Here are five tips from families of children with disability to help you get ready for your child’s NDIS Plan Review meeting:
- Don’t leave your preparation to the last minute. A Plan Review requires almost as much supporting evidence as your first Plan. Start gathering documentation a few months before your child’s Plan Review is due
- Make a list of tasks and documents required. Try not to do too many at once. You’re already busy enough!
2. Progress your child has made
- Your Planner will ask how your child is progressing towards their goals
- Request reports from your child’s therapists at least two to three months before the meeting. These should detail progress towards existing goals. Read the reports before you give them to the Planner to ensure they are accurate and easily understood
- If you haven’t used all of your allocated funding, be able to explain why. Was it because your child was in hospital? Was there a lack of available services? Was it the time it takes to put a Plan into action? Write down what actions you took to organise services
3. Change in circumstances
- Tell the Planner of any change in your circumstances
- Has your child had an additional diagnosis? If so, you’ll need to bring a letter with the formal diagnosis from a paediatrician or health professional
- Has the availability or sustainability of informal supports changed? Has another member of the family recently become an NDIS participant? Do you now have health issues of your own? Ask your GP to confirm these changes in a letter
4. What is needed in your child’s next plan
- Think about your child’s progress and whether their goals are still appropriate. Think about three short-term (12 month) goals and one or two long-term goals. Making goals more broad may give you more flexibility with how you use your funding. You can have more goals in an Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) plan
- Think about your child’s age and stage of development. Is your child starting school, reaching puberty, leaving school or turning 18? Do any of these changes mean your child needs different support?
- What does your child need in terms of therapy or capacity building activities? Think about what your child has achieved and what they are continuing to work towards. Was the current Plan appropriate, and if not, what needs to change and why?
- Does your child need additional or new Assistive Technology (AT)? You will need supporting evidence and quotes. Remember you can request an AT allocation for simple low risk Assistive Technology. This can be used for purchasing computer apps and sensory items that you can buy from mainstream suppliers
- Think about what your child needs in terms of core support. Was the current plan appropriate and if not, what needs to change and why?
- Does your child need behaviour support? It’s best to address behaviour concerns early. School and therapist reports can provide good evidence
- Are you happy with the type of plan management you have? You might want to consider Plan or Self-management. Do you want Support Coordination? The Review is an opportunity to ask for these to be included in your child’s Plan. Make sure you can explain why your request is reasonable and necessary
- You can include funding for parent/carer training in your child’s Plan. Are there any workshops or conferences that relate to your child’s disability you would like to go to?
- You might want to consider asking for a longer plan, e.g. two years. You would need to be fairly certain that your child’s condition and support requirements will be stable over this time. When you receive your plan, make sure the Planner has increased the funding to match the extended period
5. Ready for the meeting
- If you have a Support Coordinator, you can ask them to assist with planning for the Review meeting
- It’s a good idea to bring someone who has some knowledge of your child and NDIS processes, e.g. a friend with a child with a similar disability or a trusted Support Worker
- When you get your meeting, ask for an email address to send all your documents to
- Bring paper copies of all documents to the meeting
- If you have been assigned a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) and your child (or family) has complex issues, e.g. more than one child with disability, it may be best to request an NDIS Planner
Note: In this fact sheet we use the term Planner. You may meet with an NDIS Planner, Local Area Coordinator or Early Childhood Coordinator.