What are the steps to joining the NDIS?
Getting in Contact
Once the NDIS has rolled out to your area the first step in joining up depends on whether or not you are currently receiving support from a disability organisation. If you are already receiving services from a disability services provider, like us, you will be contacted through the mail and then by phone by the NDIA. If you aren’t already receiving services you will need to contact the NDIA yourself to register.
When the NDIA contact you they will ask several questions. These questions will be about confirming your identity, checking that you consent to join the NDIS, and questions about your disability. If you are not currently receiving disability services you may need to provide further evidence of your disability.
Once your access request has been submitted the NDIA will respond within 21 days to let you know the result. If you are accepted your planning session will be organised.
Your first plan
Plans are what the NDIS calls the funding you receive for things or services that assist you to live your life. In order to get your first plan you will need to talk someone from the NDIA, such as a Local Area Coordinator. This is usually done over the phone, but the NDIA can organise an alternative if you need or want it. You can have support people with you if you want to, such as a family member, friend, or support worker.
Reviewing your plan
After 12 months your plan will be reviewed, you can also request a review if your circumstances change. When your plan is reviewed the NDIA will check to see if your plan is helping you achieve your goals, and if anything could be changed to help you.
Your first planning session
Your planning session is the where you will talk to a planner to work out what the NDIS will fund for you.
When you prepare for your planning sessions you should think about what you do every day, and what you would like to do.
The NDIS will fund “reasonable and necessary supports” ( For more information on what this means see our sidebar on this page). These things have to be related to your disability.
In the planning session you will discuss the supports you currently have, what you need, and what your goals are. They will also work with you to identify gaps in the support you currently receive, to see if you can also gain access to more support.
If you are currently receiving disability services the NDIA will use the information about what support you currently receive to help build your new plan.
Starting your first plan
Once your first plan has been approved you will be sent a copy by the NDIS. You then need to work out how your plan will work in practice. This will involve organising the supports you can receive from different organisations.
You can also ask for funding to assist you to get your plan organised. This is called Support Coordination.
If you don’t have Support Coordination then the NDIA or the Local Area Coordinator can help.
It is really important if you are currently receiving support from a disability organisation and you want it to continue that you let them know immediately that your NDIS plan has been approved so they can access the funding from the NDIS. The NDIS will not contact them directly unless you ask them to.
Once this is organised you will begin receiving services under the NDIS.
Who manages your funding?
When you have your plan someone will need to manage the payments to service providers. You can choose to have the NDIS do it, do it yourself with support from the NDIS, or choose a plan management provider who will do it on your behalf, or you can mix between the three options!
Who manages your funding is a conversation worth having with your planner or with a service provider you trust.
What are you entitled to under the NDIS?
Under the NDIS you are entitled to “Reasonable and Necessary supports. This means they will fund things which help you do what you need to do each day. This could mean attending a service like Merrimu, participating in training programs, or help with everyday tasks like shopping or getting where you need to go.
You can also receive funding for things like therapy and specialized mental health services,but not for health services or transport. If you cant access public transport and need specialized disability transport like SmartRun then the NDIS can fund this.