Congratulations you’ve been accepted into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), that’s great! You’ve had your meeting with the NDIS planner and have received your first plan. You’ve been given funding for capacity building and for capital. That’s great! Now how are you going to spend the funds? Where do you begin?
If you have funding in your plan for Support Coordination, then that is the best place to start. There are a number of support coordinators locally who can assist you, but you will need to have funding from the NDIS to pay for this service. For more information visit http://www.sasi.org.au/ndis/.
If you find yourself at a loss, and do not have Support Coordination as part of your package, then you should speak to your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) and see if they can assist you, or ask for a plan review to try to get Support Coordination included in your plan.
Once you’ve found a Support Coordinator they will be able to assist you to coordinate the supports for yourself or your person. These supports may include accessing a support worker, linking with an occupational therapist or a psychologist, helping to access mobility aides, etcetera. It will all depend on how much money you have within your plan and what the money has been allocated for.
If you don’t have a Support Coordinator, and feel that you are capable of managing the supports yourself, then that’s okay. You may require some assistance from your LAC and will need a copy of the NDIS price guide. You are able to shop around and find the support you need, as long as the company is a registered NDIS Provider then you should be able to engage them (this will be dependent on who your fund manager is, ask your LAC to clarify this).
It may also be beneficial to have a Fund Manager to help manage your NDIS funds. There are a number of Fund Manager’s available locally, and your LAC will be able to help point you in the right direction. For more information visit http://www.sasi.org.au/ndis/.
Your Fund Manager will be responsible for managing your NDIS budget and paying invoices on your behalf, all you have to do is sign it off. Under the NDIS you can self-manage your funds, however, it will make your life easier to have an organisation to manage it for you.
Good luck, and if you need any assistance please don’t hesitate to phone SASI on 9783 6044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.