Now What? Tips for Action After Your NDIS Application is Approved
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Now What? Tips for Action After Your NDIS Application is Approved

The build-up to receiving your NDIS funding seems to last forever. The government can keep you waiting anywhere from a month to a year for approval, depending on the level of funding you require.

However, eventually, payday arrives, and you finally get the funds you need for your care. It’s an exciting moment for everyone, including you, your family, and those supporting you. However, it’s not always obvious what to do next. You put so much energy and effort into getting approved that you sometimes forget how to manage the reward at the end of the process.

That’s where this post can help. We provide some actionable tips for what to do after the government approves your NDIS application and you start receiving subsidies for your care. We also cover how you learn about your approval, when you become an NDIS participant, and the process surrounding your first care plan. Fortunately, the NDIS provides considerable administrative support, simplifying the post-approval process.

What To Do After The NDIS Approves Your Application

Once you receive NDIS funding, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will put a plan in motion to facilitate proper care delivery. However, this process can still take several weeks.

This section shows you what to do after the NDIS approves your application. Following this simple step-by-step process streamlines access to funding and ensures you receive the proper care plan for your medical situation and lifestyle.

Step 1: Talk To Your Local Area Coordinator Or NDIA Planner

Once you receive approval, a local area coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner will contact you to arrange an initial consultation. This meeting is to ensure you direct your care plan.

Sometimes, territories call local area coordinators and NDIA planners “NDIS partners.” These professionals perform the same function, helping you set up your care.

Step 2: Attend Your Planning Meeting

The next step is to attend your planning meeting on the chosen date. Your NDIA planner or coordinator can talk to you in person or over the phone – it’s your choice.

Before you go to your NDIS planning meeting, ensure you bring everything you need. Requirements include:

  • Proof of identity (the NDIS lists acceptable forms of identity confirmation on its website)
  • Your bank account details if you want to self-manage your NDIS funding (or your care provider’s bank account if you do not)
  • Information from health professionals working with you for at least six months (this information lets the NDIA learn more about your disability and requirements)
  • A list of supports or assistive technologies you use, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, and communication devices
  • Your myGov login details

The purpose of the planning meeting is to match your supportive care to your medical and lifestyle requirements. The NDIS prioritises a holistic approach, meaning you will get help with daily items, like meal preparation and life-affirming activities such as social events.

During the meeting, the LAC or NDIA planner will prioritise care that fits your personal and medical needs. Professionals will assess your circumstances, disability, and any existing care you receive to determine which support services would best enable your independence.

Talking to you helps NDIS reps build a fuller picture of your requirements. Professionals can integrate your goals to ensure that the care plan reflects your needs, not those of your provider or any other organisation.

If you want, you can invite family members, friends, and advocates to your planning meeting. Having someone else there ensures you communicate all your requirements. It also helps to ensure fair treatment.

Bringing experts with evidence of your support needs (such as an existing provider) can also help. Medical professionals or carers can validate your claims to your support needs for speedy plan approval.

Step 3: Set Up Your Myplace Portal

You should set up a Myplace Portal when you receive approval to participate in the NDIS programme, a hub for all your care plan details. Here, you can view your budget, goals, and funding, submit claims for approval, and access critical documents.

Step 4: Get Your Plan

Once the planning meeting is over, the LAC or coordinator will send your plan to the NDIA for approval. The government agency checks the funding is going to where you (and others) need it. It also ensures that the tailored care you receive addresses your goals and challenges. Planners must accommodate your wishes in the care plan and set out strategies you can use to achieve them. If the NDIA feels that plans don’t meet this objective, they will return them to the representative and get them to redesign them.

After a few weeks (usually two to four), the NDIA should approve and send you a copy of your plan in the post. Once you receive this, you can look for providers, like Home Caring, to deliver care services. Money will leave your bank account and go to the home care agency to pay for the cost of care.

Step 5: Review Your Plan

Finally, you can review your plan with the NDIA if you feel dissatisfied with it (or don’t receive approval). The government agency has a legal obligation to reevaluate your situation and recommend changes it feels are necessary.

You can request the NDIS to review a decision on its website within three months of receiving a decision. Simply complete the form and wait for a response.

When submitting the form, explain why you think the decision was wrong. Your LAC or home care provider should help you with this process, letting you make the strongest case for funding.

Building Your NDIS Plan: What To Do

Building your NDIS plan is essential to ensure you receive proper care. Getting it wrong could mean you can’t access the quality of life you deserve.

Ideally, you want your NDIS care plan to include all the essential elements to support your care. The more profound your requirements, the more detailed your plan needs to be.

How The NDIS Creates Your Plan 

The NDIS uses seven principles to determine fairness for you and others needing disability support. These guidelines ensure you get a service that corresponds to your requirements.

Fair for everyone, both today and for future generations

The NDIS believes care funding should be approximately equal to what other people with similar needs receive. If it is not, you may have grounds for appeal.

At the same time, everyone’s disability care costs should fall within the NDIS’s budget set by the government. The agency doesn’t have unlimited money.

Therefore, support care plans should be “reasonable and necessary.” The agency will not approve overly elaborate plans to make more consistent approvals across applicants.

Fair funding to pursue your goals

The NDIS also believes in providing fair funding to pursue your goals – the things you still want to achieve in life. However, it still has rules to balance the books and ensure fairness for everyone.

As such, it won’t necessarily provide more funding for larger goals (such as living in a house with a private swimming pool). It also won’t accept goals like “I want to increase my funding from Level 1 to Level 4.”. The agency makes those decisions based on clinical needs.

Evidence-based best practice

Evidence-based best practice means that the NDIA will only fund care services it believes will be effective and beneficial for you, taking current best practices into account. Therefore, it won’t fund anything it thinks is superfluous or doesn’t help people in a similar position to you.

The evidence it uses comes from established, peer-reviewed medical journals and government agencies. The NDIA is less likely to take alternative medicine websites or newspaper stories as seriously when making determinations.

Fair early investments and Fair support across service systems

The fair early investment principle means that the NDIA is more likely to approve plans that increase your independence and reduce your reliance on funding over time. To determine this, the organisation wants to know your “functional capacity” or what you can and can’t do in your daily life. Understanding this in more detail gives it a clearer idea of how to manage its resources. It also checks for the effectiveness of capacity-building supports. For example, it wants to know whether vocational training is really helping you find new work. Value for money is essential.

Fair support across service systems means that the NDIS won’t provide support that’s available from other government services, like healthcare or education. You should contact the relevant authority if you require assistance accessing these services.

Fair supports for your disability needs

Finding fair support services for your disability needs principle means that the NDIS funding you receive should be reasonable and necessary, given your disability. You can receive care services for impairments that weren’t part of your original eligibility assessment, but these will be subject to review.

Fair assistance from multiple programs

Finally, the NDIA will check that your funding doesn’t duplicate support you receive from elsewhere due to disability. For example, they won’t provide resources if you get compensation in an accident case. However, you will still receive funds to ensure you get comparable support to other people in a similar position, with any surplus funds from other sources deducted from your account balance.

What To Do To Build Your Care Plan

Given the NDIS’s principles, how should you craft your care plan proposal?

Add The Basics

The first step is to start with the basics, like your name, date of birth and NDIS participant number. You should receive this information in your access letter or on your Myplace Portal.

Also, provide details such as where you live and who you live with. This information will give the NDIS a better understanding of your living situation, helping them assess your plan’s suitability.

Include Information About Your Daily Life

The next step is to include information about your daily life. Giving NDIS assessors data on how you spend your time and what you do helps them build a clearer picture of your support requirements.

For example, you might tell them more about the activities you enjoy. Letting them know you love going to the movies or playing tennis helps them ensure your care plan facilitates these activities.

It also helps to tell them if you have a job or use mobility aids. Again, this information enables them to cross-check your daily requirements with your proposed care schedule.

Include Information On Your Current Supports

Providing the NDIA with information on your current support is also beneficial. Letting them know about who looks after you already or the transport you use helps to build a clearer picture of your life and requirements. It also tells them who you have around you and whether they need to plug any gaps in your care. For example, you might have a doctor or a university pastoral service responsible for you. You might also rely on Motability transport to get around.

Talk About Your Goals And Preferences

Finally, your care plan should provide details about your goals and preferences. The NDIA wants this information to ensure the care you receive reflects the life you want to lead. It’s all about giving you more power and control.

Start by talking about what you enjoy about life now. For example, you could enjoy having the freedom to go to the local garden centre for a coffee or spending time with close friends.

Next, discuss what you want to change. Telling the NDIA what you don’t like about your life right now can help them fix it. For example, you might not like having trouble getting dressed in the morning and want someone to assist you. Similarly, you might lack access to proper transport that can accommodate a wheelchair.

After that, you can tell the NDIA about anything new you want to try. It could be anything, from going on zip wires to getting vocational training. The NDIA wants support services to go beyond your medical requirements.

If you have goals, you should talk about these, too. Providing this information gives the NDIA a better sense of what you want your care plan to help you achieve.

Short-term goals include learning how to cook or mastering personal finance. These fundamental skills help you create a foundation for a healthier and more rewarding life.

Long-term goals include moving to a new area or getting a job. Including these shows the NDIA the direction you want your life to take and how you can use subsidies and other resources to get there.

As discussed above, the NDIA does limit the level of support available for achieving goals. However, it can be generous, depending on the funding level you receive.

Finally, tell the NDIA whether you will self-manage your plan or use an agency. Self-managing gives you more control (and can be cheaper), but you will have to do more administrative work.

How To Approach NDIS Plan Reassessment

The NDIA will reassess your plan periodically to ensure you continue to receive support services that align with its principles. New care plans should reflect your changing circumstances, increase your independence and reduce your reliance on funding.

With that said, the NDIS understands that some disabilities are permanent. Therefore, it approaches the reassessment process fairly.

During the reassessment meeting, be prepared. Take relevant information and goals with you. Talk about how your disability affects your quality of life and how various care services help you achieve your goals.

NDIA planners may suggest alternative funding options for various aspects of your care. These provide similar services but are perhaps paid for by other agencies or done more efficiently. Planners might also recommend increases in funding if your health situation changes.

After the review, you will receive your approved plan. Check that it aligns with your goals and funding needs. All support services should fit your allowance and be serviceable by your account balance.

You can involve your support network during this process. Having friends, family members, and support workers by your side can add weight to your case.

You can also focus on the progress made with existing supports. Showing the NDIA assessor how much they are helping you could encourage them to continue providing the required funding.

Tips For Self-Managing Your NDIS Plan

Most NDIS participants get other people to manage their plans, such as care agencies. However, you can self-manage if you want more control. Here are some tips for doing it well:

Only Use NDIS-Registered Providers

Whenever you self-manage your NDIS care plan, you must use only NDIS-registered providers. Don’t use any provider that’s not a part of the scheme.

For example, you can’t use NDIS funding for independent support workers. If you do, the NDIA may claw back funding, leaving you out of pocket.

Use Agency-Management 

You can get the NDIA to manage your NDIS plan for you, called “agency management” in the lingo. This approach removes the administrative burden but gives you less control than the self-managed approach.

Track Your Budget And Keep Records

Because you have limited funding, you will also need to track your spending and maintain a strict budget. Ensure you buy the care services that will let you achieve your care plan’s goals, monitoring it closely to ensure you remain within spending bounds.

Build a system for storing invoices and receipts from care providers. Keep track of where money is flowing and whether you are maintaining a balance across the months or spending more than you get in income.

Review Your Self-Management Obligations Regularly

You should also review your self-management obligations regularly, as set out on the NDIS website. For example, you must:

  • Only by support that links to the goals in your NDIS plan
  • Manage your funding to provide you with value for money
  • Keep invoices and receipts
  • Maintain a record showing how you use self-managed funding
  • Talk to the NDIA about circumstances that might prevent you from pursuing the goals in your plan
  • Paying providers on time

Purchase Supports According To The NDIS Guide

It also helps to purchase care support according to the NDIS guide. Services should last the length of your plan and be legal. You shouldn’t replace anything that friends or family would provide or include anything from other government agencies (such as dental care).

Shop Around For The Most Competitive Prices

Another tip is to shop around for the most competitive prices when self-managing. Some providers, like Home Caring, are significantly more affordable than others. Going with inexpensive services that don’t compromise quality lets you get more for your money.

Establish Clear Agreements With Your Providers

Finally, ensure you establish clear agreements with your providers. Discuss cost, payment terms, and cancellation policies. Find out where you stand.

Home Caring can provide you with this information upfront. We offer free consultations where we go through all this information to ensure you make the most of NDIS funding.

Now You Know What To Do After The NDIA Approves Your Application

While getting your application approved can take time, it also opens up a world of new opportunities. Once funding starts flowing, it increases your quality of life and helps you live with purpose.

However, you need to be careful. Not all care agencies are part of the scheme.

Fortunately, Home Caring is an NDIS-approved provider. That means you can pay for our disability support services using NDIS funding. Our team has tremendous experience assisting people like you, helping you get the resources you need to live your best life possible.

Furthermore, we only hire the most compassionate and trustworthy people, with all our carers going through our strict interview and background vetting process. Everyone who serves disabled clients has specific disability training, preparing them for your needs.

Talk to our team for a free consultation to discuss how we could help you benefit from NDIS funding. We’d love to hear from you.

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