Developing Your First Plan
Step 1 – 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 – where you want to have it
Once your planning conversation is organised, it is time to prepare.
Step 2 – 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
Now is the time to gather your family, friends and carers and have a discussion about what your goals might look like now and into the future.
Step 3 - 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, begin to assess parts of your life such as your:
- Home life – think about accessibility around the home, cleaning and maintenance or control over your home environment.
- Self-care – think about skin care, continence management or grooming.
- Health and well-being needs – think about diet and nutrition, exercise and health conditions
- Mobility – Think about your mobility around your home, your built environment as well as the actual equipment itself such as wheelchair needs
- Participation – Think about your everyday transport, interactions with the community, work, study and leisure activities.
- Relationships – Think about family, friends, intimacy and pets.
After thinking about your current situation, you can then start developing goals of where you want to go 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 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 you 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or calling our NDIS hotline on 1300 662 822
Step 4 – Having the Planning Conversation
Before the planning conversation takes place, make sure you have:
- thought about your currents 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.
If you want to speak with someone about what to expect in the planning conversation or any further tips, you can call our NDIS hotline on 1300 662 822
Step 5 – 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 our Understanding Your NDIS Plan guide or give our NDIS hotline a call on 1300 662 822