APM Communities NDIS Plan Implementation Workshop Module 3 transcript

Speaker 1: Welcome to APM's plan implementation series of workshops to support you to implement your NDIS plan. This third topic is designed to help you to look at what supports you want to engage, how to go about this established service agreements and monitor your plan and progress towards your goals. We will continue the work you did in topic two by working through the NDIS Booklet 3. If you don't have a copy of your plan, you can print one from your MyPlace participant portal, which we set up in topic one. Or contact the NDIS or your local area coordinator.

So if you don't have these and you want them, please pause here and restart this topic once you've got one. Before we start talking about organizing supports, it's important to note that you're not alone. As a participant, you have access to people who can assist you to implement your plan. Who this is depends on where you live and the types of support that are funded in your plan. Your support person could be a friend or family member, an NDIS staff member, a local partner in the community, a support coordinator, or a specialist support coordinator that is funded.

In Workbook 3, there is space to write your support person down. If you haven't done this in topic two, I encourage you to do now. These support people are available to you at any stage of your plan, but are not responsible for selecting and managing your supports for you. After topic two, you may have identified some new or existing supports that you want to start working with on your goals. You may also know of gaps you discussed with your planner or LAC during your planning conversation. Before we look at this in more detail, here's an overview from the NDIA about how to choose and manage your supports.

Speaker 2: Choosing and managing your services. How do you find service providers? Once you've identified the types of services that may help you achieve your goals, it's time to find out more about the providers in your area and whether they are right for you. Your ECEI Coordinator, LAC, or support coordinator can also help you. To find NDIS registered providers, you can search the Provider Finder on the MyPlace portal. You might want to research providers on the internet, check reviews, get advice from friends or family and speak with different providers either face-to-face or over the phone before you agree to work with them.

If you have difficulty finding service providers, your ECEI Coordinator, or LAC we'll be able to help you. Or your NDIS plan might include support coordination funding to help you find services that will help you to achieve your goals. How do you choose providers to deliver your services? You may have already used some service providers before you join the NDIS and you may choose to work with them again. You may also want to try new providers when you become an NDIS participant.

When considering a service provider, talk to them about your goals and discuss how they can help you work toward them. Here are some questions you may ask. Are you an NDIS registered provider? How will you help me to achieve my goals? How much does your service cost? Can I choose which staff will work with me? Can you provide the service at a time that suits me? How I make a complaint or resolve a payment issue? You can find more helpful information in the Participant Booklet 3 using your NDIS plan on the website.

Speaker 3: For more information, visit ndis.gov.au or call 1800 800 110.

Speaker 1: The NDIS Participant Booklet 3 is designed to help you think through the types of questions you may want to know about supports you want to engage and to decide if they're a good fit for you, your plan, and the scheme. These questions are will the support or service help you to achieve the goals in your NDIS plan? Is the cost of the support or service reasonably priced and is it best value for money compared to other supports? Can you afford the support or service within your approved NDIS budget?

Remember your funding needs to last, the entire period of your plan. Will the support or service help you improve, how you connect to your local community and improve the relationships you have with family and friends? It should not replace supports that would usually be provided by family, friends, and within your local community. Is the support or service something that should be funded by other government services? For example, dental health, hospital, education, housing, and public transport are all provided through other government services.

Remember all communities should have facilities and activities that are inclusive and accessible to people with a disability. Will the support or service help you to participate in activities with friends or other members of your community or help you to find or keep a job? Is it safe? Your support and services should not cause you any harm or put other people at risk.

At this stage you might be asking how can you find community mainstream supports and funded or registered providers? There are many sources, but a few of these are the Provider Finder in the MyPlace participant portal. This is the most effective way of finding NDIS registered providers. You could Google, look on Facebook, and other forms of online and social media. Referrals from friends and family are a great source of information. You could use the My Community Directory. You could also get referrals or information from your existing community mainstream and funded supports about other providers and supports available.

There's also useful information on notice boards in your local community, in your or newspaper, or you might get referrals directly from mainstream supports, such as Centrelink. APM is working with My Community Directory in a partnership to support participants, to easily access information relevant to their plans. The directory is a useful resource to help you identify and search for organizations and mainstream services that are available in your local community. These services support all people inclusive of people with disability, such as recreational activities, support groups, accommodation, legal supports, education, and employment services.

If your plan was completed by APM and you were not provided with information and assisted to connect with local community organizations or mainstream services at the end of your planning meeting, please contact your APM LAC who will help you download the My Community Directory app and provide you with instructions on how to search for local events and services that may be of interest to you. You can find a link to the My Community Directory below this video.

Before you engage a support of any kind, you might want to trial them, visit, or call them to discuss with them how they could support you, your plan, and your goals. You wouldn't buy the first car that you saw or book the first hairdresser you find, and finding a support is no different. You may also want to explore some of the other ways of purchasing support, such as employing your own staff directly, or through a contractor arrangement. While you are looking for or engaging funded support providers, you may be asked for a copy of your plan. You do not have to give anyone a copy of your NDIS plan.

Sharing your plan is your choice. You can choose to share parts of your plan or all of your plan with your service providers through the MyPlace portal, or you can give them a physical copy. You may want to share information about you and your goals so they know what it is you want to achieve, and how you would like them to assist you. NDIS registered providers must follow privacy rules and should not share your personal information with anyone else.

If you have concerns about your privacy, please speak to your provider about their policy and rules. Once you have chosen a funded provider, it is good practice to establish a service agreement. This is a negotiation and agreement of the terms and conditions around the support you're purchasing. Page 12 of Booklet 3 covers off on key areas that are service agreement and is made up of, and there are example service agreement templates online. You do not need to use a provider's service agreement and can amend theirs or create your own with the provider in a format that makes sense to you and your supports.

It's very important that you understand the agreement you are making and it is signed and dated by both you and the provider. There are service agreements made as collages, comic strips videos, and in easy English and other languages. So once this is all set up and you are receiving support, how do you pay your providers? That depends on how you've chosen to manage your plan. If you are self-managing, you have two options. You pay the provider invoice and then make a claim in the portal to be reimbursed from the budget in your plan. Or you ask the provider for an invoice and then you claim this through the portal and pay the provider.

If you plan managed budgets in your plan, you will need to create a service booking so that they can claim funds from your plan and pay the provider invoices on your behalf. These payments need to align with the agreements that you have in place with each of your providers. If your budget is agency managed, you will need to have service that's in place with each provider so they can claim from the part of the plan that you've agreed to. You can set up service bookings yourself in the portal or be assisted by the provider, or your support person that we discussed at the start of the topic.

Setting up your supports can take time and it's important that you and your providers communicate regularly. To manage your supports over the months or years of your plan, you can look at the MyPlace portal to oversee how your plan is being spent and review claims, cancellations, and changes to service bookings. You can ask for reports, updates, or review meetings to discuss your progress and address any changes needed to your supports.

You can provide feedback about your support and what is working or not working well for you. You can also change providers at any stage of your plan keeping in mind the notice periods in your service agreement. You can amend your service agreement and the supports you are purchasing to respond to changes in your life. And you can adjust how you are using the budgets flexibly to maximize your outcomes. Your service agreement is a two-way street and your providers also have some options. They can ask for feedback and request meetings to monitor how your supports are progressing. They can request changes to the type or place of support to make sure that their staff are safe and able to support you well.

They can cease providing supports to you keeping in mind that they have to stick to any notice periods in your service agreement. They can claim for supports planned if you do not attend or you cancel the support past the agreed cancellation time. They can request a change to your agreement or to renegotiate new terms to respond to their business or to your support needs. Three months before the end of your plan, it's time to start thinking about your review. Pages 15 to 19 of Booklet 3 have questions and information to prompt and guide you in this process. It's important that providers prepare a report about the supports that have been provided and the outcomes they've achieved with you ready for this plan review.

If you have not used all the funding in your plan, it will not roll over into your next plan, but it also will not be taken away in the next plan either. Every plan is unique and responds to the reasonable and necessary supports you need to achieve your goals and build your capacity over time. We hope this has been informative and helpful for you. If you require further support to understand the individuality of your plan, please contact your informal support person, the NDIS, your LAC, or the Support Coordinator you identified earlier in this topic.

The next topic in this workshop series is about reviews, feedback and complaints, and we'll cover off how to request a review of your plan and what to do if you're not happy about the supports and services you are receiving. See you then. Thank you.