The NDIS will be rolling out in the ‘Bayside Peninsula’ area (including the local government areas of Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula) from April 1st 2018. However if you believe your child is eligible for funding under the NDIS, you may apply now.
Children under the age of six years do not need a formal diagnosis to receive services under the NDIS. If you have concerns about your young child’s development, they may be eligible services Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) as part of the NDIS.
Children (and adults) over the age 6 years require a formal diagnosis of a disability, and will be required to meet the NDIS residency and access requirements.
If you believe your child may be eligible for services under the NDIS please visit their ‘Access Checklist’ online (https://www.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist.html). If you then believe you’re eligible you can call the NDIS (1800 800 110) or visit a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) office or a Local Area Coordinator to further discuss your situation.
Here some of our quick tips to help get you started on your NDIS journey!
- For specific questions in regards to the NDIS roll out, please contact our Local Area Coordinator, the Brotherhood of St Lawrence (see contact details above)
- Visit the NDIS website and determine whether or not you believe your child is eligible to receive an NDIS plan. If your child is currently receiving DSS funding, you are likely to be contacted directly by the NDIS to transition to the NDIS- however many families have not been contacted due to change of contact details. Therefore we strongly encourage you to make contact yourself, rather than wait to be contacted.
- The time to get organised is now! As part of your application process you will need to provide evidence to support your application for a plan. Evidence may include a diagnostic letter from your child’s Paediatrician and reports from your child’s health care providers. If you require such documentation, please do not leave it to the last minute to ask your child’s treating therapist.
- If you receive your application and you do not think you are able to produce all of the evidence by its due date, you are able to request for an extension on the submission date. Please remember, that it will take time for your child’s Paediatrician and health professionals to produce the documentation you require if you do not have what you need already. Please speak to your child’s treating therapist in regards to the cost for these reports also.
- When it comes time discuss the specifics of your child’s plan, you can request to have a 1:1 meeting, rather than conduct the interview over the phone. We would recommend doing this if you are able to do so. Take all of your supporting documentation to this meeting, along with any questions you may have written down.
- Have a think about how you would like to manage your child’s NDIS plan. There are advantages and potential disadvantages to each method, so have a think about which one best suits your current situation. Visit https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/understanding-your-plan-and-supports.html for more information about plan management types.
- Prior to your meeting, keep a record over the course of a week (or longer!) of all of the everyday activities that your child required assistance with. Record the activity they required help with, and how much help was required, and who provided the help. This may help you to formulate your child’s goals!
- Make a list of all the formal supports your child currently receives (eg. OT, Speech, Social Skill group etc.) and all the supports they have received in the past to take to your meeting. You may like to include how much you pay/paid per session also.
- Prepare for your initial meeting by taking written goals with you. Keep in mind that the first plan your child will receive (which covers the first 12 months) is designed to address your child’s immediate short term goals. Any subsequent plans (after the initial 12 months) are designed to address your child’s long term goals. Remember that one of the key aims of your child’s NDIS funding will be to improve their functional capacity. Ask your child’s treating therapist if you require assistance in developing some appropriate functional goals.
- You may wish to take someone with you to your NDIS planning meeting to help you best advocate for your child, particularly if you are concerned that you may not be able to best articulate your child’s functional needs.
Remember when it comes down to it, you are the expert of your child, and you are your child’s greatest advocate. Your role in the initial NDIS planning meeting is to advocate for your child’s needs in order to receive the most relevant plan for them. Going into this meeting feeling prepared will also help greatly- but remember, you’ve got this!