A guide to the NDIS

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Forward supports participants funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

If you have NDIS funding, Forward has supports available to help you achieve your goals. If you are seeking information about obtaining funding through the NDIS or the planning process, Forward has resources that may assist you in navigating your NDIS journey.

Professional woman

If you are seeking information about obtaining funding through the NDIS or the planning process, Forward has resources that may assist you in navigating your NDIS journey.

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS provides support to people with a permanent and significant disability which affects their ability to take part in everyday life. Some examples of supports funded by the NDIS include:

  • Support with personal care to help you achieve greater independence at home and in the community
  • Support with specialist clinical services – such as occupational therapy
  • Access to transitional, short-stay and permanent accommodation

A full list of supports provided by the NDIS can be found here:

https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/becoming-ndis-provider/am-i-ready/supports-and-services-funded-ndis

How do I know if I’m eligible?

To find out if you are eligible, it is best that you contact the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110.

As a general guide, to be eligible you must:

  • have a permanent disability that significantly affects your ability to take part in everyday activities
  • be aged less than 65 when you first enter the NDIS
  • be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa; and live in Australia where the NDIS is available
Child with a walking frame / mobility aid.

Where can I get more information or support on applying for the NDIS?

If you believe you meet the eligibility criteria or are not sure, you should call the NDIS (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm) for more information on 1800 800 110.

How to develop an NDIS plan

Once you are deemed eligible and accepted into the NDIS plan, a planning conversation will be organised between you and a National Disability Insurance Agency representative to develop your first plan. This plan is your entry point to the NDIS and outlines the reasonable and necessary supports to meet your immediate needs as well as your identified short-term and long-term goals. Your first plan will provide individualised funding that you can control and choose how to use, so it is important that you prepare for your planning conversation.

If you have any questions regarding your NDIS plan, make sure you check out A Preparation Guide for my Plan.

The steps involved in developing an NDIS Plan:

A planning conversation is organised

When your access to the NDIS is confirmed, you will be contacted by the NDIS and a planning conversation will be organised between you (or a nominated representative) and a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) representative. For most people, that will be a Local Area Coordinator (LAC).

What to do

When organising, here are some things you want to consider:

  • time and date of your planning conversation
  • whether you want to have the conversation over the phone or in person
  • if you want to have the conversation in person and where you want to have it

Once your planning conversation is organised, it is time to prepare.

Preparing for your planning conversation – what to expect

Planning conversations take on average 1-2 hours to complete and the representative will try to gather enough information from you to develop your first plan.

What happens

Questions will be asked to:

  • develop a comprehensive picture of you – the participant
  • find out your short-term and long-term goals
  • understand any current supports
  • determine any gaps or unmet needs and how they link to your goals
  • figure out what reasonable and necessary supports you may need

Have a chat with your family, friends and carers to discuss what your goals might look like now and into the future.

Preparing for your planning Conversation – Working Out Your Goals

Your goals form the basis of your first plan, and funding for your supports needs to be linked to identified outcomes in your plan. Now is the time to think big about what you want in life and see if there are any gaps or barriers to achieving those aspirations.

What to think about

When working out your goals, think about all parts of your life such as your:

  • Home life – accessibility around the home, cleaning and maintenance or control over your home environment
  • Self-care – skin care, continence management or grooming
  • Health and well-being needs – diet and nutrition, exercise and health conditions
  • Mobility – your mobility around your home, your built environment as well as the actual equipment itself such as wheelchair needs
  • Participation – your everyday transport needs, interactions with the community, work, study and leisure activities
  • Relationships – intimacy, family, friends and pets

After thinking about your current situation, you can then start developing your goals and the steps needed to achieve them. Funding allocated to you will:

  • be associated with day-to-day living and activities that increase your social or economic participation
  • be a resource or piece of equipment, such as a wheelchair, assistive technology or home and car modifications, to help you live an ordinary life
  • help you build the skills you need to live the life you want, such as opportunities to work, further your education, volunteer or learn something new

This step is one of the most important in developing your first plan, which is why we have developed a handy preparation guide to help you through the process. To request a copy of the guide or to speak with someone about the process, please contact us by emailing * or calling our NDIS hotline on 1300 662 822.

Having the planning conversation

Before the planning conversation takes place, make sure you have:

  • thought about your current needs, future wants and goals and any gaps. Photos are a good way to present lifestyle information to the representative.
  • all your documents ready, such as any paperwork, medical reports, education documents, work documents, supports and services quotes etc.
  • somebody to support you during the conversation. A family member, friend or carer can help remind you of things you might forget to mention.
  • thought about how you want to manage your plan.
Tips

For many people, this planning conversation will occur over the phone; however you may choose to make alternative arrangements. Remember, the most important thing is to have end goals in mind and frame your wants and needs to how they will match your goals. Below are some other tips to support a productive planning conversation:

  • develop a comprehensive picture of you – the participant
  • find out your short-term and long-term goals
  • understand any current supports
  • determine any gaps or unmet needs and how they link to your goals
  • figure out what reasonable and necessary supports you may need

Getting your first plan

Once the planning conversation is completed, your NDIA representative or LAC will write up a plan to be approved. Once it has been approved and finalised, you will then work with somebody to implement the plan and put it into action. This may be through a Local Area Coordinator, a plan support coordinator or another party who will help you to connect with community and mainstream or funded supports.

Resources for the NDIS

Got a question?

Talk to us for more information about our services and how we can help you.