Stages of the Application Process
Access requests - The Access Request Form is the form you complete to apply for the NDIS. You may also need to give some supporting information when you submit your access request.
If you are eligible for an NDIS plan, your LAC will have a conversation with you to learn about your current situation, supports, and goals to help develop your plan. It is important to know that LACs cannot approve an NDIS plan, this is done by someone from the NDIA.
Once the NDIS confirms you are eligible for help, you can start thinking about what you need.
People who have already joined the NDIS all say the same thing – things go much better if you plan.
The first time you meet with the NDIS, they will ask you to focus on what you need for the next twelve months. The idea of your first plan is to make sure your most important and urgent needs are taken care of first. That doesn’t mean that you can’t think further ahead – but the point of the first plan is to make sure all the basics get covered.
So, you need to think about what you immediately need. What kinds of help and support do you need every day? Every week? A few times year? After that, your future NDIS plans can focus more on your long-term goals. They might be bigger things like moving out of home or getting a job. That’s the other reason the first plan just focuses on the first twelve months – it gives you some time to think about the bigger stuff.
It can be hard to think about this all on your own. It’s a great idea to talk about it with family or friends or your peers.
My Care Space have developed workbooks to help you get started. You might like to have a look at these or make up one of your own.
While all these workbooks are all different, they do all get you to focus on similar things – what help you currently get, what help you need, what things you do now and what you would like to do in the future.
If working your way through a workbook just isn’t your thing, there are other ways you can get yourself started. Think about your average day or your average week – what do you currently do, and what would you like to do in the future? Maybe jot down some notes, or keep a diary for a week, or take some photos.
The NDIS Planning meeting checklist page recommends filling out and bringing along Booklet 2 – Planning before your first planning meeting.
The NDIS Planning Workbook is designed to be used by families but can be adapted for anyone. https://www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au/wp-content/uploads/NDIS-Planning-Workbook.pdf
The other thing you need to do to get ready is collect as much information as you can about yourself. The kind of information that is most helpful is information that talks about the impact your Huntington’s has on your daily life. You might have collected some of that information as part of your Access Request.
Do you have old reports or assessments that talk about how Huntington’s affects you? Do you have letters from doctors, or speech therapists or physiotherapists? Start putting them together to take to the planning meeting.
But remember it’s not your diagnosis that is important – it is the way Huntington’s impacts your daily life.
Top tips to prepare for the NDIS –
It’s never too early to start getting ready. Start thinking about what help you need, how you want to live your life and what support you need to achieve your goals.
It’s time to put the past behind you. Now is the time to start thinking differently. How do you want to live your life? What do you want to achieve? It might take some time get used to the idea that the NDIS could change your world. It helps to talk through your goals, aspirations and dreams with people that know you well. But remember …
Don’t stress about doing everything at once
Your first NDIS plan will cover you for the next twelve months. So, you don’t need to do everything all at once. Most people are in the NDIS for life so there is lots of time to start planning to achieve your long-term goals.
Write a list or keep a diary
Take notes on roadblocks and issues you run into that make life harder than it should be. This can help spark some ideas for the kinds of support you want from the NDIS in your first planning meeting. You could write a diary, take photos, or keep a list.
Be as specific as you can about what you need and what you want, what your goals are and how you want to live.
Learn the language
There’s a whole world of NDIS jargon out there and it’s a good idea to start getting your head around the terms. This will help you to better understand the information provided by the NDIS. Check out the NDIS glossary to help you get started. https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/glossary#a
Research, research, research
Get as much information as you can in advance – this way you’ll be better prepared to deal with any challenges and to take full advantage of the opportunities of the NDIS. It also might help to talk to other people who have already been through the process.
Get all your documents ready
Before your first meeting get all the documentation you have together so you can streamline the process with your planner. This will help you to explain who you are and what you need. Try to collect all your medical, education and health documents and put them in one place so you have everything ready when you need it.
Take someone with you
You don’t have to go through this process alone. Take someone along to your meeting – someone who knows you well. Maybe a family member, friend, or advocate, or ask your Huntington’s Specialised Practitioner to assist. They’ll help make sure you don’t forget anything during the meeting – and they can help you remember what happened later.
Your First plan planning meeting
Once your access request has been accepted and it has been confirmed you are an NDIS participant, you will be contacted for a planning meeting.
This planning meeting should be face to face. It will be done with either an NDIS planner or a local area coordinator (LAC). The LAC will be from an organisation located in the community. Each area has a different local area coordinator – you will need to check the NDIS website to find the LAC in your area. https://www.ndis.gov.au/understanding/ndis-each-state/western-australia
The LAC will sit down with you and talk you through your first plan. They will ask you about what kind of help you currently get, and what extra help you might need. They will also ask you about your goals – what other things you might like to do but can’t now.
Not everything in this conversation should be or needs to be about specialist disability support. The LAC or planner will ask you what other kinds of services or support you might need and help connect you to it – they might be things like health care or services provided by the local council. The LAC or planner will also ask you what kinds of activities in the community you are interested in and again help connect you to them.
It’s important to remember at the end of the conversation, the LAC will ask you if you want your plan and funding to be managed by the NDIA, managed by an independent agency or whether you want to be agency managed, plan managed or self-managed. That’s an important decision, and you should think about it before you have the meeting.
And just remember – just because it is called your first plan does not mean this will be your only plan. This is not a “one-off” event. This is just your first plan to get you started with the NDIS. Don’t feel like you must get everything sorted with this first plan – just focus on the urgent and most important stuff.
At the end of the meeting, the LAC will write up the plan and send it off for approval.
There is more information about the process for developing your first plan on the NDIS website.
NDIS Helpful Resources:
- Access Request Form – www.ndis.gov.au/how-apply-ndis/what-access-request-form
- Supporting evidence f https://www.ndis.gov.au/how-apply-ndis/what-access-request-form#supporting-evidence-form
- Finding an LAC or ECEI Partner – www.ndis.gov.au/contact/locations