The National Disability Insurance Scheme was introduced to make it easier for individuals suffering from disabilities to cover the cost of any treatments and care services required. You can find NDIS providers all over the company, but what if you want to change from your current one?
Switching your NDIS service provider is possible, but there’s a process you must follow. In this guide, we’ll show you how to switch from one NDIS approved provider, to another one. As well as this, we’ll also explore some of the reasons why a change might be necessary.
Why should you switch NDIS accredited providers?
Hopefully, the majority of people on the National Disability Insurance Scheme won’t ever need to switch providers. This shows that they’re 100% satisfied with the service they’ve been given. However, the world rarely works like this. While you may enter an agreement that satisfies your initial needs, things can change with time.
As a result, you could be in a situation where your current NDIS service provider no longer meets the standards you require. Perhaps they’ve changed their service plans, or maybe there’s been an alteration in management that’s led to different customer service models. Either way, you’re in a situation where you’re unhappy with the support you’re receiving.
In this scenario, you’re well within your rights to look for a change. After all, the NDIS exists to help you get the care and support you need. If your provider fails to do this, then it’s a waste of time sticking with them.
With that in mind, how do you go about switching between NDIS approved providers? Effectively, it all boils down to a few simple steps.
Step 1: Talk to your current NDIS service provider
Before you do anything else, speak to the people that currently provide your disability support. This is important as they probably don’t think anything is wrong. Think about it, if they haven’t received any complaints from you, then they can safely assume you’re happy with the service.
Contact your service provider and talk to them about your specific issues. Explain that you feel like you’re not getting the support you need. Tell them of any particular problems you’d like to address, and they should listen to all of your concerns.
It’s well worth speaking to someone else about this before you talk to your NDIS service provider. Confide in a family member or a close friend and see what they think about your situation. You could also speak to your ECEI Coordinator, or any other Support Coordinator as well. Talking to these people gives you an idea as to whether or not your complaints are worthwhile. Sometimes, we may be annoyed at little things, but the reality is that the service provider hasn’t done anything wrong. Moreover, people could tell you that the same issue occurs everywhere, so changing providers won’t stop it.
Primarily, the aim of this step is to alert your service provider to your current position. Hopefully, they listen to your problems and actively try to help you out. This could mean they offer a different NDIS plan or alter your service agreement to offer more support. In which case, you no longer need to leave, and it saves a lot of bother!
But, if they can’t do anything, then you have to proceed with the next steps.
Step 2: Look over your service agreement
When you sign up to NDIS approved providers, you enter a service agreement. This is basically a contract that details everything you’re entitled to, and all the terms and conditions you’ve agreed with the service provider.
Find a copy of this agreement and look through all of the terms and conditions. Mainly, you want to seek out the part that talks about the termination of the agreement. Here, you will find info on any termination periods that exist when you want to cancel the agreement. Essentially, it lets you know how much notice you must give before cancelling the agreement. There could also be a clause that stipulates if you have any cancellation fees to pay by ending the agreement early.
Hopefully, things are simple, and there’s no termination period and no fees to worry about. But, you need to check this just so you aren’t surprised by anything following the cancellation of your contract.
Step 3: End the service agreement
Next, you need to formally end the service agreement with your current NDIS provider. A mistake some people make is that they do this over the phone. While you can definitely do it like this, there’s a significant issue. A phone call provides no physical evidence that you formally approached the company to terminate the agreement. Instead, it’s recommended you do this in writing – preferably via email.
Send the current service provider a formal email detailing your wishes. Not only does this provide them with a formal record, but it also shows when you engaged in the termination process. So, if there is a termination period, then it will come into play from this date.
Again, you could seek out advice and assistance from an NDIS support coordinator to ensure that you say all the right things in your email. It’s also suggested that you ask for a written response in your email. This provides you with evidence that they have formally acknowledged your request. As such, if they try and stall things or claim that they didn’t see your email, then you can use their reply as evidence against them.
When you’ve sent your email, the only thing left to do is wait for a response. Now, the wheels start turning behind the scenes, and your current NDIS service provider will end your service agreement. You’re almost free to seek out a new provider, but there’s one more thing you have to do.
Step 4: End your service booking on the MyPlace portal
MyPlace is the NDIS participant portal, where you can look at pretty much everything to do with your NDIS information. When you find a provider, they will add a service booking to your MyPlace portal. This basically shows that they are your provider and that you’re booked in with them.
So, the last step is ending this booking. You can’t do this, so you have to contact your current provider and make sure they do it for you. We strongly recommend you do this as soon as possible. Ending the service booking can stop your current service a minimum of 14 days after the request has been made.
This is essential as you need to get rid of this service booking before a new one can be made by another provider. During those 14 days, your old NDIS service provider has time to claim any outstanding payments that they’re entitled to.
In rare cases, you might need to contact the NDIA to get them to end the service booking for you.
Step 5: Find your new NDIS service provider
Finally, you’re in a position to start looking for other NDIS service providers. Have a look at an NDIS service provider list to see how many are available. Compare each one, create a shortlist, then decide which providers you want to consider more than others. Again, you need to compare them even more before settling on your decisions.
Then, it’s just a case of contacting the new NDIS service provider and following the same steps you went through when you signed up for your old provider. Some companies have slightly different application methods, but they’ll explain things for you in more detail.
How do you find the best NDIS service providers?
Naturally, you want to get the best support possible. After all, the reason you switched service providers was that you felt like your old one was shortchanging you. So, don’t make the mistake of rushing in and switching to the first provider you see.
Instead, there are some key considerations that will help you narrow your search and find the best NDIS providers for your needs.
Only pick registered providers
The first thing to be wary of is the legitimacy of the service provider. Ideally, you should only ever look for NDIS approved or NDIS accredited providers. This is easy to spot as it’s one of the first things a company will advertise on their website. They know how vital it is, so they will make it clear for you to see that they’re registered and approved.
If you struggle to see any mention of it via their website, then try calling the provider or sending an email asking if they’re NDIS approved or not. If they are, then ask for proof. If they’re not, then walk away and look elsewhere. This is essential as it means they follow all the agreed-upon rules and regulations for NDIS approved providers.
Use the MyPlace portal
Speaking of registered providers, there’s an easy way to be certain you’re only dealing with them. Head to your MyPlace portal, and you will find an NDIS service provider list. This will show you all of the registered providers that you can contact. It’s by far and away the most convenient way of searching for legitimate service offerers.
Look at reviews
The best way to be sure that you’re dealing with excellent NDIS service providers is by looking at online reviews. You should find plenty of reviews by typing in the name of the provider in Google. Also, most companies will have reviews on their websites, but they tend to only broadcast the positive ones. Don’t fall into this trap, always look externally to get a more well-rounded view of how trustworthy and reliable a service provider is.
The purpose of reviews is to show you what other people think of each service provider. This tells you all the positive aspects of the company, along with any negatives. Obviously, a provider with loads of excellent reviews will seem like a much better option than one with lots of negative reviews.
Seek professional help
If you’re really struggling, then ask for guidance from your Support Coordinator or ECEI Coordinator. They will have extensive knowledge of this industry, meaning they can tell you the main things to look for. They might even provide a few recommendations for you, which helps you narrow down your search.
Do you have any friends or family that participate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme? If so, then they can help you with your search. Ask them who their providers are, or if they have any suggestions. Along with reviews, the recommendations from friends/family help you judge if certain providers are worthy or not.
Even if none of your friends/family take part in this scheme, they might know people who do. So, it’s worth asking them to see if they can ask their friends/family for the same advice!
Always contact the providers before entering a service agreement
At this stage, you should have a handful of NDIS accredited providers that you’re seriously considering. The final step is contacting each of them. Talk to them about all of your issues and ask them a series of questions. This can be done over the phone or face-to-face – email isn’t recommended at this stage.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
- What are the costs of your service?
- How will you assist me in achieving my goals?
- Am I allowed to make changes to my plan in the future?
- Is your service flexible?
- Do I get a say on who works with me?
- What happens if I have any complaints about the service?
Effectively, you’re interviewing each candidate for the role of your NDIS service provider! It’s a critical step as you get to know each company and can get a feel for which one you should choose.
On that note, we’ve come to the end of this guide. We hope you’ve gained lots of information on how to switch your NDIS service providers. If you’re unhappy with your support, then there’s no point paying for a service that doesn’t meet the mark. Go through the steps to end your current service agreement, then consider all of the key things we mentioned to find the perfect replacement. Now, you’ll have an NDIS service provider that actually meets your requirements.