Information for providers and support coordinators

The NDIS is offering participants living in Toowoomba and Ipswich areas the opportunity to extend their first NDIS plan by six months.  This will assist participants to understand and make better use of their plans and build their capacity to exercise choice and control over the supports and services they receive.  Six month plan extensions will have pro-rata funding of the first plan. Six month plan extensions will allow providers to supply services and receive payment for services they deliver for these participants prior to their full scheduled review, which will take place in 2018. 

 

How will participants know if their plan has been extended by six months?

The NDIA or LAC Partner will contact participants who have been assessed as likely to benefit from a six month plan extension.  Participants will be asked if they would like their current NDIS plan to be extended by six months, with pro rata plan funding to apply.  If participants do not want to extend their plans by six months, they will proceed to a scheduled plan review by 12 months.

 

What will happen to any funds in an existing plan that participants haven’t used?

The Reasonable and Necessary Funded supports from a previous plan that have not been used are returned and will no longer be available for use. Providers have 60 days following the plan update to process any outstanding payments against the previous plan.

 

Will participants receive the same level of support in their six month plan extension?

Yes, the six month plan extension will have funding pro-rated for the six months. For example, if a previous plan had $20,000 of core funding for 12 months; their plan extension will include $10,000 of core funding for six months.

 

When will a participant’s plan be updated? Will participants be notified?

Participants will be contacted by the NDIS prior to any changes being made to their current plan. A participant’s plan will not be changed until they or their decision-maker has spoken with an NDIS delegate or LAC partner. If a participant has a six month plan extension, then they will have a full scheduled review meeting six months after the start of their plan extension. Participants will be able to view their extended plan start and finish dates on the MyPlace Portal and on the print copy of their extended plan.

 

What will happen with outstanding payments to service providers?

Funds will remain in current service bookings for 60 days to ensure providers can claim for services they have delivered in that period, just as they do for plans that have a scheduled review, so long as there is a service booking in place. To avoid possible claiming issues, providers should ensure service bookings are in place and are regularly claiming for services delivered prior to your current service booking end dates. 

 

I am a service provider. Will I be told about this?

Service providers and Support Coordinators are being advised that plans will be updated for some of our participants with plans that were due for review. This has been done to ensure that they will continue to provide Participants with agreed supports. Participants are encouraged to discuss the plan extension with their support coordinator, Local Area Coordinator or their service providers.

 

Will service bookings be updated?

In the myplace portal, providers can see service bookings for Participants they have a service agreement with and are delivering supports to. To reduce confusion, planners will not restart any service bookings for participants who have a plan extension. Service providers and participants will need to create new service bookings. Service providers are encouraged to discuss this directly with the Participant and their Plan Nominee/Support Coordinator/Local Area Coordinator if applicable. 

 

What if a participant has a significant change in circumstances during the six months after their plan update?

A participant, or a participant’s plan nominee, may request that the NDIA conduct a review of their plan at any time. This generally occurs when a participant’s circumstances change and their plan no longer meets their needs, they wish to change their statement of goals and aspirations or they request a change to their plan management type. You can find out more about Plan Reviews on our website.

 

Can participants still use their current plan while their plan is being updated?

Yes. Participants can use the funds in their plan while their plan is being extended. When the plan extension is completed, funds for the next six months will be available in their updated plan and they will no longer be able to use the funds from their first plan.

 

Will providers need to develop another service agreement with participants?

Service agreements are different from service bookings and the NDIA is usually not involved in these agreements. Participants and service providers are encouraged to review their current service agreement to discuss whether an update is required.

 

What if participants don’t have enough funding?

The NDIS funding for a Participant’s current plan was based on Reasonable and Necessary decision making. The additional funding should cover the additional months of service provision. If a participant’s circumstances have changed which means that their extended plan may need to be reviewed, participants are encouraged to talk to their Local Area Coordinator, support coordinator or complete a Change of Circumstances form which is available from www.ndis.gov.au.

 

What if participants want to use the additional budget value just for personal care and not community access or visa versa?

The funding in core support budgets can be used flexibly to allow participants to use the total value in the core supports for both community access and personal care. Participants can discuss with their service providers how they might like to manage these funds.

 

How will participants’ equipment needs be met in their six month plan extension?

When the LAC or Planner calls a participant to discuss their plan update, they will discuss their existing equipment, any outstanding requests for assistive technology and assessments for equipment they believe are needed. The appropriate codes will be included in updated plans to ensure participants can continue to receive the support they need until their scheduled review.

 

What if a participant doesn’t want to have their plan updated?

Extending plans by six months is expected to be welcomed by most participants.  However, if a participant feels this change may adversely affect them, they can ask for their review date to remain the same.

 

I am a Support Coordinator. How can I best assist participants through this process?

Participants will be notified, and Support Coordinators will receive an email (if we have your current contact details) with general information related to plan extensions. You are encouraged to contact participants you are working with who have a plan extension and discuss any follow up queries they may have, following their conversation with an NDIA staff member or LAC. Support Coordinators are also encouraged to assist the participant to contact their current service providers and discuss whether changes to service agreements are needed as well as any impact on their service bookings and payments, which may also include Plan Managers.

 

I am a Plan Manager. How can I best assist participants through this process? 

To ensure service providers are paid for supports they have delivered in the current plan period, it is imperative that any invoices are paid in a timely manner. If you have a Plan Managed service booking for a participant where payments have not been claimed, this may impact on funds available in that service booking once the plan has been updated. You may also want to discuss assisting the Participant to contact their service providers that you are facilitating payments to, in order to ensure that invoices are received and processed in a timely manner. Please discuss with participants your existing service agreement and any changes required following their plan being updated.    

 

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