Sometimes planning meetings just don’t go as expected, resulting in plans that are less than adequate. Here we describe how CoAbility helped a client that was in this exact predicament.
One of the great things about working in the disability sector is the networks and contacts you make along the way. Sometimes your contacts help you out and every now and then you are in a position where you can help them out.
I had a situation just like that last month when I was contacted by a former client needing some assistance.
Kevin’s mother, Irene, phoned me beside herself with worry and concern. She had received her son’s approved NDIS plan approximately 6 weeks ago but had no idea how to get it started. She had received some incorrect information at the planning meeting and she now found herself in a position where she had a plan but couldn’t figure out how to access any of the services.
At the planning meeting, Irene was advised that the best option would be to agency manage Kevin’s plan with the support of a Local Area Coordinator, who would offer the same services as a support coordinator. This seemed like the right option to Irene, as previously Kevin had always had the support of a case manager and Irene felt that the way the LAC support was being described, it would replace the case management role in Kevin’s life.
However, when the plan arrived and Irene contacted the LAC she was told that the LAC would not come out to the family home for a meeting to discuss the plan, Irene and Kevin would have to come into the office. Likewise, the LAC would not make phone calls on Kevin’s behalf to organise providers, they would provide a list of registered providers and it would be up to Irene and Kevin to engage them. Talk of engaging service providers confused Irene, as Kevin had been with the same provider for over 10 years and had never even hinted at changing services. When this was explained to the LAC Irene was advised that Kevin’s preferred provider was not registering with the NDIS and as his plan was agency managed they could only access registered providers.
Kevin and Irene were distraught by this information and Irene tried for 6 weeks to sort it out before contacting me at CoAbility. I immediately reassured Irene that we would work together and sort out what was a huge mess.
Firstly I arranged to meet Irene and Kevin at their home and stepped through everything with them. They told me about their NDIS experience to date and I asked how they would like me to assist them to sort it out. It was agreed that I would support Irene to lodge a complaint with the NDIS and request an urgent review asking for some support coordination funds to be added to the plan and to have the plan changed from agency managed to plan managed, which would allow Kevin to continue working with his current non-registered provider.
I am happy to say that with a lot of hard work and a few weeks wait all of our requests were approved for a much more favourable outcome for Kevin and his mum.
At CoAbility we pride ourselves on supporting our clients to get the most out of planning meetings. This is why we always recommend you have professional support at your meetings, or at least have a chat with a professional prior to your meeting to make sure you understand the difference between each management option and what they will mean for you and your plan.
If you are ever unsure, please feel free to contact us here at CoAbility, even if it is just for a chat.
*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of CoAbility’s clients