Monday, August 29, 2016

Planning for the NDIS

Feeling like your in a maze as you prepare for meet with your NDIS planer? You are definitely not alone.  The major change you need to understand to give you choice and control of the NDIS package you or your family will receive is the support give is assigned according to you NDIS goals.

The NDIS encourages families and individuals to 'live their best life'. They want people to live lives that reflect those of their peers and where possible fully participate in the community. So the first clue in writing goals is they should lead to increased community participation.

It's cool to have goals around independent living and becoming more independent at home, if that leads to community involvement for family members and the participant. One of the key agenda's of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is to increase the independence of people living with disabilities over time and support people to move out of home. This is one of the solutions to the aging carer problem.  Imagine seeing you child settled before you pass on.

Planning and writing your NDIS goals requires you to think about:

  • What do I want my or my child's life to look like in three years time?
  • What do I want my or my child's life to look like in five years time?
  • What do I want my or my child's life to look like in ten years time?
  • What do I want  my child's life to look like after I'm gone.
The NDIS gives us a great reason to think and look forward to the future. It is easy to get caught in the here and now, and the day to day struggle of living with disability.

I have written a pretty detailed plan of how I want my like to look like in three years for my joining the NDIS as a participant. However that what works for me, that may not suit you needs and if your writing goals for your child and your family you should talk to all family members.  What happens if one of the primary care gives gets sick or passes away?

Life will not stop because you now need to write your NDIS plan.  That why regardless of how you intend to manage you funding we are encouraging you to starting talking about the future.  The word goals is a fancy way of asking, what do you want your life to look like or what do you want to do?

So maybe its easier to talk about what do you want to do and how do you want to do it?

So if you or your child is a social butterfly and loves being involved in social activities, playing sports, days trips and gardening.  Is the day center their now attending or is their a better way to do things, will a change extend their social skills and independence.  Is this a good time or a bad time to introduce change.

These answers will be different for everyone and this is how support with become for individual.  So there is another choice you make along the way, do I stay with what I know works for us, or is there some thing better?

Do you know what's other there? Have you talked to others at your current provider?  Is it worth jumping online and reading what other services are available?

Part of the way out of the maze is to explore options, don't lock yourself in too soon.  Selecting your support services or employing your own staff is one of your last decisions.

So one goal we all share is to transition to the NDIS. So one of my NDIS goals is my transitional goal. Saying good bye to my current providers in the right way, as I want a smooth transition, I'd like my current support workers to do buddy shifts, so I need to ask for funding for transitioning.

What about costs?  How much can I spend?  I don't have that answer.  I do know you need to ask for costs like the training of new staff. A key to deciding ehat costs you need the NDIA to cover is deciding who you want your NDIS package to be administered. This is about you being in control of how and where your funding is spent.

Yes their is a lot of work to prepare for the transitioning to the NDIS, but laying a good foundation now can save work into the future.

Ways to administer your funding are:-

  1. Ask the NDIA to pay for your supports on your behalf.  If you are currently receiving support this is how it works now. If this works well for you great! or
  2. Chose a support host provider. This is like a broker they hold your funding and administer and pay for the supports you nominate to use.  The NDIA will cover a host providers fees. It is important to know your host provider can not provide any other supports on your behalf.
  3. Use a host provider to self-direct your own support services. There are a few different models you can choose. Basically in terms of self-directing you can do as much or as little as you like in directing your support but the host provider will oversee and make payments on your behalf. or
  4. You can apply for an Australian Business Number and set up your own small business and directly employ your own support team.  The NDIA will event pay for some training to help you do this.  There is lots to learn about the legal responsibility involved.
So there is lots to think about and to talk about with others before you make that appointment with your planner.  Here's some advice from Jack's mum.

Don’t go in unprepared
  • Don’t go to meetings alone
  • Read/listen to everything about the NDIS that you can (webinars, factsheets etc)
  • Go to any NDIS Information Sessions you can
  • Ask questions
  • Call the help line
  • Speak to other participants/families
  • Join a NDIS participant facebook group
  • Follow good Facebook pages like The Growing Space and InCharge
  • Learn the language: choice and control, goals and aspirations, reasonable and necessary, self-direction, self-management, service providers, support workers, support categories.
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