Preparing For Your First NDIS Plan Review
When you are a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant, you probably know better than anyone that your personalised NDIS plan has a significant impact on the services you ultimately receive. That’s why knowing the details of your plan, the supports that it funds, and the process for reviewing your plan are integral to making the most of the NDIS to improve your well-being.
Preparing for your first NDIS plan review is an essential process that will help you optimise your NDIS plan and the services it funds. It usually takes place 12 months from the start date of your NDIS plan and evaluates how the supports you receive are helping you meet your goals.
Whether you’re just starting out as an NDIS participant or you’re nearing the date of your first NDIS plan review, there are some useful things to consider to ensure the process is smooth, efficient, and beneficial for your needs. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make it work for you.
What is an NDIS Plan Review?
An NDIS plan review is an important part of any participant’s NDIS support services as it evaluates and intends to optimise the funds they receive and the services it supports. Essentially, it’s a way for the NDIS to check in with participants and ensure that the plan they have helps them meet their individualised goals with appropriate budgeting and access to services.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NDIS has made plan reviews more flexible, allowing for participant check-ins which simplifies the process via a phone call conversation. When warranted, the NDIS or the participant could escalate the check-in to a partial or full plan review in coordination with the support professionals and services you work with.
A normal NDIS plan review occurs when one year has elapsed since the start of a participant’s NDIS plan. Representatives from the NDIS will review your budget, the supports you receive, as well as your plan goals to ensure they align and are meeting your needs. Participants can also have an NDIS plan review if their individual circumstances have changed and they require an alteration in their plan.
If a participant has concerns about the supports that are funded, whether there is too much or too little funding, or something else entirely, the plan review is an opportunity to realign their plan with their needs. The plan review allows for changes to any aspect of a participant’s plan including day-to-day supports, transport, assistive devices, household activities, or anything else.
What do I need to do to prepare for plan review?
Preparing for an NDIS plan review does not require too much work from the participants. More importantly, the participant will need to reflect on the supports they receive and how they are helping them meet their goals. Sometimes, this is best accomplished through a conversation with loved ones, support professionals, or the support service providers they utilise. Whether considered independently or in conversation with someone else, some useful points to consider include:
- What supports worked well for you in your plan?
- What supports didn’t work well?
- Have you made progress towards your individual goals?
- Which goals do you want to continue pursuing and which goals do you want to change?
- Who can help you pursue or meet your goals?
- Will you continue to need NDIS support in the future?
- Would you like to change how some or all of your plan funding is managed?
These considerations are by no means exhaustive, but should help you get an idea of how to approach the plan review and what options you might have for changes.
How long does an NDIS Plan Review take?
An NDIS plan review can be as quick as a phone call conversation when there aren’t changes that need to be made to your NDIS plan. However, when you need to adjust your plan to better meet your needs, this may require additional time. This can range anywhere between 6 hours if there are only minimal changes up to 3 months if there are more extensive changes that require reassessments or major adjustments. When decisions are made regarding an individual’s plan, the information will be updated in the NDIS myplace online portal showing extensions or any changes to the plan.
Who is involved in plan review?
The process for NDIS plan review is relatively straightforward. The review can take place entirely over the phone or in-person, whichever is preferred by the participant. It starts with a conversation with the participant or their representative to get a sense of how their participation in the NDIS is going.
When conducting a full plan review, the NDIS may request for assessments or reports from support services to identify how effective they are in achieving your goals. These reports may include recommendations based on the perceptions of the service provider which can include increased or decreased levels of support. This is weighed against the preferences of the NDIS participant in pursuing their individual goals.
Can I get an early NDIS plan review?
An early NDIS plan review before the first year, or subsequent periods of review, is certainly an option for participants. When your circumstances have changed, whether because your needs have changed or there is a change to the service providers or living circumstances of an individual, it is as simple as requesting a plan review from the NDIS. It is a good idea to prepare any documentation of changes or assessments and reports as necessary from your support service providers to facilitate any changes you’d like to make.
Similarly, you can also extend the duration between plan reviews up to 3 years if there are no expected changes or your situation and needs are relatively stable. You should be confident that the supports you receive are effective in helping you pursue your goals. These longer term plans can also focus more on life skills, community engagement, or employment needs.