How to prepare for your second NDIS plan
If you’re nearing the end of your first 12 months as a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) it’s time to start preparing for your second plan.
Towards the end of your first year on the scheme, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will contact you to set up a planning session (also called a plan review meeting) to discuss your current plan and the funding and supports you might need in the future. This meeting is crucial for the development of your next plan, so the more prepared you are, the better the outcome.
We spoke to Northcott Individual Plan Advisor (IPA), Kimberley Harrison, about how Northcott can support you to prepare for your NDIA meeting and the ways you can get organised to ensure a successful second plan. Our IPAs work closely with customers to understand their needs and offer Northcott products, services and advice to support them to achieve their goals. In this blog post, Kimberley shares her advice for preparing for a second NDIS plan.
Set aside thinking time
Dedicate an hour or two to thinking about how your plan has been working and write down any thoughts — good or bad. If you’re not sure how to go about this, use the points below to guide you.
Meet with your provider/s
If you know you are coming to the end of your first plan, it’s a good idea to touch base with your key service providers to review your supports and services.
If you’re a Northcott customer, we’ll contact you when your plan is nearing its end and invite you to schedule an ‘End of Plan Review’ with one of our IPAs. The IPA will provide you with a summary of the current supports you are accessing and help you think about your future goals and supports. If you have multiple providers for different supports, you may wish to consider meeting with a representative from each organisation so you are as prepared as possible.
Spending some time preparing will ensure you can clearly articulate your future needs and goals as well as explain what worked and didn’t work in your first plan. Giving the NDIA (and any service providers you work with) as much information as possible will help to ensure your new plan meets your needs as best as possible. If you don’t have time for a meeting with Northcott, you can use the tips below to make sure you are properly prepared for your NDIA planning session.
Think about your current supports
Make a list of your current supports. Think about how successful (or unsuccessful) each support or service has been throughout the year. What has worked well? What hasn’t worked so well? What could be improved? Consider why something hasn’t worked and why. Conversely, if you’ve been really happy with something, try to pinpoint what made that part of your plan so successful. If you’re unsure what was agreed in your first plan, check your myplace portal account.
Check in on your goals
What were your short-term goals? What were your long-term goals? Refer back to your first NDIS plan to make sure you know exactly what your goals were and check how you are a progressing against them all.
Did you achieve any of your goals? Did anything hinder or stop you achieving these goals? If so, what? How effective or ineffective were your goals? How closely did your supports relate to your goals?
Is anything missing?
Are there any supports or services missing from your current plan that can improve your daily life? Perhaps something hasn’t worked for you — think about how you can improve this.
Complaints or feedback
Check back in your emails or diary to see if you made any complaints or gave feedback about any of the services or supports you received. This could be negative or positive feedback or something as small as a note of thanks you sent when you were really happy with the way something went.
Identify new goals and supports
Think about what may be different for you since you developed your first plan. How have your needs changed during the year? Have you gained new skills and independence? Do you require additional support? Have you got new interests or hobbies that improve your quality of life? Write down new goals or supports you might like included in your next plan so you can discuss these with Northcott and the NDIA.
Be honest and open
Try to be as honest and transparent as possible about your supports and goals. We want to ensure you get the best possible plan so you can achieve your goals and live the life you choose. The NDIA will ask you about each of your goals and supports so make sure you’ve thought about everything beforehand.
Make your own notes
At any meeting you have with Northcott, another provider, or the NDIA, it’s a good idea to take your own notes so you can check back on the conversation rather than relying solely on your memory.
If you’ve scheduled an ‘End of Plan Review’ with Northcott, we will provide you with a Plan Review Document. This will be completed with you during your meeting and emailed to you afterwards. It outlines everything discussed in the meeting so you have a record and can refer back to it during your planning session with the NDIA. Save or print this document and take it with you when you meet the NDIA.
Bring a support person
Consider bringing a support worker, your support coordinator (if you are funded to have one), a family member or a friend to your Northcott or NDIA meeting. This can make you feel more comfortable – plus it’s good to have a second set of ears to remember what is discussed during the meeting.
Even if you have six months or more to go on your plan, it’s good to start keeping track of how you are progressing towards achieving your goals and using your funding.
Try to schedule your supports so your funding lasts evenly throughout the whole year. If you have to cancel anything, make sure you reschedule your session so you don’t miss out on funding you need in the future. Remember, unspent funding doesn’t roll over to the next year. Funding set out in your new plan will replace your existing plan.
Northcott’s Preparing for your NDIS Planning Session fact sheet gives you step-by-step guidance on what to think about.
The Plan Review FAQs document produced by the NDIS is also helpful if you are unsure what to expect.
If you’re new to the NDIS, see our NDIS FAQs for more information and how Northcott can support you.
Still finalising your first NDIS plan? Our customer Travis shares his tips on how to get your first plan right.