During your NDIS journey, there are many support services that can help you get the most out of the NDIS and ensure you can reach your goals. However, it can get a little confusing as to which services you should be working with and what each of them does!
Here is a breakdown of some of the critical services that may help you navigate through the NDIS.
A Local Area Coordinator (LAC)
Local Area Coordinators are NDIA partner organizations that ensure the NDIS works for people in their local area. They can help you with your NDIS plans, review your plan if need be, and even help you navigate the NDIS system. The real strength of a LAC is its ability to connect individuals with NDIS providers in their local area with knowledge about the different disability services available in the community. Your Local Area Coordinator is your go-to organization for NDIS information and will help you as much as they can. People often approach LAC if they meet all the requirements to become an NDIS participant, and they will be the ones to work with you to develop your plan, help submit it and track any progress you make along the way.
Common ways a LAC may also help you:
– linking you to your provider of choice
– is the central community hub for access to community services
– providing information on training opportunities for people with disabilities
– assisting you with accessing the NDIS online system if needed (to get your plan accepted)
– acting as a liaison between you and your care providers where required
– providing information on how to access specialist services
– reviewing your plan if need be (for you)
– helping you find services in the community such as transportation, interpreters, and individual skill development
– providing you with any other information you may need about your NDIS journey
An NDIA Planner works directly for the NDIA and will be responsible for approving plans for participants. They will work with your LAC to ensure that your goals and plan details are adhering to NDIA procedures. Whilst they’ll also assess which supports and funding options will be available under the current legislations and regulations.
Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI)
The ECEI is an NDIS initiative that links support organizations to families to care for children within local areas. The Early Childhood Early Intervention service supports children from birth to six years of age and their families. The services that the ECEI provides are very similar to that of the local area coordinator. Similarly, the Early Childhood Early Intervention will provide support to the family by referring to the appropriate resource or agencies to manage their child’s disabilities. The ECEI will also offer services to families who are living with complex needs. This includes individuals with disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional, behavioral issues and special needs.
A Support Coordinator is a private business that someone might employ to help them better understand their plan and what services are available to them. Think of a support coordinator as a bit of a coach. They will work with you to get the most out of yourself, your plan, and the funding available to you.
What sets a support coordinator apart from a LAC is that they work directly for you, the participant.
Some of the things they help people with are:
– Setting goals and tracking progress
– Helping set up each needed service
– Itinerary planning for travel to attend as many as possible of the activities you wish to attend
– Retaining your medical files and paperwork that might be filed away
– increasing quality of daily life
– Helping track your medications and ensure you are taking them as prescribed.
– Helping you understand why you have been declined access to some of the services you are entitled to under the plan.
– Helping you understand the benefits and where they apply to you
– Helping you understand that some plans have limits, and these limits may be unfair.
– Delivering reports to the NDIS
– Help with increasing community participation
A support coordinator will work with you to help you better understand your plan and get the most out of the services provided through the NDIS.
– Delivering payment to the providers directly out of your plan budget
– Retaining important financial papers
– Maintaining accurate records of funding, services and disbursements.
– Take the pressure off of economic life
– Will negotiate with confidence to get the best arrangements from providers
The great benefit of having a plan manager is that you don’t have to worry about meeting funding regulations, and it gives you more options when choosing the right providers for you.