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A spate of new terms are now being used within the NDIS, thanks to legislation that was passed earlier in the year. Although it can be frustrating when this happens, it’s always smart to familiarise oneself with these updates to help make it easier to navigate the NDIS and get the most out of your NDIS plan.
The good news is these terminology changes make a lot of sense, so once you’re familiar with them, chances are you’ll be glad they are here to stay.
Why the change?
Before we delve into these terminology changes, we’ll just explain why the NDIA has changed them in the first place.
The Australian Parliament has passed amendments to the NDIS legislation in an attempt to improve it and make it more straightforward. The hope is to simplify processes and in doing so, make the language around these easier to understand.
What are the new terms?
Plan reassessment (previously Plan review)
You are probably familiar with the term ‘Plan review’, which is when a plan is reviewed and a new or varied one is put in place.
Plan reassessment is the new term and thankfully, the process for a Plan reassessment is the same. So, this is really just a name change.
In short, Plan reassessments address significant changes (significant or minor) to an existing NDIS plan. So you will still be required to undergo a planning meeting with an NDIS planner. When this happens, the plan will then either be replaced with a new one that reflects a participant’s support needs, or the existing plan is varied.
Plan reassessment date (previously Plan review date)
Not surprisingly, the previous ‘Plan review date’ (also known as ‘End date review’) is now called the ‘Plan reassessment date’ to accommodate the new phrasing.
A Plan reassessment date is when a participant’s NDIS plan is due for reassessment by a planner in a planning meeting. As the current plan approaches its reassessment date, it’s a good idea to start thinking about the next 12 months or so and decide if anything needs to change. Plans can be of varying lengths depending on the age and circumstance of the participant. Children tend to have shorter length plans than adults, so a plan length can vary between 6 months, up to 2-3 years in length.
The NDIS will check in with you before your reassessment date. This is your chance to think about if you are happy with your current plan and want it to continue as is, or if you would like to make changes to it.
‘Plan variation’ is simply when a plan is varied slightly to accommodate a minor change. So it is a small adjustment to an existing plan, rather than a full reassessment. For example, a plan is tweaked to allow for emergency funding or to correct a technical error.
Terminology such as ‘Light Touch Review’ ‘Plan Review’, ‘Plan Extension’, ‘Rollover’ or ‘Continuation’ has now been scrapped. ‘Plan variation’ is the new umbrella term and is already being used (see FAQ regarding plan rollovers below).
So when an existing NDIS participant seeks to slightly change their plan, a ‘Plan variation’ can be requested, rather than waiting to visit this at reassessment time.
Internal review of decision
The other reason ‘Plan reviews’ have been renamed ‘Plan reassessments’ is to avoid confusion with an actual internal review of a decision. This is one area where the change in terminology just makes good sense.
An ‘Internal review of a decision’ is very different to the old ‘Plan review’ (now called ‘Plan reassessment’ – stay with us!). An Internal review of a decision happens when it is requested by the participant or their representative. It is usually done when you are unhappy with an NDIS decision and want this reconsidered internally by the NDIA.
For example, you might request an ‘Internal review of a decision’ if you think your plan is underfunded for your needs. Or perhaps you feel the therapy reports/professional recommendations supplied were not properly considered.
In the past, this process has also been referred to as an ‘S100’ or ‘RoRD’ (Review of a Reviewable Decision). In an ‘Internal review of a decision’, it will be checked that the right decision was made for you under the law by looking at your situation and disability support needs at the time the original determination was made.
It’s important to remember that an ‘Internal review of decision’ is not a ‘Plan variation’. If your situation and support needs have changed since the NDIS plan start date, then you can ask for a ‘Plan variation’ to change the plan instead.
So, those are the terminology changes that have come into play on July 1, 2022.
To recap we have:
- Plan reassessment (previously called ‘plan review’ or ‘change of circumstance’ review)
- Plan variation (previously called ‘light touch review’)
- Plan reassessment date (previously called ‘plan review date’)
- Internal review of a decision (previously ‘review of reviewable decision’ or ‘S100’)
We hope this is a useful guide that will help you navigate the NDIS easily. To learn more about the NDIS, visit our comprehensive NDIS Topic Library.