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Your NDIS pathway: the 5 steps to getting disability supports

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, or NDIS, is now available across Australia.

Here is our step-by-step guide to understanding and navigating the NDIS, including tips from our own clients’ experiences.

Need some expert advice on your NDIS journey? Talk to us and we can work through your next steps together.

Step 1: Check your availability and learn about the NDIS in your area

The NDIS provides funding to Australians with a permanent and significant disability to access disability related supports and services.

To be eligible for the Scheme, you must:

  • be aged between 7 and 65, or 50 if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • live in Australia and have Australian residency
  • need support from someone or special equipment because of your permanent disability.

 

If you meet these criteria, see Step 2 for advice on how to apply for access to the Scheme.

If you have a child under 7 who you think needs some supports, you can access early intervention, which is aimed at supporting your child’s development early to reduce their needs later on. Your child’s pathway to getting services will be unique to their needs. Your local Early Childhood Partner can support you to get information and resources now, or access the NDIS if your child is eligible.

Step 2: Apply for access

Requesting access

To become a participant in the Scheme, you must apply for access.

You can do this by:

  • filling out an Access Request Form and emailing or mailing it to the NDIA, along with evidence to support your application, or;
  • calling the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110 to complete a verbal access request, or ask for an access request form to be sent to you.

 

Gather supporting evidence

You need to provide specific information about yourself and the support you need when you make an access request. This helps the NDIA decide whether you are eligible to receive NDIS funding.

You can ask your GP to complete your access request form. This is something we recommend if you’re new to the NDIS.

Your GP or health professional can also help make sure you provide the right evidence. You can download a supporting evidence form and ask your health professional to complete it and the access request form.

Receive your outcome

The NDIA will send you a letter to tell you if you can access the Scheme. This can take some time if they need to ask you for more information about your request.

If you’re eligible to access the Scheme, it’s time to prepare for your first planning conversation. See Step 3.

If you’re not eligible for the NDIS, there are other supports available. The NDIA or your partner in the community will connect you to services in your community.

Step 3: Prepare for your NDIS planning conversation

If you’re eligible for the NDIS, someone from the NDIA or your local partner will contact you to schedule your planning conversation.

To get ready for this, we suggest you:

  • ask someone who knows you well, like a family member or a friend, to come to your planning conversation;
  • know what kinds of supports and services the NDIS can fund;
  • use the NDIS planning booklet to think about the things you do in your day-to-day life, your goals for the future, and the supports or equipment you need to do these things.
  • consider asking about support coordination. This will mean you can get assistance putting your plan in place from someone experienced in the NDIS, and;
  • know who you want to manage your plan funding.

You’ll also need some basic information for your planning conversation, like your bank details, MyGov login, and any letters the NDIA has sent you.

Read our clients’ top tips for getting NDIS ready.

Step 4: Getting your plan and putting it in place

If you’ve received your NDIS plan, it’s time to put your supports in place. This is an exciting moment in so many Australians’ lives.

If you have support coordination funding in your plan, we’re here to navigate the NDIS with you. Talk to us to get the most out of your NDIS plan right away. We’ll help you understand your different NDIS budgets and what they can be used for, and connect you with the right services in your area.

The Provider Finder is another great way to learn about providers in your area. You can also ask your local area coordinator for recommendations.

For people finding their own services and self-managing, we recommend reading up about working with providers. Knowing how to create a service agreement and check a provider’s registration status is key to having peace of mind that you’re getting safe, quality supports.

At Claro, we’re committed to making sure NDIS participants thrive. We have experienced support coordinators and plan managers right across Australia who can support you to take your NDIS plan to the next step. Contact us today.

Step 5: Reviewing your plan and your goals

Asking for changes to your plan

You don’t have to wait until your scheduled plan review to make changes to your NDIS plan.

If you receive your plan and you think it doesn’t reflect what you’d discussed in your planning meeting, you can apply for a planning decision to be reviewed.

If your plan has been working but something major in your life changes and it means you need new or different supports, you can submit a change in circumstances form.

Your scheduled plan review

You’ll meet with the NDIA or your LAC again in a year or two to review your plan.

This is the time to think about how your funding is working for you, and whether the NDIS has been supporting you to achieve your goals. Are you getting the types of support you need? Do you like how your plan is being managed? Have you got new goals?

The NDIA has moved to a ‘participant check-in’ model for plan reviews. This means someone will contact you in the months before your scheduled plan review to ask how your plan has been going, and if you think it needs to change.

We often support NDIS participants through their plan review. Contact us to make sure your next plan sets you up for success.

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