We bet you've got lots of questions, here's some answers...
Getting started in the NDIS
1What is the NDIS?
Around 4.3 million Australians are living with a disability and the NDIS was introduced in 2013. It became fully operational in 2020 and is designed to assist these people to live a better life. The NDIS is an insurance support scheme from the Australia Government, funding costs associated with disability. Over the next five years, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is set to provide over $22 billion in funding to 500,000 people living with significant disability, providing the support they need. THE NDIS provides information and connections to a range of services, including doctors, sports clubs, support groups and schools. The NDIS also provides information about support available in each state and territory of Australia.
2Who is eligible for the NDIS?
To be eligible for the NDIS you need to meet certain criteria. You cannot be over 65 years of age and you need to be a resident of Australia. You also must have an impairment or a condition that is permanent and prevents you from doing everyday things in life on your own. If you want to find out if you meet the criteria, you can do so by visiting www.ndis.gov.au.
3What are the steps in the NDIS process?
There are five steps in the NDIS process – first you need to check your eligibility. If you are eligible for support, you can start thinking about your goals and requirements, meeting your planner and develop your NDIS plan, put that plan into action, and finally, review this plan annually.
4What is an NDIS plan?
An NDIS plan is a document that outlines your goals, aspirations and any support you might require to get through everyday life. You’ll provide this information at your planning meeting with your Local Area Coordinator, where you can also discuss how much funding you might require in order to meet each part of your plan.
5What's covered by the NDIS?
Assistance with the NDIS covers a range of aspects, including daily personal activities, transport, mobility (wheelchairs or frames), access to education and employment, living arrangements and independence, general health and wellbeing, along with home and vehicle modifications, household jobs, and therapy, as required.
6How do I prepare myself for the NDIS?
When you meet with the NDIS representative, you’ll be asked many questions about your life. Be prepared to answer them as this will help you to get the right plan in place, and as such, the right amount of support. You will need your personal details, community and mainstream support information, the goals you want to achieve, and information about your safety and how you currently manage every day tasks.
7Can I make changes to my NDIS plan?
Once your NDIS plan is approved, you can always talk to them and ask them to do a review of that plan if your circumstances or goals change. Simply explain to them what you want, and why, and it should be easy enough to adjust. This includes if you want to use a Plan Manager to manage your funds and to also get access to more provider services such as unregistered providers. Using a Plan Manager allows you to access an unregistered provider easily.
8How do I know how if I still have enough money in my NDIS budget?
PlanCare will be able to provide you with access to your budgets and spending via our friendly plan dashboard, so rest assured you won’t run out of funds before you’re ready. You can also rest easy knowing one of our helpful Plan Managesr can keep track of everything for you, which will take the stress off you.
Starting with a Plan Manager
1What is Plan Management?
Choosing Plan Management enables you to get more choice in who provides the services you need. It also helps and supports you in managing your NDIS funds. Our friendly plan management team takes the stress out of handling the day-to-day administration that comes with an NDIS plan. This includes processing invoices and keeping track of your fund balance.
2How do I know if my plan is plan-managed?
You'll have a section in your plan called Improved Life Choices. This comes under your Capacity Building budget. If you have this, then you're plan-managed. You'll also see at the bottom of each section where you see your funding amounts that it will say plan-managed, e.g. My Improved Daily Living funding will be: $1234.56 plan-managed You might just have one of your budgets plan-managed, or you might have your entire plan plan-managed. If you don't have Improved Life Choices in your plan, you can ask your LAC - check out our article here for some more information: https://www.plancare.com.au/how-do-i-plan-manage-my-ndis-plan/
3How much does Plan Management cost?
It doesn’t cost you anything. It’s all part of the NDIS scheme and is available to all participants if you want it. Just ask!
4What are the benefits of Plan Management?
There are so many reasons to get a Plan Manager for your NDIS funding. We will take care of any paperwork, which eases the stress on you, and we will keep track of your spending, maintain your financial records, handle any claims and ensure providers are all getting paid on time. Our Plan Management team will also track your spending and assist if you require any specific service providers in your area. By using a Plan Manager, you can focus on living and enjoying life.
5How do I sign up for Plan Management?
It’s easy! Just head to our sign up page and get in touch!
6How do I find service providers?
Get in touch with our team today and we can provide you with information relating to service providers in your area. You can also find registered service providers in your area at www.ndis.gov.au or call the NDIS helpline on 1800 800 110.
7What is the difference between unregistered and registered providers?
NDIS service providers are asked to register with the NDIS themselves, however not everyone does this – and that’s okay. It just means they can’t claim their invoices with the NDIS directly. Using a Plan Manager allows you to access these unregistered providers easily.
8How do I switch plan managers?
If you're not happy with your current plan manager, you can cancel their service by sending them email stating you want to cease their services. Most plan managers have a 30 day notice period, but check your service agreement as it could be less. After 30 days, the old plan manager will release your funds, and you can sign up with a new plan manager. Don't forget to let your providers know that you have switched - we have a template that you can use under Resources.
Becoming NDIS self-managed
1What is Self Management?
If you prefer not to use a Plan Manager to do your paperwork for you, you can self manage this. You will need to keep track of your own invoices and fund balance, pay invoices to providers then wait for a reimbursement from the NDIS. It gives you more flexibility and choice about how you want to use your funds. PlanCare can help you self-manage by providing you with software that will enable you to manage all your providers, invoicing, scheduling and everything that goes with supporting you or your loved ones. Our software is free to use with zero on-going commitment. We simply charge a small handing fee for any invoices processed.
2How do I become self-managed?
Plan Management & self-management is available to all NDIS participants, you simply have to tell the NDIS that you wish to plan manage or self-manage your funding. If you want to know more about being self-managed and using our software, then get in contact, we'd love to have a chat!
3What are the benefits of being self managed?
There are a number of benefits to having your NDIS self-managed, including more choice when deciding what you want to do with your funds, flexibility to choose any provider you like, the ability to negotiate the costs of your supports so you get better value for money, and more control over for funding for the duration of the plan.
4How do I start being self managed with PlanCare?
Easy! Just go to the signup page, fill in your information and we'll be in touch.
5Can I use software to manage my plan?
Yes, you can, but you need to ensure you choose the right software support. PlanCare has its own self-managed software that is free to use and buildt specifically for self-managed participants. You can learn more about this by getting in touch with our team today. We’d be more than happy to discuss.