Getting ready for your NDIS planning meeting can be quite daunting. You basically have to summarise your whole life in the space of a couple of hours and convince a stranger that you require a certain level of funding to live your life in an adequate fashion.
It can feel like the pressure is on to get it right. We hear so much on social media about planning meetings going wrong, or about a plan being approved but not covering anywhere near the support the person requires; yet there is very little written about the successes. The times that the planners get it spot on. The times when the participant and their circle of support have managed to get the message across and the perfect plan has been approved. These stories do exist and with a little forward thinking and preparation, your NDIS planning story could be one of the successes.
It is important that you go into your planning meeting as prepared as possible.
You cannot assume that your planner will ask you all the right questions. Many planners and LACs are still learning their job. They function in an environment with lots of moving parts, rumours and misinformation. This means it is possible, that like the stories floating around social media, you could be left worse off if you are unprepared at your meeting.
This preparation may include taking a support person with you including someone from an agency that offers pre-planning support and advice. It may also include having a go at writing your Participant Statement prior to your meeting. This statement is the ‘voice’ of the participant. It is your opportunity to talk about you, the people in your life, your supports, and anything else that makes you who you are.
In our last blog, we discussed “Reasonable and Necessary and the NDIS” which talked about how to satisfy the NDIS reasonable and necessary requirements. In addition to knowing this information, it is really important to go into your meeting with a firm understanding of what your goals are.
It is necessary to set goals because they help you identify and prioritise what is important to you and they help to frame realistic outcomes. Your goals should describe what you want to achieve, develop or learn and the easiest way to set your goals is to think about what is important to you. Only supports that are related to your goals will be funded, so thinking about this before your planning meeting sort of makes sense!
The NDIS plan has two categories of goals. More immediate goals that will be worked on in the timeframe of your plan and longer-term goals and aspirations that may take a couple of years to achieve.
The 8 Participant Outcome Domains
As well as the “reasonable and necessary’ test, the NDIS use an Outcomes Framework to measure goals against before deciding to fund them. This framework includes the 8 Outcome Domains.
- Choice and control
- Daily Living
- Health and wellbeing
- Lifelong learning
- Social and community participation
Each goal needs to be able to be related back to these domains to be considered for funding. It is also important that you understand how to word your goals in order to have them relate back to this framework in the best way possible. To write a good goal, you need to think about why this goal is important; what impact is this goal going to have on my life?
For example, your goal may be wanting to stay living in your home; but writing your goal as “I want to continue living independently in my community” relates neatly back to Outcome Domains 1, 2, 4, 8 and possibly even 5.
Another example may be a goal of wanting to the NDIS to fund continence products. Writing this goal as “I want to maintain my independence and be confident about my personal care when in the community and at school” relates this goal back to Outcome Domains 1,2,6 and 8
Another important thing to think about before going into your planning meeting is how you would like your plan managed. There are 3 ways of managing your plan: Self Manage, Agency Manage or Plan Manage.
In our next blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of each of these options. Stay Tuned!