The following information is a brief overview of the NDIS process, and what to expect.

1. Check your eligibility

Check the NDIS website to determine whether you meet the access requirements. These include: availability of the NDIS in your region; your age; your residency status; your disability (and in some cases your early intervention requirements).

2. Think about your needs and goals

The NDIS calls this ‘pre-planning’. It is important to be prepared for your NDIS Plan because you are the expert about your disability and the support you need. if you are eligible for the NDIS, you will be sent paper work to complete and a planning meeting will be organised with an NDIS Planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC). You will be offered a face to face meeting or a telephone meeting. You are much more likely to be a good outcome if you opt for a face to face meeting with the NDIS Planner or LAC.

Before meeting with your NDIS Planner or LAC it’s a good idea to start thinking about your needs, goals and aspirations. This is a chance to talk about how living with epilepsy, and any other disabilities you might have, affects your day-to-day living. Think about this in terms of family, living arrangements, social activities, studies, work, and/or wellbeing.

The meeting will explore all areas of your life, so give yourself lots of time to think about this.

3. Meet with your NDIS Planner

You will be contacted by an NDIS Planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to arrange a meeting. This is a chance for the NDIS Planner or LAC to get to know you, your needs and your current situation. It’s an opportunity to talk about any supports and services you are current receiving, as well as ones you aren’t but would like to in the future. It’s a chance to talk about anything that is preventing you from achieving your current and future goals.

It is a good idea to bring any relevant documentation from current providers, medical professionals or other experts who support you. You don’t have to go to a planning meeting alone, you can also bring a family member, friend or another advocate to the meeting for support.

Your plan will be based on your goals, circumstances and needs and might include areas such as your living arrangements, employment, social activities, transport and aspirations.

After the meeting your NDIS Planner or LAC will develop a plan that is then submitted to the NDIA for approval. There is a possibility that your NDIS Plan may not be accepted in the first instance. This may mean some changes will need to be made to the original NDIS Plan, or you can request that the NDIA review the decision. For more information about the decision review process and application form visit the NDIS website.

4. Approve your plan and manage your supports

At this stage your NDIS Plan is developed, written up and shared with you. It is at this point you agree to it, or discuss making changes.

Once your NDIS Plan has been approved, a budget will be allocated to the support clusters in your plan. You can then choose how you want to manage your budget – NDIA-managed, self-managed or plan-managed.

5. NDIS Plan review

The next step is to choose your service providers (e.g. Epilepsy Foundation, occupational therapist, psychologist). You don’t need to do this on your own – your NDIS Planner or LAC can assist you to select providers. Support Coordinators can also assist with the selection of service providers if money has been allocated in your plan for Support Coordination.

Your NDIS Plan will usually be valid for 12 months, with a start and end date. An NDIS Planner or LAC will get in touch with you prior to the end of your Plan to arrange another planning meeting. You will review your plan with your NDIS Planner to see what’s working and what’s not. You can request a review within the 12 months if there have been any significant changes in your circumstances, but be aware that it may take a while for a review meeting to be held.

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