child’s development.  
  • Parenting and emotional support. 
  • Access to an early childhood specialist ‘called a keywoker’ offering family centered inclusive early intervention support to help your child work towards their goals. 

How to Apply for NDIS Early Intervention 

 

To be eligible, your child must be younger than 6 with a developmental delay or under 9 with a disability

 There are three ways to apply for NDIS early intervention. 

  1. Contact your local Early Childhood Partner: If you are not sure where to begin, getting in touch with your local early Childhood Partner is a good starting point.  The Early Childhood Partner will assess your child’s needs and guide you through the application process.
  2. You can also contact your nearest NDIS office.  If you prefer to connect directly with the NDIS, you can visit their nearest office.  Their staff will help you understand the application process and provide you with the necessary information on the supports your child can receive.
  3. Or you can email the NDIS at enquiries@ndis.gov.au: You can also reach out to the NDIS by sending an email to their official email address providing details about your child’s needs, and the NDIS will respond with appropriate advice.

To locate an office near you, you can use the search tool on the NDIS website with this link

 

Navigating the Next Steps 

 

As a parent or guardian, it’s important that you connect with the right supports who can nurture your NDIS journey and help your child reach their goals.  At My Plan Assist, our approachable team understands this. As a registered NDIS plan manager, we can help navigate your NDIS journey from connecting you with key contacts at the start of your journey through to managing the financial responsibilities of your child’s NDIS Plan. We guide you through each step.  

Contact us today and we can navigate the next steps together.  

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NDIS Budgeting: How to Manage Your Funding and Make the Most of Your Plan

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NDIS Budgeting: How to Manage Your Funding and Make the Most of Your Plan

NDIS Budgeting:

How to Manage Your Funding and Make the Most of Your Plan

23 May 2023 – Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

If you’re a NDIS participant or getting ready to access funding, you have many important choices to make. One of these is your budget. To make the most of your plan, you should familiarise yourself with NDIS budgeting and how to maximise it for your needs.

Don’t worry if you struggle with budgets or you’re new to NDIS funding – this article is designed to make things easier.

When you use the NDIS, you want to be confident your funds will last. This means spreading your expenses throughout the plan period and ensuring you have enough to work towards your NDIS goals, without overspending. It can be a balance to get it right. But with support from your team and tips to try, you can achieve your goals.

Let us show you how.

Make Your Needs Heard

Your needs are priority and as such, they must be shouted loud and clear to get the most from your NDIS funding.

Be specific about your disability needs when you engage with support services. The more information you give them, the better they can personalise your support.

NDIS budgeting works best when you can pinpoint the activities and services that can help you pursue your goals.

To do this, write down:

  1. What you need now and down the track
  2. What you’d like to achieve
  3. How can you get there
  4. What will motivate you to reach your goals

The list can be as long or as short as you like. Next, communicate this information to your support team and providers, so they can connect you to the best outcomes.

Choose Plan Management 

If more independence is one of your goals, then you can choose plan management and still have control of your NDIS funding and services, without wasting time on admin.

There are three ways to manage your NDIS:

  1. Self-managed: you handle everything
  2. Plan-managed: you have a trusted partner to handle your plan and budgeting with your input, and they’ll pay providers on your behalf
  3. Agency-managed: the NDIA manages your funds, and you can only access NDIS registered providers giving you fewer provider options

While each has its own benefits and drawbacks, plan management is a flexible way to navigate the NDIS, handle your financial responsibilities and maximise your NDIS budgeting. It’s important to consider all options and decide which suits you.

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Understand the Different Support Budgets 

There are three levels of support budgets that help you achieve the goals in your plan. Some are more flexible than others. Knowing how they work and what things you can buy will make it easier to manage your funding.

  1. Core Support is the most flexible and supports everyday activities
  2. Capacity Building helps build your skills and increase your independence
  3. Capital Support is for home modifications and assistive technology

Use Your NDIS Funding – But Don’t Overspend 

You’re entitled to your funds, so make sure you use it effectively.

The best way to do this is to track your spending. Your plan manager can help you with this.  You can also use the budget calculator to manage invoices and support categories.

Make sure you:

  • Set up service agreements with your providers so you know what costs to expect
  • Avoid overspending with these tips
  • Review and adjust your plan as your needs/goals change
  • Know what the NDIS won’t cover ie: rent/mortgage payments, power, water and phone bills
  • Learn the NDIS price guides and limits

Find Effective Ways to Use Your Funding 

Knowledge is power when it comes to your NDIS budgeting and plan. The more you know and communicate, the more your support services can be adjusted to reflect your needs better.

Once you understand your funding, you can get savvy in how you spend it. For example, the core support budget is a great place to start. And your Capacity Building budget is a great way to build independence and improve your day to day life.

Your allied health professional or OT can recommend options.

It’s important to note that your supports must be disability related and represent value for money.  You can refer to more information for reasonable and necessary to ensure your support meet NDIS criteria.

We’re Here to Help 

NDIS budgeting can get complex quickly and spreadsheets aren’t for everyone, but at My Plan Assist, we’re here to help.

My Plan Assist is a qualified team who can assist you with the entire process. From monitoring your NDIS funding to reducing your admin tasks and helping you access reliable services aligned with your needs.

If you’re after a flexible, personalised approach to your plan contact us today to learn how we can support you.

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7 Smart Ways to Conquer the NDIS Application Process

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7 Smart Ways to Conquer the NDIS Application Process

7 Smart Ways to Conquer the NDIS Application Process

 

17 April 2023 – Estimated reading time: 6.7 minutes

Applying for NDIS isn’t an overnight task. While the program can be rewarding, the application process is lengthy. Allow time to prepare and once approved, you’ll be able to access funding and improve your quality of life and independence with a range of supportive services.

This article is for people aged between 7 and 65 years. If you have a child with a disability or developmental delay, the NDIS has an Early Childhood Program to support children aged 0-6 years. 

Ready to Get Started?

Detailing your disability and how it impacts everyday life can be challenging. For this process, you need to prove your disability is permanent and describe in detail how it limits you, so you can get support where it matters most.

Learn how to simplify your NDIS application process with these tips. 

1. Confirm You’re Eligible

The NDIS supports Australians with a disability. Before you apply, check if you’re eligible. You can do this through the NDIS eligibility checklist

Some requirements are:

  • You must be between 7 and 65 years old
  • You must be an Australian citizen or a permanent visa holder
  • You must have a disability caused by a permanent impairment

Your impairment may be intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory, physical or psychosocial. Confirm whether you meet the disability requirements here then fill out the access request form

2. Learn the Language

Navigating the NDIS isn’t always easy. 

It’s important you know and understand the terminology, what’s involved in the NDIS planning process and the type of funding available. For example, there are three support budgets that can be funded into your plan once your application is approved.  

  • Core Support is the most flexible and helps you with everyday activities
  • Capacity Building helps build your independence and skills to reach your goals 
  • Capital Support is for home modifications and assistive technology

Learning what each includes is key to finding which one will suit you best.

3. Be Clear and Specific About Your Needs

Your unique needs are the pathway to finding the right support. Be specific about your disability difficulties, and what you need help with to achieve your outcomes. 

The more you can break down your needs, the better the NDIS can understand your requirements and find the appropriate level of support. Start by documenting how your disability impacts you on a daily basis and what specific assistance and equipment you rely on or may need to help you reach your goals. 

It’s a good idea to write down your short and long-term goals too. What will guide you there? And will your needs change in the immediate future?

4. Seek Support

Your support group is vital to the NDIS application process. Because NDIS planning can be overwhelming, it helps to have a team of family, friends and medical professionals who can navigate the process with you. 

With these people in your corner, you have emotional encouragement and health reports to support your application. Once you have completed your application, have someone review it who can provide constructive feedback.

Your NDIS support team should be people you trust, who respect your needs and are experienced in helping you reach your goals. 

For example, you may include:

  • Parents, guardians, friends and family
  • Local area coordinator
  • GP and/or specialist
  • Allied health team
  • NDIS office local to your area

5. Gather Your Documents

The NDIS application process involves providing detailed information about your disability and support needs. This means you’ll need any relevant assessments, reviews and reports for your application. 

Take the time to gather the necessary documents. You’ll need proof of identity, your NDIS application form and evidence of your disability. You may also need to complete a Functional Capacity Assessment. The more supporting information you can provide, the better the chance of your application being approved. 

6. Submit and Stay Informed

Once a trusted person has looked over your form, it’s time to submit. 

It takes approximately 21 days for your NDIS application to be reviewed. Once a decision is made, you’ll receive one of three options. 

  1. You’re eligible for the NDIS
  2. You need to submit more information
  3. You’re not eligible for the NDIS

While you wait, learn what the next steps might entail. 

If you’re approved you’ll need to set up a plan meeting to discuss your needs. Use this 6-stage planning process to prepare for your meeting and get ready to start using your NDIS plan. 

7. If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Again

Didn’t qualify for funding?

Don’t worry, it’s not uncommon for your first NDIS application to be unsuccessful. It might mean you need to gather more evidence or work with someone to improve your application. A Local Area Coordinator can help you re-apply if your NDIS access has been denied.

How can My Plan Assist Help?

There are three ways your plan funding can be managed:

  1. Self-Managed
  2. Plan-Managed
  3. NDIA-Managed

We suggest that you start thinking about plan management as part of your plan. That way, you gain more flexibility and control, and can minimise the stress of tracking your funding. 

Once your NDIS application is approved, choose plan management and have us a part of your support team at no cost. My Plan Assist is a small boutique plan management agency focused on providing flexible and personalised support.  Our team will work with you to maximise your NDIS plan and save you time and hassle so you can focus on other more important things.  

  • My Plan Assist will do look after things like:
  • Pay your service providers within a few days
  • Reimburse your expenses
  • Track your NDIS funding for you
  • Keep records of how you spend your funds
  • Provide easy to understand monthly statements
  • Set you up with a digital app for full visibility to invoices and expenditure

Call us on 07 5641 2277 for more information.

Alternatively, you can find out more at www.myplanassist.com.au

3 Simple Steps to Change Your NDIS Plan Manager

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3 Simple Steps to Change Your NDIS Plan Manager

3 Simple Steps to Change Your NDIS Plan Manager

30 March 2023 – Estimated reading time: 5.5 minutes

The best way to streamline the NDIS planning process is to choose a good plan manager. When you engage with the right team you can maximise your funding, pay your bills on time and reduce the stress of handling your NDIS. 

If your current plan manager is not providing the support you need, it might be time to switch. Changing plan managers can give you a more personalised approach and ensure your funding is being used well. 

Maybe you’re overspending or struggling to pay your bills on time. Or perhaps you feel like a number, rather than part of your plan manager’s team. A good plan manager will find flexible ways to accommodate your needs and always keep you a priority.  

That’s where the team at My Plan Assist come in. We prioritise your goals and simplify the NDIS planning process, so you can get back to life.  

 

Why Your Plan Manager is Essential to the NDIS Planning Process

 

Your plan manager is an important part of the NDIS process because they can provide the easiest, most effective way to keep your spending and support services on track. 

But where do you start and how do you know which one is right for you?

Plan managers such as My Plan Assist can handle the tedious parts of your plan, ensure your bills are paid on time and update you on relevant support. 

Your chosen plan manager should be:

  • Experts in NDIS funding (to maximise your spending and get the most from your plan)
  • Reliable and transparent (so your payments and claims are processed on time)
  • Easy to communicate with (to streamline the process and help you feel relaxed)
  • Offering you choice and control (so you can make the best decision for your needs)
  • Understanding (for personalised support based on your goals)
  • Regularly updating you (so you have the relevant info and tools)

You can change your plan manager at any stage in three easy steps. Here’s how:

1. Research and Choose Your New Plan Manager

Always do your research first. Before making your final decision, it’s a good idea to compare at least two NDIS plan managers to find the best one for you. 

Once you have considered your options, arrange a discovery call. This allows you to ask any questions, discuss your needs and gain a better sense of how they work. 

Make sure you:

  • Check online reviews and ratings
  • Take the time to evaluate your options
  • Feel confident that your chosen plan manager has up-to-date knowledge of the NDIS and a genuine interest in helping people

2. Give Your Current Plan Manager Notice

You are under no obligation to stay with your current plan manager. And you don’t have to explain to them why you’re leaving either. However, you should contact them and request to cancel your service in writing. 

If you’re unsure of what to say, you can use our cancellation letter template

Remember:

  • There’s no cost to switch NDIS plan managers
  • Your current plan manager cannot stop you from leaving
  • You don’t have to wait until your plan review to change

3. Contact Your New Plan Manager and Sign a Service Agreement

Now’s the fun part, teaming up with your new plan manager! 

When you choose My Plan Assist, all you need to do is get in touch and we’ll handle the rest. You’ll also need to complete the service agreement which we can help with. This will register you with your new plan manager.

 

How can My Plan Assist Help?

 

At My Plan Assist, our team of Gold Coast based Plan Managers are here to help you on your NDIS journey.  For caring and personalised support or advice, call on 07 5641 2277 or email info@myplanassist.com.au.  You can also find out more by visiting www.myplanassist.com.au.

How the NDIS funds Participant Transport & Provider Travel

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How the NDIS Funds Participant Transport & Provider Travel

4 March 2023

Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Participant Transport and Provider Travel are two different concepts.  Participant transport refers to the support needed to help a NDIS participant travel independently whether that be through transport funding, training, or vehicle modifications.  Provider travel describes when a provider can claim for time and costs incurred when travelling to (and sometimes from) delivering supports to a participant.

Participant Transport

Access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation is a necessary part of daily life to attend appointments, go to work or school, participate in social activities and access other essential services.  Let’s look at the four ways the NDIS can fund transport arrangements.

1. Transport Allowance

The NDIS Transport Allowance is available to NDIS participants who are unable to use public transport due to their disability and need to use alternative modes of transport such as taxis, private cars, or specialised vehicles.  The amount of transport allowance the NDIS provides each year depends on a participant’s personal situation. There are three levels of funding:

Level 1 – $1,606 per year       – no working or study commitments or attending day programs but would like to increase your community access.

Level 2 – $2,472 per year       – working or studying less than 15 hours a week or attending day programs.

Level 3 – $3,456 per year       – engaging more than 15 hours a week working, studying, or looking for work.

To apply for the Transport Allowance, participants should discuss their transportation needs with their NDIS planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC) during their planning meeting.  The NDIS will assess individual needs and determine the appropriate level of funding.  Funds can be managed in one of four ways –

  • NDIA-managed,
  • Self-managed,
  • Plan-managed,
  • Periodic payments (usually fortnightly) to a nominated bank account.

If plan-managed, transport funding can be used flexibly with other core support categories. However, if received as periodic payments, funding is not flexible.  This means a participant cannot dip into other areas of their core funding to pay for additional transport support.

2. Travelling with a support worker

The NDIS may provide funding to pay a support worker to drive a participant around or accompany them out into the community.   This can include things like shopping trips, social events, or transport to medical appointments.  This funding comes under Assistance with Social and Community Participation (Category 04) from the Core Support Budget.  These trips are charged at an agreed hourly rate, which includes the total time a support worker attends the outing.

What is Activity Based Transport?  The NDIS will fund a per kilometre amount (and other costs such as public transport, road tolls or parking fees) for Activity Based Transport where a provider is transporting and accompanying a participant to access community.  Providers can only claim costs for travel if the NDIS participant has agreed in advance.  The following are considered reasonable amounts:

  • For a vehicle owned by the provider or worker, up to $0.97 per kilometre; and
  • For other forms of transport or associated costs such as road tolls, parking, public transport fares, up to the full amount.

Invoicing tips –provider to identify the claim type as ‘Activity Based Travel’, stating the number of kilometres along with the per kilometre charge, using the relevant item code as listed in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.

Example – How to claim for Assistance with Social and Community Participation and Activity Based Travel?   A provider has agreed to deliver a support in the Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation Support Category to a participant and the participant has requested that the provider transport the participant from their home to a local swimming pool and back again, as part of that support. The transport by a non-disability modified vehicle takes 25 minutes to arrive at the swimming pool, including the time to assist the participant to and from the vehicle and getting them set up to participate in the activity. The support worker accompanies the participant in the vehicle. They then provide 40 minutes of support to the participant at the pool. Afterwards, they spend 20 minutes returning the participant to their home by the same vehicle. The pool is 10 kilometres from the participant’s home. The provider and participant have agreed an hourly rate of $50.00, which is below the price limit for this item. This amount also applies to the support worker’s time when transporting participants. The provider and participant have also agreed for the provider to claim for the activity based transport costs, which in this case they have agreed are the support worker’s car park fee ($4.50) and vehicle running costs at a rate as agreed with the participant of $0.85 a kilometre (2×10 km) against support line item.

-$70.83 for the 40 minutes of direct support at the swimming pool and 45 minutes transport time against support item 04_104_0125_6_1;

-$21.50 for the non-labour costs of the activity based transport against the support item 04_590_0125_6_1.

-Note: The provider may also be able to make a claim for the time taken by the worker to travel to the participant before the support commences (refer to Provider Travel).

3. Building independence through transport

Building independence is a common NDIS goal, and transport plays a big part in that.  If your disability makes it hard for you to get around but you would like to learn to overcome these challenges and travel independently, you might be eligible for funding for things like public transport training.  This funding is included in your plan as Improved Daily Living (Category 15) which is a capacity building support designed to build your independence, skills and confidence. The item code is 15_037_0117_1_3 – Skill Development And Training including Public Transport Training.

4. Specialised vehicles

If you require a specialised or modified vehicle because of your disability, the NDIS may be able to help pay for modifications under ‘Assistive Technology’ (Category 05). The NDIS won’t pay for the vehicle but may cover modifications to gain improved access or fit specialised enhancements for driving capability.  The NDIS will only fund modifications if it’s seen as offering value for money and may reject a request if it is not deemed as reasonable and necessary.  They may also only approve partial funding to an amount they deem as being reasonable and necessary with the participant covering the outstanding.

Provider Travel

Provider travel refers to the travel that takes place when a provider travels to and from the participant to provide disability related support or service.  Providers can only claim costs for travel if the NDIS participant has agreed in advance.  There are two types of provider travel, they are:

  • Labour cost
  • Non-labour costs

Provider travel – labour cost refers to the time in minutes that it takes for the provider to get to (and sometimes from) a participant’s location.  The cost is calculated based on the same hourly rate as the support that is being provided.  A provider must clearly invoice for provider travel and state the time in minutes, subject to the following:

  • MMM1-3 Non remote area          A provider can charge up to 30 minutes per trip (and possibly up to 60 minutes in total for both ways)
  • MMM4-5 Remote area                 A provider can charge up to 60 minutes per trip (and possibly up to 120 minutes in total for both ways)
  • MMM6-7 Very remote area         The participant and provider can mutually agree in advance, an appropriate arrangement.

Invoicing tips – provider to identify the claim type as ‘provider travel’, stating minutes being charged, and using the same NDIS item code and hourly rate as the support being provided.

Provider travel – non-labour cost refers to costs such as mileage, tolls and parking incurred when providing support.

  • For a vehicle owned by the provider or the worker, up to $0.97 per kilometre; and
  • For other forms of transport or associated costs such as road tolls, parking, public transport fares, up to the full amount.

Invoicing tips –provider to identify the claim type as ‘provider travel’, stating the number of kilometres along with the per kilometre charge, and using the relevant item code as listed in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.

Example – How to claim for core support and provider travel?  A support worker travels for 25 minutes (30 kilometres) to a participant located in a non-remote area.  They provide two hours of support to the participant. They then spend 25 minutes (30 kilometres) returning to their usual place of business. The provider and participant have agreed an hourly rate of $50.00. They have also agreed that the provider can claim for travel time and for the non-labour costs associated with that travel (at $0.78 per kilometre). The provider is entitled to apply the 30-minute time-cap against the 25 minutes of travel to the participant. They are also entitled to claim for the 25 minutes spent travelling back to their usual place of business as the provider is required to pay their worker for this time and it fits within the 30-minute time-cap. Because the worker uses his or her own car to drive to the participant, the provider has agreed to pay the worker $0.78 per kilometre travelled. The provider can also seek reimbursement for this cost from the participant’s plan under the Service Agreement. The provider’s claim for this support is in three parts, which should be shown separately on their invoice to the participant and claimed for separately in the system.

-$100.00 for the two hours of support against support item 01_301_0104_1_1;

-$41.67 for the 50 minutes travel to and from the participant against support item 01_301_0104_1_1 using claim type “Provider Travel”; 

-$46.80 for the 60 kilometres travel to and from the participant against support item 01_799_0104_1_1.

We’re here to help!

At My Plan Assist, our team of Gold Coast based Plan Managers are here to help you on your NDIS journey.  For caring and personalised support or advice, call on 07 5641 2277 or email info@myplanassist.com.au.  You can also find out more by visiting www.myplanassist.com.au.

Understanding NDIS Short Notice Cancellations

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Understanding NDIS Short Notice Cancellations

12 August 2022

In a perfect world, no one would have to cancel an appointment at the last minute. But as we know, life can sometimes be unpredictable. We get sick, our little ones get sick, the car won’t start, or we might even completely forget to attend an appointment. Life happens and cancelling an appointment at the last minute may be the only option.

But what does this mean? Do service providers still have the right to charge for cancellations and no shows?

Fortunately, the NDIS provides clear guidance so both participants and service providers clearly understand their rights and obligations. Read on as we break down the most recent version of the NDIS cancellation policy along with tips and tricks that may protect your NDIS funding and avoid unnecessary short notice cancellation charges.

Short Notice Cancellation Verses Standard Cancellation

The NDIS cancellation policy distinguishes between a Standard Cancellation and a Short Notice cancellation.

When a cancellation is considered Short Notice, and certain other conditions are met, a Service Provider can claim 100% of the agreed fee for the support.

In the case of a Standard Cancellation (ie not considered Short Notice), a Service Provider cannot claim any fees or charges. So, it is important to understand the difference. Determining whether you can claim for a cancelled support comes down to two questions: Is it short notice? Does it meet the required conditions?

What is a Short Notice Cancellation?

A cancellation is short notice when the participant either gives less than seven (7) clear days’ notice or does not attend the support within a reasonable time.

If the cancellation is deemed Short Notice, the Service Provider may have the right to charge 100% of the agreed fee for the support.

For example, if the participant arrived for their support 45 minutes late, you could consider it a short notice cancellation. Similarly, if they had a support scheduled for Thursday at 10am, and they gave notice the week before at 4pm on Thursday, it would be short notice.

Does it meet the required conditions?

Not all Short Notice Cancellations are billable. According to the NDIA, it must meet certain criteria.

  • The NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits guide must expressly state that short notice cancellation is permissible. The support item must be eligible for claiming for short notice cancellations, and the charges also must comply with the pricing limits.
  • The service agreement between the participant and provider states that short notice cancellations are claimable.
  • The provider was not able to find alternative billable work for the relevant worker and are required to pay the worker for the time that would have been spent providing the support.
  • Short notice cancellations also apply to group supports where the provider was unable to find a replacement participant. In this case, the provider would charge all participants, both those who cancelled and those who attended, the planned rate.

Why does a Short Notice Cancellation Policy exist?

Protecting the providers income is the main reason this cancellation policy exists. Last minute cancellations are, well, last minute – making it difficult to schedule jobs to fill the gaps they leave in the day. This means a lost opportunity for work, which all field service businesses want to avoid.

Is there a limit to the number of times a Provider can charge Short Notice Cancellation?

There is no hard limit on the number of short notice cancellations (or no shows) for which a provider can claim in respect of a participant. However, providers have a duty of care to their participants and if a participant has an unusual number of cancellations, then the provider should seek to understand why they are occurring.

The NDIA will monitor claims for cancellations and may contact providers who have a participant with an unusual number of cancellations.

Short Notice Cancellation – changes effective 1 July 2022

You would be correct in thinking that there has been a recent change to Short Notice Cancellation guidelines.

Previously, cancellations for service appointments were considered ‘short notice’ when participants gave less than two (2) full days’ notice to the provider. This extended to seven (7) days from 1 July 2022.

Tips and tricks to avoid being charged

If you are a participant:

  • You will want to give more than seven days’ notice when cancelling service appointments to avoid unnecessary fees being charged to your funds.
  • You can ask the provider if you will be charged when cancelling an appointment. They may provide exceptions in some extenuating cases.
  • You’ll need to be particularly careful in the case of high cost supports such as short-term accommodation and respite to avoid unnecessary charges having a significant impact to your budget.
  • Check any service agreements you currently have in place with your service providers. In the absence of a service agreement, you may be exempt from having to pay the short notice cancellation fees.
  • When engaging with a provider for the first time, perhaps you can negotiate more lenient conditions with respect to Short Notice Cancellations. It is important to note that a provider may not be flexible with respect to their short notice cancellation policy, as they are acting within the recommended guidelines.

My Plan Assist and Short Notice Cancellations

My Plan Assist is a registered NDIS provider for plan management services, and very knowledgeable in the area of NDIS support. Located on the Gold Coast and assisting participants Australia wide, the team work one-on-one with clients to help them navigate the NDIS and manage their funding to maximise value and potential.

As part of their internal procedures, My Plan Assist will always reach out to their clients for payment approval prior to paying a short notice cancellation fee. This is to keep clients fully informed and ensure the provider has not made an error.

If you are seeking advice or further information about My Plan Assist Plan Management, please reach out directly to their friendly team by email info@myplanassist.com.au or phone (07) 5641 2277.