The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an exciting time of change but it can also be overwhelming.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) monitors frequently asked questions that are coming through on social media, posting responses up on their website. We are reposting this information to help keep you up to date.

For more information, please visit the NDIS website.

Q: I’m having an issue in the portal where it’s not letting me set support dates. What’s going on?

A: This was an issue with the calendar function in the ‘My Payment Requests’ section of the participant portal that was reported by some Safari and Firefox users. The issue was resolved on Wednesday morning, and you should be able to set support dates normally now.

Q: How is the NDIS going to be funded in years to come?

A: The Productivity Commission estimated in 2011 that once fully operational in 2019-20, the cost of the NDIS would be about $22 billion a year.

The NDIS is jointly funded by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, as outlined in the bilateral agreements for each jurisdiction.

Q: What can I expect for my first NDIS planning conversation? It’s for my child who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

A: Your first planning conversation is the start of your child’s relationship with the NDIS, so you’ll be talking about the things that the NDIA needs to know in order to help set your child up for success with their plan.

Every person living with a disability has different needs and your child’s plan will be unique to their goals and the supports they need to achieve them. Your first planning conversation might cover topics like:

  • Personal information about your child
  • Your child’s community and mainstream supports
  • How your child goes about everyday activities
  • Your child’s safety
  • Setting your child’s goals
  • Starting your child’s plan

If you want to get a head start on thinking about the kinds of supports your child can access with their NDIS plan, start thinking and talking with them about what their goals are, and how they can go about achieving them. You can also take a look at the Reasonable and Necessary Supports and Examples of Services and Support pages of the NDIS website.

They’ll also talk about whether you want to self-manage your child’s plan, or get some support in managing it. For more information on the difference between these options, check out the question below this one.

Q: What is the difference between plan managed and self-managed?

A. How a budget is managed determines how the supports within that budget will be paid for. Generally, there are three ways that plans can be managed:

  1. Self-managed budgets
    Self-managing your plan means the NDIS will pay you directly for the supports you claim under your plan’s budgets. You can self-manage all or some of the budgets in your plan. Find out more about how self-managing your plan works in the self-managing your plan factsheet available for download on this page of the NDIS website.
  2. Agency-managed budgets
    When the NDIA manages your plan, the NDIS will directly pay your support providers for you. You have to choose registered NDIS providers if your plan is managed by the NDIA.
  3. Plan Management
    If it’s the best option for you, you may have funding for a Plan Management service provider included in your plan. In this situation, the NDIS will pay your Plan Manager who will directly pay for all supports they have been asked to manage.

No matter which option you choose, you remain in control of which support providers you ultimately choose and engage.

Q: I self-manage my child’s plan and I’ve found a physio I’d really like them to see but she’s not a registered NDIS provider.

A: When you self-manage your plan, you can employ and pay for any service you like – the provider doesn’t have to be registered with the NDIS. That means you can employ the physiotherapist that you and your child like, even if they’re not a registered NDIS provider.

Self-managing your plan means you’re in charge of the day-to-day organisation of your NDIS plan, what you spend your support budgets on, and how much you spend at a time. It gives you a lot of flexibility and control. With this flexibility comes a significant responsibility to maintain appropriate records and receipts for supports provided, claimed and paid.

You can find a lot of detail about self-managing an NDIS plan, including the kinds of responsibilities you take on when you self-manage, at this self-managing budgets page of their website.

Q: If my review has been rejected what can I do?

A: If you have requested an internal review of a decision and disagree with the result, you can take the matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). You have to submit your application within 28 days of receiving the decision from the NDIA.

On this NDIS Applicants (external link) page of the AAT website, you can find more information on:

  • What decisions the AAT can review
  • How to apply for a review
  • How the AAT will conduct the review.

They also answered a question about how the AAT works in last week’s QandA, so you might want to take a look at that.