How to develop an NDIS plan

Once you are deemed eligible and accepted into the NDIS plan, a planning conversation will be organised between you and a National Disability Insurance Agency representative to develop your first plan. This plan is your entry point to the NDIS and outlines the reasonable and necessary supports to meet your immediate needs as well as your identified short-term and long-term goals. Your first plan will provide individualised funding that you can control and choose how to use, so it is important that you prepare for your planning conversation.

To learn more, check out A Preparation Guide for my Plan or give our NDIS hotline a call on 1300 662 822

The steps involved in developing an NDIS Plan are:

A Planning Conversation is Organised

When your access to the NDIS is confirmed, you will be contacted by the NDIS and a planning conversation will be organised between you (or a nominated representative) and a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) representative. For most people, that will be a Local Area Coordinator (LAC).

When organising, here are some things you want to consider:

  • time and date of your planning conversation
  • whether you want to have the conversation over the phone or in person
  • if you want to have the conversation in person and where you want to have it

Once your planning conversation is organised, it is time to prepare.

Preparing for your Planning Conversation – What to Expect

Planning conversations take on average 1-2 hours to complete and the representative will try to gather enough information from you to develop your first plan.

Questions will be asked to:

  • develop a comprehensive picture of you – the participant
  • find out your short-term and long-term goals
  • understand any current supports
  • determine any gaps or unmet needs and how they link to your goals
  • figure out what reasonable and necessary supports you may need

Have a chat with your family, friends and carers to discuss what your goals might look like now and into the future.

Preparing for your Planning Conversation – Working Out Your Goals

Your goals form the basis of your first plan, and funding for your supports needs to be linked to identified outcomes in your plan. Now is the time to think big about what you want in life and see if there are any gaps or barriers to achieving those aspirations.

When working out your goals, think about all parts of your life such as your:

  • Home life – accessibility around the home, cleaning and maintenance or control over your home environment
  • Self-care – skin care, continence management or grooming
  • Health and well-being needs – diet and nutrition, exercise and health conditions
  • Mobility – your mobility around your home, your built environment as well as the actual equipment itself such as wheelchair needs
  • Participation – your everyday transport needs, interactions with the community, work, study and leisure activities
  • Relationships – intimacy, family, friends and pets

After thinking about your current situation, you can then start developing your goals and the steps needed to achieve them. Funding allocated to you will:

  • be associated with day-to-day living and activities that increase your social or economic participation
  • be a resource or piece of equipment, such as a wheelchair, assistive technology or home and car modifications, to help you live an ordinary life
  • help you build the skills you need to live the life you want, such as opportunities to work, further your education, volunteer or learn something new

This step is one of the most important in developing your first plan, which is why we have developed a handy preparation guide to help you through the process. To request a copy of the guide or to speak with someone about the process, please contact us by emailing ndis@paraquad.org.au or calling our NDIS hotline on 1300 662 822.

Having the Planning Conversation

Before the planning conversation takes place, make sure you have:

  • thought about your current needs, future wants and goals and any gaps. Photos are a good way to present lifestyle information to the representative.
  • all your documents ready, such as any paperwork, medical reports, education documents, work documents, supports and services quotes etc.
  • somebody to support you during the conversation. A family member, friend or carer can help remind you of things you might forget to mention.
  • thought about how you want to manage your plan.

For many people, this planning conversation will occur over the phone; however you may choose to make alternative arrangements. Remember, the most important thing is to have end goals in mind and frame your wants and needs to how they will match your goals. Below are some other tips to support a productive planning conversation:

  • ask the Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or the NDIA representative to read back your responses to ensure what you’re saying is being correctly documented
  • provide enough detail about your life without going into tangents
  • make connections between how your requested supports will help you reach your goals
  • ask for a copy of the plan being submitted

Getting Your First Plan

Once the planning conversation is completed, your NDIA representative or LAC will write up a plan to be approved. Once it has been approved and finalised, you will then work with somebody to implement the plan and put it into action. This may be through a Local Area Coordinator, a plan support coordinator or another party who will help you to connect with community and mainstream or funded supports.

If you have any questions regarding your NDIS plan, make sure you check out A Preparation Guide for my Plan or give our NDIS hotline a call on 1300 662 822