The preparation required for an NDIS review meeting depends on the type of review meeting it is.
The three most common types of review meetings are:
- A full plan review (when the plan is coming to an end)
- When a new plan does not include the things you expected
- A change of circumstance review
This article will focus on a full plan review and how to prepare for it.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDIS has introduced some flexible approaches they can take with full plan reviews.
- A new NDIS plan with the same supports (sometimes called a ‘plan renewal’). This would suit a person for whom current supports are working and nothing needs to change.
- A new NDIS plan with minor changes to supports (sometimes called a ‘light touch’ review). This could suit a person for whom only minor changes are required.
- A full plan review that looks at everything.
When preparing for a plan review, it is important to consider these things listed below, and then consider which of the above plan review type best suits your needs so that you can discuss it at the meeting:
- The impact the disability is having. Has the impact increased, or decreased since the last meeting, or is it pretty stable?
- Is the person going to be starting something new i.e. a new job or a sport or a new recommended therapy?
- Are the person’s personal circumstances changing i.e. they are wanting to move out of home; a family member can not longer continue to provide support
- Is the participant a child under seven years of age?
Start and end date of the NDIS plan
One of the most important factors to bear in mind when supporting a person with an NDIS plan or managing your own plan, is the start and end date of the current plan. Don’t leave anything to chance or rely on the NDIS timeframes to work, as they often don’t. Be prepared to be the one to contact the NDIS to start the ball rolling.
According to the NDIS’s own Participant Service Guarantee, you should be contacted 56 days (approx. six weeks) before the end date of the current plan, so make sure you have a note in your diary to start anticipating a call. By the time you get to 3-4 weeks out, if you haven’t heard from anyone, be proactive and contact them. The current plan may provide you with a name and contact number of the person you met with last time, but it may not and often, that person is no longer the person you will be meeting with.
- For children under seven, contact the Early Childhood, Early Intervention (ECEI) partner you are already linked to.
- For those over seven years of age, contact your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) if you know who they are or ring the LAC office.
- If you have a Support Coordinator, they may be happy to help you instigate the review meeting.
- If all the above fails, ring the 1800 800 110 NDIS Hotline and tell them you wish to commence a review process.
What reports/quotes do I need to have?
It’s always a good idea to check with the person you’ll be meeting with, if it’s necessary for you to gather reports or quotes. For example, if the current plan contains Capacity Building funding which is being spent on allied health services, it is important to ask the therapist/provider to write a report that covers progress made over the life of the current plan and any recommendations for future therapies or services. Allow enough time for these reports to be created as well as allowing the budget to cover the cost of the reporting.
This is also the time to review the goals in the plan. Have some of them been achieved and can therefore be removed? This is more likely with children. Are there new goals to work towards in the next plan that need to be identified? Perhaps nothing much has changed and nothing new is needed, so the goals can remain the same.
Plan management style
Many people entered the NDIS with the NDIA managing the plan (also called Agency Managed). Over time, as people have gained confidence with the NDIS and now understand much better how it all works, many have moved away from having the plan Agency Managed to either Plan Management or Self-Management. Each review meeting provides the opportunity to review this decision and change the management style.
When will the new plan arrive?
Once a review meeting has been held, a new plan should be available to the participant from the date the old plan expires. The Agency has come a long way from the days of there being long gaps between plans, which left participants in limbo with no funding to pay for support. As does often happen now, if the current plan expires and a new plan is not ready to implement, the NDIA will automatically extend the current plan for up to 12 months, at the same funding level. This means current funding will automatically continue until the new plan is finalised, so there won’t be any gaps in funding or supports.
Once the new plan is finalised you will be contacted in due course by either the LAC directly or by letter or email via MyGov or a combination of these, to inform you of the new plan.
Also read: What if I’m not happy with my new NDIS plan?
NDIS Participant Service Guarantee: Timeframes
NDIS Plan Reviews
NDIS Participant Service Charter
NDIS Participant Service Improvement Plan
Do I need NDIS funding to get support?
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