START MODULE NDIS plan reassessments Image of C.P.S.P. Empower Project logo This is an introductory training module for anyone providing NDIS services. It is designed to give you the knowledge to be able to answer participant questions about the NDIS processes and to understand how the NDIS system works. User Guide: Navigating this training module To begin this training module, click the 'Start Course' button located below the course title. Alternatively, you can navigate the course by scrolling down to each lesson heading. Please note that the lessons must be completed sequentially, starting from the first heading titled 'Training Objectives.' It's essential to follow the chronological order of the lesson headings within the module. You cannot skip ahead to later lessons using the menu. Completion of all lessons is necessary to receive the Certificate of Completion. Duration: Approximately 30 minutes (you can close the training module and pick up where you left off at a later date). Module Disclaimer The information in this module is general in nature. Every organisation does things differently and has different policies and procedures, so please interpret the content in this module with your organisation in mind and discuss any discrepancies with your line manager. Content and links in this training were correct at the time of publication. We check these regularly. However, if you find broken links or errors please contact Last updated: February 2024 Content and links in this training were correct at the time of publication. We check these regularly; however, if you find broken links or errors please contact
Lesson 1 of 8 Training objectives There are two types of plan reassessments in the NDIS: scheduled and unscheduled. Front of card Scheduled plan reassessment – the end of plan Click to flip Is part of the standard reassessment cycle for plans. They usually happen every 12 months (can be longer depending on the person's needs and goals). It is an opportunity to reassess the plan and make changes for the following plan cycle. Front of card Unscheduled plan reassessment Click to flip Is a request to change a plan outside of the standard reassessment cycle because of the person's change of circumstances or because they think their plan is not suitable for their needs. This training will provide an overview of the two reassessment types. By the end of this module you will: • Understand how the NDIS reassessment process works • Know what options are available to someone who needs to change their plan • Understand the role of providers in preparing for plan reassessment Image of a climbing ivy plant Assumed knowledge This module assumes an understanding of the following aspects of the NDIS. • NDIS explained • NDIS access and psychosocial disability • Preparing for NDIS planning meetings • Reasonable and necessary in the NDIS • Understanding NDIS plans We have a number of individual training modules on the NDIS. If you have not yet completed these, you can find them on the training page of our website(opens in a new tab).
Lesson 2 of 8 Participant check-ins During a participant's plan, the NDIS touch bases with them to assess their progress. The NDIS will inquire about the adequacy of the supports outlined in the plan and address any issues the participant may encounter in utilising the plan. The frequency of check-ins The NDIS may check-in with the participant: periodically, for example, each year before the ‘plan reassessment date’ shown in the plan if the NDIS think the plan might not be working for the participant if the participant needs help to use the supports in their plan. For instance, the NDIS may check-in with the participant if they are using too much or too little of their funding. During a check-in, the participant's my NDIS contact will reach out to them to discuss their plan. This contact could be the participant's early childhood partner, local area coordinator or planner. The NDIS will ask: how the participant is doing if they have any questions about their current plan how they are progressing with their goals if they have any new goals, or if they want to change their goals how they are using local services in the community, or other government services how they are using their funded supports in their plan how their supports help them follow their goals if their supports meet their disability needs if their situation has changed if they need help with big changes coming up in their life, like starting or finishing school or starting a new job. What if the participant's situation changes during their plan? The participant must inform the NDIS if their situation changes or if something happens that might affect One their plan Two their eligibility criteria for the NDIS The participant must also let the NDIS know if the occurrence of any of these changes is probable in the future: significant changes in the assistance provided by the participant's family and friends improvements or deteriorations in the participant's condition, necessitating increased or decreased support commencing a new job and requiring new or modified workplace support planning an extended overseas trip or relocating abroad transitioning out of aged care or similar residential arrangements, necessitating adjusted or different support in the new residence receiving or applying for compensation due to a disability-related accident or illness These changes do not always necessitate changes to the participant's plan. However, it's still important to inform the NDIS of the changes once the participant is aware of them. The participant can fill out a form(opens in a new tab) the NDIS provides, or they can inform the NDIS during their check-in session, either in person or over the phone. Additionally, the participant must notify the NDIS if there are any changes to their contact information, such as their phone number, email address, or residential address. What happens if the participant's new circumstances no longer align with their plan? Click to flip Sometimes, the participant's plan may not meet their needs following an event or a change in their circumstances. For instance, if assistive technology malfunctions, they may need to replace it. Similarly, if their usual informal carers are no longer available, they may require paid personal care supports. In such cases, the participant can request a plan change. Does the participant's plan change after a check-in? If the check-in indicates that the participant's plan is meeting their needs, the NDIS doesn't need to make any adjustments. The plan will remain unchanged, and the NDIS will reconnect at the participant's next check-in to ensure the plan still aligns with their needs. If the check-in shows the plan doesn’t meet the participant's needs, the NDIS may need to change their plan. The existing plan may go through some minor adjustments, or alternatively, the NDIS may need to re-evaluate the current plan and substitute it with a new one. Following the check-in with the participant, the NDIS will draft a new plan prior to the end date of the participant’s current plan. If the participant's current plan is effective and their supports still align with the NDIS funding criteria, the NDIS may provide the participant with a new plan containing the same supports. The new plan could also entail fewer supports if some are no longer necessary, or it might require additional supports. The NDIS will base this decision on the participant's support requirements, the guiding principles for plan creation and the NDIS funding criteria. The NDIS assess each support individually for reasonableness and necessity, as well as when evaluated as a whole package.
Lesson 3 of 8 Scheduled plan reassessments Scheduled plan reassessments happen regularly as part of the NDIS funding cycle. They are an opportunity for participants to: • Consider how they are progressing toward their personal goals • Explore new goals • Consider which supports are working well • Identify supports that are not working well or are no longer needed • Discuss any changes in their life What to expect from a plan reassessment meeting Tab 1 who will be there? A representative of the N.D.I.A. (either a planner or a Local Area Coordinator (L.A.C.)/an N.D.I.A. community partner) will be at the meeting. Where possible, the N.D.I.A. will ensure the N.D.I.A. representative has specialist knowledge of psychosocial disability. Participants can also choose to bring other people with them to the meeting. Trusted others can include their support worker, carer, family or friends. Tab 2 what will happen at the meeting? The plan reassessment meeting is an opportunity for the participant and the N.D.I.A. representative to meet and discuss the person's plan and their support needs over the next plan period. The N.D.I.A. will ask questions about: Goals: How a person has used their plan to work toward their goals, how this is going and if the goals need to change. Supports: What supports have been accessed. If there have been any difficulties accessing supports, which need to continue and which new ones need to be added. Functional impairments: Usually the WHODAS functional assessment will be conducted at every reassessment meeting. If there are changes to the person's disability support needs, this can be discussed as well. If the person has recently completed a functional assessment (e.g., the WHODAS or the LSP-16), they can bring this to the meeting. The N.D.I.A. will use the information collected at the planning meeting to determine what supports should be funded in the next plan. It is a good idea for people to think about their goals and support needs in advance of this meeting and bring along any new assessments or other evidence that may support a request for ongoing or changing supports. If participants have a support coordinator funded in their plan, the support coordinator can often help with the preparation. Tab 3 where will it be held? The participant is in charge of where the meeting will be held. It will most often be face-to-face unless the person requests otherwise. The participant can choose to attend their local N.D.I.A. office or ask the N.D.I.A. representative to meet them at a location where they feel comfortable. Tab 4 when will it be held? The participant's plan will say when the current plan expires. The N.D.I.A. representative will contact participants before this time to schedule the plan reassessment meeting date. Often, people start preparing for their plan reassessment (e.g., by gathering supporting information, thinking about their goals and supports) a few months before their review meeting. If the participant's current plan is meeting their needs effectively, the NDIS may adjust the reassessment date to a later time. Alternatively, if the participant has, for example, upcoming surgery and requires a period of recovery, the NDIS can modify the reassessment date to better accommodate their circumstances, either advancing or delaying it as necessary. The reassessment date does not change if there are concerns about the effectiveness of the participant's plan, or if they have underutilised funds. In such instances, the participant will be communicated to ensure everything is on track. Automatic Plan Extensions If a participant's plan reaches its end date, and the new plan hasn't been finalised yet, the current plan will be automatically extended for 12 months. This will ensure there are no gaps in funding or supports. This extended plan will be in place until the plan reassessment is completed. What is the difference between the first plan meeting and plan reassessment meeting? Front of card First plan meeting Click to flip This is the first time the person meets with the N.D.I.A. The first plan is an opportunity to see what the NDIS can do. It may be the first time a person is asked to think about their goals for the NDIS. In most instances, people use their experience with existing supports to decide what they want in their plans. Front of card Plan reassessment meeting Click to flip At this point, people are more familiar with the NDIS. They may have had a chance to try a new type of support, or have started thinking about new, bigger goals. They have also had an opportunity to use NDIS funding and understand the new system a bit more. What to bring Interactive image, click on the ticks Image 1 tick box Planning workbooks Planning booklets like: • Reimagine my life • Every Australian Counts These are great participant resources that help people think about their goals and their support needs. Writing everything down can help keep the meeting on track and make sure the person addresses everything they need to. Image 2 tick box Assessments New reports or assessments that have been conducted during the plan period are really helpful. They can show the N.D.I.A. if a person’s disability support needs have changed or be used as supporting evidence for a request to increase or add supports. Image 3 tick box Provider reports Most providers will keep notes on the services they have delivered in the NDIS and may be able to prepare a summary to bring to a plan reassessment meeting. This can help when a person wants to continue using a service in their next plan. Helpful information from providers includes: the supports they have provided to date the way they are supporting someone to achieve their goals their plans for future to keep progressing toward the participant's goals or addressing new goals. After the plan reassessment meeting, the person will be provided with a new NDIS plan. The supports included in the new plan will be decided by applying the reasonable and necessary criteria. This means that the next plan may include different support budgets than the first plan. If a person's support needs are unlikely to change, they may be offered a longer plan of up to 3 years. Knowledge check If a person hasn't spent all of their funding, this will be rolled over in to the next plan. • True • False SUBMIT Provider role when preparing for reassessment Front of card Support coordinator Click to flip Support coordinators can help people to prepare for their plan reassessment. This often involves filling out a report with the person about their service use and their goals. They will also need to report on their role including how they have linked the person in with the NDIS and informal, community and mainstream supports. If support coordination is needed in subsequent plans, they can also provide evidence to support this need. Front of card NDIS service provider Click to flip Service providers can be really helpful in preparing reports or assessments that participants can use to support their request for new or ongoing supports. Unspent funds Image of a jar tipped over with coins flowing out If a person hasn't spent their NDIS funding, it may give the impression that the supports weren't needed. Often, however, it means that a person couldn't find the right provider or had some other difficulties finding ways to spend the funding. If this is the case, make sure it is very clear why the money wasn't spent, including what was done to try and find suitable providers. Scenario Preparing for plan reassessment Click through to see an example of how someone might prepare for a plan reassessment meeting. START Step 1 Meet Zoe Image of a person sitting and writing into a notebook Zoe is about to go to her first plan reassessment. She is preparing for it, reflecting on the services she used this year and thinking about her goals. One of Zoe's goals is to be able to access the community independently. She has severe social anxiety and has struggled to use public transport. She has been using some of her funding to pay for public transport training and for support to increase her social skills. Step 2 Is the goal still relevant? Image of white board with the word goal written on it Zoe has found the supports useful and is now able to use public transport when her carer is with her. She would like to continue working toward this goal, so that she can go out without her carer in the future. Step 3 Supporting evidence Image of person with laptop writing into a notebook Zoe would like to continue working with the same service providers to stick to this goal in her next plan. She asks each of them to prepare a brief summary of the work that they did with her this year and how they will continue to support her to work toward her goal in the future. Zoe brings these reports along to her reassessment meeting. Summary This was a quite simple example of how to think about supports for future plans by reflecting on an existing plan. Thinking about how the funding has been used in relation to goals (and where it should continue, increase or decrease) for each funding category is a good way to prepare for a plan reassessment meeting. Considering how funding has been used in relation to goals for each funding category helps prepare for a plan reassessment meeting, determining where adjustments (e.g., continuing, increasing or decreasing the funding) may be needed. START AGAIN
Lesson 4 of 8 Unscheduled plan reassessments Unscheduled plan reassessments occur when something needs to change during the plan period requiring a new plan to be developed before the scheduled reassessment. The steps for an unscheduled reassessment are as follows: • One Determine why the change is needed • Two Contact the N.D.I.A. to discuss the change request • Three N.D.I.A. will advise next steps depending on the nature of the change • Four If the change request is not granted the person may choose to review the decision What type of change? Click on Tab 1 Administrative Administrative changes, e.g., changes to a funding type from agency to self-managed, the names of contact people on plans and so forth can usually be made quite quickly and easily without needing to complete any paper work. Click on Tab 2 change of circumstance A change of circumstance occurs when an individual's situation undergoes significant shifts, necessitating a change of the types of NDIS services they use. Examples of situations that would prompt a reassessment due to a change of circumstance include: A change in living arrangements A significant change in informal care arrangements Changes in disability support needs Changes to a person's financial circumstances alone would not be sufficient to warrant a reassessment because the N.D.I.A. does not determine support needs based on income. To support a change of circumstance on the basis of disability support needs, you need to have new evidence regarding the person's disability needs that was not presented at the original planning meeting. You can read more about changes of circumstance in the NDIS Operational Guidelines. Click on tab 3 plan not suitable If the plan isn't suitable for the person's needs (e.g., it lacks sufficient funding or does not include some important elements), they can contact the N.D.I.A. to see if an unscheduled reassessment can be considered. Plans are unlikely to be considered for an unscheduled reassessment if extra funding is being requested because of the inappropriate management of the original funding (e.g., poor budgeting or misuse of funds). The person is requesting a service or new equipment because they learned another participant has been funded for such supports. The request could be met by informal, community or mainstream supports. There is no new evidence to support their need for new supports. Provider role in unscheduled reassessments Image of two people sitting with a laptop talking A request for an unscheduled reassessment must come from the participant. However, as a provider, you can play an important role in talking to people about their plans and how their funding can be used. It can help them to make a decision about asking for an unscheduled reassessment. You may also be able to support them to contact the NDIA, depending on your role/relationship with the person. When is an unscheduled reassessment appropriate? When requesting an unscheduled reassessment, the N.D.I.A. will require evidence demonstrating a clear need for additional support, such as information on the impairment the person wishes to address, their goals, and any supporting evidence the support need cannot be met with the existing plan, for example, by utilising funding flexibility the support need cannot be addressed through the mainstream, community or informal support systems. Example Mark wants to request an increase in his core funding from $10,000 to $15,000 so he can pay for a gardener and a cleaner. A friend of his has this kind of funding in his plan, and he has $15,000 of core funding. What would you do next? (tick all that apply) (tick all that apply) Talk to Mark about his goals and impairments. Does he need the gardener and cleaner because of his disability? Talk to Mark about his current core funding. How is he currently spending it and could it be changed? Talk to Mark about how the NDIS allocate funding on an individual basis. This means that his friend may have different funding amounts. Support Mark to call the N.D.I.A. to reassess his plan. SUBMIT Look at the plan and consider how the funding could be used flexibly to meet a person's needs. Perhaps another support needs to be modified/reduced to pay for a new support. Also, don't forget mainstream and community services. Maybe, the support required can be accessed through another system. Provider tip What if the change request is denied? Reviewing a decision If a person requests the N.D.I.A. conduct an unscheduled plan reassessment and the NDIA say no, this becomes a 'reviewable decision'. If the person wishes to pursue the decision, the following steps apply. START Step 1 Internal Review The participant can request an internal review of the decision if they are directly affected by it. This means a new N.D.I.A. representative will review the decision and see if they think the plan should be changed or if they agree with the original decision. Please note that who is eligible to request an internal review varies depending on the decision made. The list of people who have the right to request an internal review for various types of decisions is as follows: The NDIS applicant A person appointed by a court or tribunal to make decisions on behalf of the NDIS applicant A parent or legal guardian for a child younger than 18, applying to the NDIS. After the N.D.I.A. notify the person of the initial decision, they have three months to request an internal review. This three-month period starts the day after the person receives N.D.I.A. decision in writing. If the person asks for a review after this time, the N.D.I.A. cannot conduct it. In such cases, they will provide information about other options available to the person. The person can ask for an internal review through completing the N.D.I.A. form(opens in a new tab), contacting (opens in a new tab)the N.D.I.A. by phone or at one of their offices or sending the N.D.I.A. a letter or an email. After a person asks for an internal review, the N.D.I.A.'s original decision stands until they finish the review. To learn more about the details of internal reviews, check the following links: Reviewing our decisions(opens in a new tab) How to request an internal review of a decision Step 2 External review If following an internal review, the N.D.I.A. still decide not to change the plan, the participant can apply for an external review. This can be done through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)(opens in a new tab): a group of people, who are not employees of the NDIA, will consider the request to change the plan and determine if they think a change could be made based on the N.D.I.A. rules. The N.D.I.A. will send the A.A.T. all relevant documents within 28 days after the N.D.I.A. is told the decision is being reviewed by the A.A.T. The person can apply to the A.A.T. online(opens in a new tab) or by filling out the application form(opens in a new tab), accompanied by the copy of the N.D.I.A. decision, or by sending an email or writing a letter(opens in a new tab). The letter should include the participant's name and contact details, the date of the NDIS internal review decision, a copy of the decision, and the reasons for contesting the decision. Step 3 Review in the Federal Court of Australia If internal and external reviews have been exhausted, a person may be able to appeal to the Federal Court of Australia to question the decision on a matter of law. This option is not automatically available. The person will need to make an application to the court for their consideration. Summary A person cannot request external reviews without first pursing internal reviews (all steps must be followed). Advocacy services are available to support participants through the N.D.I.A. appeals process. You can find out more about plan reassessments and changes by reading the NDIS Planning Operational Guideline(opens in a new tab). For more information on the review process visit the NDIS website(opens in a new tab). START AGAIN Pre-planning is key! Image of person writing into a red notebook Never underestimate the importance of pre-planning. We have a training module(opens in a new tab) that covers this if you need a refresher. The more information provided in the initial planning meeting, the more likely the plan will adequately match the participant's needs. FAQ How long does it take for the N.D.I.A. to make changes to plans? The time taken for the N.D.I.A. to approve changes vary depending on the change. Recent changes at the N.D.I.A. mean that administrative reviews can now be done quite quickly. The N.D.I.A. have also recently hired more staff to reduce some of the long wait times for plan reviews. The N.D.I.A. has introduced the participant service charter, which specifies time-frames for the NDIS process. The following apply for plan changes: the N.D.I.A. must reach a decision regarding a participant's plan reassessment request within 21 days of receiving the request. if the N.D.I.A. cannot make a decision within 21 days, it means that they have chosen not to conduct a reassessment, and this decision will undergo automatic review. Is it better to wait for the scheduled reassessment? Sometimes, it might be advisable to wait until the participant check-in to address concerns with a plan, particularly if you don't have to wait long. Other times, for example, if a key support category is missing, it won't be in the person's best interests to wait. You need to weigh up these options with the person. Should a person continue to use their plan while waiting for a decision? Yes, it is fine to keep using the NDIS plan while waiting for the N.D.I.A. to make a decision. When determining how to use the funding during this time, you will need to weigh up the person's immediate support needs. But keep in mind that the request to reassess the plan may not be approved (so don't count on extra funding being available).
Lesson 5 of 8 Plan variation What is a plan variation? There are times when the NDIS can make changes to the participant's current plan without needing to reassess the entire plan. This means the NDIS focus on specific parts of the current plan and adjust them accordingly without creating a new plan. This is called a varied plan. The NDIS regulations outline what the situations for such changes are. If the NDIS decide to vary the participant's plan, they'll work with the participant to understand how their situation has changed and make the necessary adjustments. The participant can request a plan variation, or the NDIS will initiate one if they believe it's necessary. When the participant decides to have a variation in their plan, it is called a plan variation on the 'participant's initiative'. When the NDIS decides to make a variation, it is called a plan variation on the 'CEO's own initiative'. It's important to note that the final varied plan approved by the NDIS may differ from the participant's initial request. The NDIS will discuss any changes with the participant during the plan preparation. All the supports in the varied plan must still meet the NDIS funding criteria(opens in a new tab). When the NDIS vary the participant's plan, they'll inform the participant of the effective date of these changes. This date can only be on or after the day the NDIS decide to implement the variations to the plan. Situations where the participant's plan can be varied Fixing minor or technical errors In the event of minor or technical errors detected in the participant's plan, the NDIS can update the plan to correct them. An example of a minor error could be a spelling mistake or an omitted word that requires correction. A technical error may involve inaccuracies in the NDIS's processing methods, such as misclassifying or miscalculating a support. Should there be any errors identified in the participant’s statement of goals and aspirations, the NDIS will reach out to them for consultation before implementing any changes or corrections. Changing the reassessment date of the participant's plan The timing of a plan reassessment varies for each individual, based on their circumstances. While it typically occurs every three years, in certain cases, the reassessment date may be adjusted to be later or earlier. For instance, if the participant's current plan is meeting their needs effectively, the NDIS may adjust the reassessment date to a later time. Alternatively, if the participant has upcoming surgery and requires a period of recovery, the NDIS can modify the reassessment date to better accommodate their circumstances, either bringing it forward or delaying it as necessary. The reassessment date does not change if there are concerns about the effectiveness of the participant's plan, or if they have underutilised funds. In such instance, the participant will be communicated to ensure everything is on track. Updating plan funds or its other aspects management The NDIS can update the participant supports statement within their plan to modify how the funds or other aspects of the plan are managed. Learn more about how the NDIS decides on funding management(opens in a new tab). For instance, the participant may decide to self-manage some of the supports in their plan. The NDIS will evaluate the associated risks and determine if they can adjust the participant's plan to accommodate their preferences. Learn more about plan management(opens in a new tab). Updating support providers or delivery In certain situations, the NDIS can modify the statement of participant supports to update who is responsible for providing support or the manner in which support is to be given. This adjustment can only be made if the participant's existing plan already outlines specific requirements for the delivery of supports. For further information on when the NDIS specifies supports, see here(opens in a new tab). Changing the participant support statement within their current plan, or the statement of the funding of supports under the plan Such a change could be done for the following reasons: The NDIS believes that the participant needs crisis or emergency funding because of a significant change to their support needs: In unforeseen situations, the NDIS may vary the participant's plan to include emergency supports or temporarily increase the amount of the support available. This could be prompted by a significant change in the participant's disability-related support requirements, needing immediate assistance. The NDIS will require detailed information about the participant's circumstances to make such decisions. Typically, when implementing these emergency supports, the NDIS will specify their usage and duration. These supports won't be in place for the entire duration of the participant's plan, and the NDIS will regularly check in with them during this period. Towards the end of the time-limited period, the NDIS will assess whether the participant's plan can proceed without these emergency supports. If it cannot, the NDIS may need to conduct a reassessment of the plan. If there's uncertainty about the stability of the participant's disability-related support needs, the NDIS might modify their plan to include time-limited funds and bring the plan's reassessment date forward. This allows the NDIS to provide immediate assistance and monitor whether the participant's support needs stabilise. At the conclusion of the time-limited supports, the NDIS will reassess to determine the participant's ongoing disability-related support needs. The NDIS may choose not to vary the participant's plan if there are flexible supports already available to them within their existing plan. After the participant's plan has commenced, the NDIS receive additional information or reports that they had requested to aid in the preparation or approval of the participant's statement of supports: The NDIS can vary the participant's plan based on their requested information or report. For instance, during the creation of the participant's plan, the NDIS ask for an assessment and report from an occupational therapist regarding the participant's assistive technology requirements to enhance their mobility goal. The NDIS receive this report after approving the participant's plan. The NDIS determine that the assistive technology recommendations meet the NDIS funding criteria and vary the participant's plan to include these supports. The NDIS make a minor variation to the participant's plan that results in an increase in their funding The NDIS can do this under the following conditions: The support can be assessed independently from the participant's other supports. The applicant's existing supports or funding flexibility are not sufficient to accommodate a minor change. Incorporating a requested support will have a minor impact on the overall structure of the participant's plan. The plan, with the minor adjustment, will fulfil the participant's requirements and align with NDIS funding criteria. For instance: The NDIS might add funds for repairs to a piece of assistive technology. If the participant lives in supported independent living accommodation but wishes to explore independent living options, the NDIS may add funds to support individualised living options. In the event of an employment opportunity arising before a plan reassessment, the NDIS might add specific employment supports to ensure the participant does not miss out on the chance.
Lesson 6 of 8 Advocacy in the NDIS Plan variations or reassessments are often a time when participants might need some extra support. As a provider, it is helpful to know how you can help, and when you should refer on. Advocacy in the NDIS Front of card What is advocacy? Click to flip Broadly speaking, disability advocacy is: "acting, speaking or writing to promote, protect and defend the human rights of people with a disability" - Australian Government Department of Social Services, Disability Advocacy fact sheet Image of a love heart with many hands surrounding it The NDIS does not provide funding in NDIS plans for disability advocacy services. This means that if you are providing NDIS supports, you should not provide formal advocacy services as part of this support. A lot of your work may feel like it fits the general definition of advocacy. After all, you always work in the best interest of the person. The key distinction in the NDIS is between building capacity for self-advocacy (e.g., supporting people to build skills and knowledge to make decisions) and formal advocacy (speaking for people and acting on their behalf). Click on the cards below to learn more about the types of activities you can do as an NDIS provider, and the things that should be referred to an advocacy provider. Front of card Blue tick sign1 Click to flip Can: • provide support with decision making • educate people about the NDIS • help people to implement their NDIS supports • build skills and knowledge for people to stand up for their rights • work with providers to ensure appropriate service delivery Front of card Image of red cross sign Click to flip Can't • resolve issues associated with government benefits or support services • act on a person's behalf at a tribunal for example for guardianship or tenancy disputes • campaign for improvements to existing public services • act on someones's behalf to resolve complaints What advocacy supports are available for NDIS participants? The Australian Government offers a free and independent disability advocacy service for people who require advocacy supports. You can read more about their service on the National Disability Advocacy Program website Advocacy and plan reassessments Consider what you know about advocacy in the NDIS and the things a provider might do when supporting someone with their plan reassessment. When might you need to step back and engage a formal advocate? You can work with people to understand their options around the changes to their plans and help them prepare for a reassessment meeting (e.g., by gathering evidence for supports) and make decisions about their supports. Here are a few areas where you will need to refer the person to a formal advocate. If the person chooses to review an N.D.I.A. decision and proceed to an external review, an independent advocate can support them through this process and help with legal representation. If the person wants a new support or significant increase in supports at their plan reassessment meeting and is not able to ask for this themselves, an independent advocate can be asked to attend the meeting. Takeaway Image of a hand in pointing motion It is important to understand what you can do as an NDIS service provider, and where you should engage other services. This is a big shift from block funding models, where providers often wore multiple hats. Advocacy support is available if a person is having trouble getting the supports that they want from the N.D.I.A.. You can find advocacy providers online using the DSS disability advocacy provider tool. Find a disability advocate Ask Izzy: Find the help you need, now and nearby Ask Izzy is a mobile website that connects people in need with housing, a meal, money help, health and wellbeing services, family violence support, counselling and much more. Read more ask Izzy
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