What is an NDIS plan?
An NDIS plan is a written agreement between you and your child and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It describes the:
- supports and services in your child’s life
- goals you want your child to achieve
- funding that has been allocated in your child’s plan.
All children with disability or developmental delay need support to grow, develop and thrive, but each child needs different things to reach their individual goals. This means that you and the NDIS will work together on developing a plan that’s tailored to your child’s individual needs and circumstances.
The NDIS planning process
The NDIS planning process has several steps:
- An NDIS representative contacts you to arrange a planning meeting.
- You prepare for the planning meeting.
- You have the planning meeting with your NDIS representative.
- Your child’s plan is approved and you get a copy of the plan.
1. An NDIS representative contacts you
When your child’s access request is accepted, an NDIS representative will contact you.
Depending on how old your child is and where you live, this person will be:
The early childhood partner, LAC or NDIA planner will make a time to meet with you to discuss your child’s NDIS plan. Depending on what works best for you both, the meeting might be face to face, by video chat, or on the phone. The early childhood partner, LAC or NDIA planner will help you decide whether your child should come to the meeting.
They will also tell you:
- how long the meeting will last
- what you need to bring to the meeting
- what you can do to get ready for the planning meeting.
2. You prepare for the NDIS planning meeting
It’s a good idea to do some preparation before the planning meeting. You’ll get a planning booklet from the NDIS that will help you to prepare.
First, think about your child, what they like and dislike, and what their interests are. For example:
- ‘My child Piper is 10 years old. She loves purple things. She likes to be outside, so long as we’re nearby. She likes it when her big brother reads to her.’
- ‘My child Ajay is six years old. He has a great sense of humour and is the family joker. He likes going to school but could probably work harder. He’s passionate about cricket. Steve Smith and Ellyse Perry are his favourite players.’
Second, think about your child’s disability or developmental delay. For example:
- ‘Piper is autistic. She can’t speak, so she gets upset or frustrated when we don’t understand her.’
- ‘Ajay has cerebral palsy. He can walk sometimes although his movements can be quite jerky, especially when he’s tired. He has had several surgeries and needed a wheelchair afterwards.’
Third, think about your child’s current supports. These include:
- mainstream health supports – for example, child and family health nurses, GPs, paediatricians
- mainstream education supports – for example, a preschool inclusion subsidy, a teaching aide at school
- community supports – for example, playgroups, library services, church or cultural support groups, sports clubs
- informal supports – for example, the support you give your child, any help you get from grandparent or kinship carers, and so on.
Fourth, think about the supports you and your child might need. For example:
- Do you think your child needs support to communicate, learn, move, play with other children and so on?
- Do you need support for your caring role – for example, respite care?
You can write down all of this information, plus any questions you have, in your child’s planning booklet. It’s a good idea to bring this booklet to the planning meeting.
It can also help to write a carer’s statement. This statement explains how your child’s disability or developmental delay affects you and your family’s daily life. You can write about your other children, your child’s carers, and your own health, wellbeing, financial circumstances and so on. For example:
- ‘Piper can’t wipe herself after using the toilet, so we need a motion sensor in the bathroom. Piper’s mum, Cara, works part time so she can care for Piper after school and during holidays.’
- ‘When we go out as a family, we have to make sure Ajay won’t need to walk too far. That can be frustrating for the other kids.’
Your child’s goals are a key part of your child’s NDIS plan. Goals are the things you want your child to achieve with NDIS support and other supports and services. At your child’s NDIS planning meeting, you’ll discuss your child’s goals, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about goals before the planning meeting.
3. You have the NDIS planning meeting
The NDIS planning meeting is between you and your child’s early childhood partner, LAC or NDIA planner.
You should bring:
- the information you’ve prepared, including your NDIS planning booklet and carer statement
- information or reports from your child’s health professionals, therapists or teachers
- proof of your identity – for example, a passport and driving license
- your bank account details if you’re considering self-managing some or all of your child’s NDIS funding
- your myGov log-in and password
- a support person if you’ve decided you want one, like a family member, friend or advocate
- any questions you have about the process.
In your child’s NDIS planning meeting, your child’s early childhood partner, LAC or NDIA planner will:
- go through all of the information you’ve prepared
- ask about your family routines, the things your child enjoys and the things your family does together
- ask about your main concerns and the reasons you want support
- discuss your child’s goals
- discuss supports and services that can help to achieve your child’s NDIS goals, including mainstream and community services
- talk with you about whether you want the plan to include funding for a support coordinator or specialist support coordinator
- talk with you about options for managing your child’s NDIS funding and help you choose the option that best suits your family.
At the end of the planning meeting, your early childhood partner, LAC or NDIA planner will explain what happens next.
During the planning meeting, you can ask for a copy of your child’s plan in various accessible formats. These include Braille, electronic text (on CD), large print or audio (on CD). You can also have the plan translated into your preferred language.
4. Your child’s NDIS plan is approved and you get the plan
After your child’s planning meeting, the NDIA must approve your child’s NDIS plan.
When your child’s NDIS plan is approved, you’ll get a copy of the approved plan via the myplace portal within 24 hours and in the mail within 7 days.
If you disagree or are unhappy with the supports funded in your child’s NDIS plan, you can ask for a review.
After the planning meeting: what happens next?
Most NDIS plans for children go for 12-24 months before they have a scheduled review. The scheduled review of your child’s plan is a good chance for you to think about:
- how well the plan is meeting your child’s needs
- whether your child’s circumstances have changed in the last year.