Having a Support Coordinator can be of immense benefit when utilising your NDIS plan; and it’s not something you are automatically allocated funding for. In fact, roughly a third of NDIS participants have Support Coordination as part of their funding.
So how can you obtain (and keep!) Support Coordination as a component of your plan? This blog post will provide some handy tips on self-advocacy and the importance of thorough planning for your NDIS Plan Review or Plan Application. Most importantly, having a Support Coordination provider such as OnSide involved for any planning meetings or reviews can ensure your intentions are clear so that your needs are being met.
There can be a general lack of understanding of what Support Coordination is, and how Support Coordination can assist greatly with getting the best from your NDIS plan. You’ve gotten this far on your journey, so let’s investigate the ways in which Support Coordination can increase your overall understanding and application of your plan.
In addition to the plan, having a good Support Coordinator on your side can assist with navigating your plan, goals and funds – ensuring you have what you need, when you need it and dont run out of funds! There are some important things to consider when requesting Support Coordination, such as your available time and ability to navigate your plan and connect to your supports.
What is Support Coordination?
Just as an orchestra has a conductor to ensure the smooth flow of various instruments with different purposes, dedicated Support Coordinators ‘conduct’ the engagement of each ‘instrument’ (each service or support), to ensure your goals (sheet music!) are fully catered to.
If you feel that you could benefit from someone orchestrating YOUR scheduled supports and services, you’re well on your way to living your best life. More so, look for a conductor who’s independent of all the other musicians, so that you’re in total control of what you’re hearing, and ensure you get what you want, when you want it and from the provider whom best aligns with your needs.
I’ve been approved for NDIS, and need a Support Coordinator…
If you are currently in the planning process with your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or, directly with the NDIS, this is the perfect time to discuss Support Coordination. You can ask your LAC/NDIS Planner to include Support Coordination in your plan, and they will be able to explain how it works and what it can do for you.
I have an NDIS plan, but no Support Coordination funding…
If you already have an NDIS plan but don’t have Support Coordination, you can request for this additional support to be included at your next plan review. Not everyone is allocated the additional assistance of a Support Coordinator, but it’s incredibly worthwhile to ask. Especially if you’re in a complex time of your life, like transitioning to a new home, a phase of your life, struggling to find the time to connect to the supports you need – just feeling a little lost at sea.
You can do this at any point during your NDIS plan, and we encourage you to do so as early as possible in your NDIS journey. If you do qualify for Support Coordination, get in touch with OnSide!
Avenues of application for Support Coordination:
Plan Review: Asking for Support Coordination funding
When your circumstances change and/or you need to have a plan review, you can ask to have Support Coordination as part of your new plan. When you make the request, be clear about why you need Support Coordination and what you hope to achieve through the service. This will help the NDIS to understand your needs and allocate the right level of funding for your plan. It may be prudent to speak to a Support Coordination Provider like OnSide so they can coach you through the process.
NDIS – Support Coordination Provider (eg. OnSide)
To ensure you have the best chance of securing (and keeping!) Support Coordination funding in your NDIS plan, it’s vital to reach out to a Support Coordination Provider so they can guide you through the process. They are expert NDIS-navigators, and will advocate for you; and often, will be on side for your NDIS Planning Meeting.
Provider reports & Goal tracking
The most important part of retaining Support Coordination is getting regular reports and updates from your therapies, services and treatments to indicate your progress. Tracking your goals and using your Support Coordinator to assist you to do so, will enable you to access Support Coordination in any future plan reviews. You can also use a journal or calendar to track your appointments and your health.
Communicating with your Support Coordinator
Having your Support Coordinator regularly check in with you is important. They need to be across any issues and changes with supports and services, so your plan and providers are staying on track for your specific NDIS goals.
Advocating for yourself
Your circumstances, abilities and your condition are the reason you have become an NDIS participant. The NDIS needs to be notified of any relevant health changes, limitations and/or reductions in your capacity and independence. Your Support Coordinator should be scheduling regular catch-ups with you to ensure the supports you are receiving are still applicable with your current health concerns.
Remember, the NDIS application must be a reflection of your WORST days with your disability. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed about divulging your reality and your struggles. If the NDIS aren’t aware (or your Support Coordinator), they will be unable to appropriately allocate your funding.
Plan Review Planning & Preparation
It’s often useful to have a few meetings with your Support Coordinator or Support Coordination Provider to ensure you are on the same page when applying for Support Coordination funding. Both parties should be able to clearly define your needs and recommendations and apply for relevant funding for your needs. Having copies of any practitioner reports or documentation on hand (as well as updated medical information from your GP), is a great way of ensuring you have not overlooked anything important.
Support Coordinator Assistance
Your Support Coordinator can be an invaluable resource when it comes to advocating for your needs and goals. They can provide you with information about your rights and entitlements, help you prepare for plan reviews, and even attend meetings with you to provide support and guidance.
Don’t be afraid to seek feedback and advice from your Support Coordinator when it comes to navigating the NDIS system and accessing the services and support you need. They exist solely for you; and are experts in navigating NDIS terminology and territory.
It’s essential that your Support Coordinator remains abreast of any changes in NDIS scope, funding and requirements to be able to ensure your plan is being maximised to its full potential. The flexibility within some of the NDIS categories allows for alternative approaches to mitigate the changes if you are directly affected by them.
Obtaining (and keeping!) Support Coordination is a team effort. Your GP, therapists, allied health professionals, the NDIS and your Support Coordinator or Support Coordination Provider will work with you to advocate for Support Coordination funding in your NDIS plan. To apply for Support Coordination in your NDIS plan, get in touch with us at OnSide so we can facilitate your access to funding, and maximise your NDIS plans potential. Let’s get you started!