5 tips to help you and your child ace the NDIS plan review
Getting ready for an NDIS plan review can be challenging. If you’re the parent or carer of a child with a disability, you’ve already got a lot on your plate, so finding the time to deal with a whole lot more paperwork can feel daunting. Yet a little preparation can go a long way towards getting the right supports for the next 12 months.
Below, we provide some tips to help you prepare for your NDIS review. Start ticking these things off early – up to a few months before the review, if you can – and try not to leave things until the last minute, as some of the paperwork can take time to gather.
And remember, if you haven’t already used our NDIS Planning Tool, then we strongly recommend that you start your planning here. This comprehensive tool asks a wide range of questions to help you work out what’s important for your child.
First, a bit of background on NDIS reviews
If you’re new to the NDIS, then you won’t have done a plan review for your child before. Think of the review as a check-in to make sure the supports you use are helping to make a difference in your child’s life (and yours, too).
In most cases, the first NDIS plan review falls 12 months after the plan starts. You should hear from the NDIS about six weeks prior to the review. You’ll find helpful information about plan reviews on the NDIS website.
Now, here’s your checklist for nailing an NDIS review
1. Get all the paperwork ready
If your child is under 7 years old, then it’s mandatory for early childhood intervention providers to write a report for your child every year. If your child is older, it’s still a good idea to ask for reports, as they help track your child’s progress and demonstrate the effectiveness of the services and supports you receive.
Ask all people involved in your child’s care – including doctors, therapists, allied health professionals, and more – for progress reports. These reports, which help the NDIS make decisions about how best to support your child, should cover how they help your child, the impact of their services, and recommendations for future goals.
TIP: Make a list of all the people who provide services or support, and ask them for an NDIS report. Do this about six weeks out to give them plenty of time to prepare it.
2. Record changes to your child’s disability
Have there been any changes to your child’s disability since the last review? Maybe the doctor has diagnosed another issue, or your child needs a new type of support to thrive.
For example, an OT may recommend that your child change their type of wheelchair, which also requires other changes in and around your home. Or perhaps a new type of therapy has been recommended. Get quotes on what’s required and gather evidence about why it’s needed.
TIP: Ask your GP or therapist to confirm any changes in a letter, so you’ve got proof of what’s required. Be clear about anything new that you need for your child.
3. Record changes to your circumstances
As the principal carer for your child, your time is very precious. If your circumstances have changed – for example, you have a new job, different working hours, or perhaps a change in your own health or personal life – your child could be affected, too. Think about any changes in your own life and how they impact on your ability to provide care for your child.
TIP: Review your original Carer’s Statement and make sure it’s up-to-date. Highlight any changes to discuss in the review meeting.
4. Prepare your child’s Participant Statement
You will have prepared a Participant Statement when your child first joined the NDIS. It’s a good idea to review this statement before your NDIS plan review. Reflect on what you wrote previously, and think about what’s working, and what’s not.
At the very least, make sure the Participant Statement is up-to-date. It should contain current information about every aspect of your child’s daily life. This includes everything from what they’re interested in, to their hopes for the future, and their support needs, such as assistive technologies, transport, and more.
TIP: Get help here! Ask friends or close family members to read the Participant Statement and give their feedback. They might think of something you hadn’t thought of.
5. Book in your trusted Support Coordinator
Once you know the date of your NDIS plan review, ask your Support Coordinator if they can come to the meeting with you. Also ask them for help in planning for the meeting, too – that’s partly what they’re there for (here are other ways your Support Coordinator can help you get the most from the NDIS).
TIP: Having someone in your corner at the meeting will help ensure you get what you need.
Finally, the more you know, the better
Remember, the NDIA is a government agency and has set procedures in place. When it comes to your NDIS plan review, it’s important to understand the rules and play by them. Take some time to research the NDIS so you’re clear on how plan reviews work and how funding decisions are made.
Here are some helpful links to get you started:
If there’s one final tip we can give you, it’s this: over-prepare. The more information you have, the better position you’ll be in to get the right supports for your child.