Are you new to the NDIS? Below we have answered some of the common questions asked by families.
Once I have my funding, what happens next?
First things first, you will need to have a good look at the details of your plan and then think about what therapies you would like to engage in (psychology, speech therapy, occupational therapy etc…). Next you will need to think about how much of each may be required over the span of your 12-month plan. This involves having a look at your plan and deciding roughly how much funding you may like to allocate to each therapy (this is not something you need to be exact about, but its good to have an idea – this way you don’t risk allocating too much to any one source and tying up your funds). If you are finding this tricky, have a chat with your therapist in the first session – we are here to help guide you. TIP: Don’t forget you can always allocate more funds to your therapy later down the track if more sessions are required.
How do I engage a therapist under my NDIS funding?
To engage with a therapist, you will require what is called a service agreement. This is a document outlining how many sessions you plan to fund under your NDIS plan, the cost of sessions and the kind of supports you would like to engage in (e.g. behavioural support, counselling). It will also outline the responsibilities of both the therapist and yourself, for example, the session cancellation policies. The details of the service agreement will be worked out with your therapist in the first session. As such, it is important to make sure you bring your NDIS plan along to this session.
Once the agreement is in place, a service booking will be created for your sessions. This requires a hold to be placed on the funds allocated to your therapy sessions, and ensures funds are not accidentally ‘double booked’ by being also allocated to another therapy or service.
What happens if we don’t end up using all the sessions allocated in the service agreement?
If you allocate funding for a number of sessions and then decide you do not require all of the sessions, the service booking can be cancelled with your request and the funds will be released back to into your plan.
Alternatively, if you find at the end of a service agreement that you require more sessions beyond those originally allocated, a new service agreement can be drawn up at any time (provided you have funding available). There is no limit to the amount of service agreements that can be undertaken over a 12-month period – as long as you have the funding to continue sessions.
What happens at the end of the 12- month plan?
One of the great benefits of the new NDIS funding system is that there are no limitations on the number of therapy sessions that can be accessed per year (unlike Medicare), provided you have funding available. This gives you plenty of choice and freedom in how you allocate funds and access supports, allowing you to tailor the use of funds to your specific needs.
At the end of a 12-month period, the NDIS will hold a plan review designed to assess your funding requirements for the following year. This generally requires all of your therapists to provide a report to support your request for funding, so you may want to consider adding 1-2 hours of additional funding to your service agreement if you wish to have this provided for you (this can be discussed with your therapist). It can be beneficial to take along as much supporting information as possible to your plan review, to ensure that you are in the best position to accurately represent your needs for the following year.
The NDIS process may seem challenging at first, but don’t forget that your therapist is always here to support and guide you through. So, bring your questions along with you to sessions and we can help you navigate the NDIS journey!
Still have questions? Visit the NDIS website for further details or to start the process of registering for funding.