Apr 27 , 2022
5 Tips for Dealing with the NDIS!
To assist with co-ordinating a BETTER life for your family member who is living with a disability.
As stated in many of my DEO Blogs and the About Us section of our website, my family have lived and learned as advocates for my sister (who has complex disabilities), across the past 53 years.
We have lived through the DSQ and its evolution into the NDIS, particularly in the last 9 years where she has lived on her own with supports provided by the NDIS.
So much so, that I want to share my 5 Tips for dealing with the NDIS and what we have learned!
- Plans are Personal
No two participants needs are the same hence the requirement for regular reviews. Make sure you are clear on what is unique about your case. Gather the evidence and if anything changes makes sure it is fully included and considered during each assessment. If there is a decline in wellbeing, your case could graduate to a higher funding level.
Lesson Learned – Do your best to monitor, assess, record and report changes in your cases condition regularly to your Local Area Coordinator (LAC). Prepare thoroughly and ensure all current information is reported in you review.
- Never give up (when you know you are right)
As a family we have really stuck to our guns when we know we are right. Resilience and determination, even when it all seems a battle has been our mantra. Even when we think all is lost, we have found a way to keep going and prove our point. Normally this has meant the “One with the most energy” has taken the lead on an issue and we often take turns here.
Lesson Learned – Do not give up, keep communicating and stay in contact with the NDIS and stay strong.
- Form a Team
One of the best things we have done is form a team around my sister and her case. This team is made up of family, friends, support coordinators, medical workers, co-workers, social workers, and plan managers. For clarity, we have been able to define each person’s role. Daily, our sister has access to a Support Coordinator, In house Support Coordinator, Support Staff, Plan Managers and Local Support Coordinators. After years of being planned managed, we have chosen to self-manage our case. We feel more confident doing this because of our experience in the sector. I would not recommend this as a first option, but it can be done.
Lesson learned – Form a team around you so you are not on your own. Form a team and make sure everyone knows their role and how to work together for the best result for the participant.
- A Lifelong Condition does not mean a Lifelong Plan
As Tricia is high needs her NDIS Plan review rolls around yearly. We have learnt not to just ‘go on repeat’ with our responses to her questions. If anything, her condition is in decline as she enters her mid-50s and continues to age. Whilst the review is an involved and lengthy process, it is a good thing as we can be sure that we are meeting her needs. Tricia is on the highest needs level and there will be no repair, but we are happy to review regularly to ensure that we are optimising outcomes for her.
Lesson learned – Your plan is always subject to review and no matter the level always put your best foot forward with optimism during your review process. Whilst I have heard many have had their funding ‘pulled’ or ‘reduced’ without review, go back via your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) and request all reports on your case and go from there, armed with all the information. Make sure you are clear on what can and cannot be challenged.
- My Sister is Loved
Sometimes in the heat of the battle one can lose sight on what the end game is all about. That is offering your loved one the opportunity … to Live Their Best Life. When you look at all the human resources that look after Tricia you can appreciate how vital it is that she lives as she does. She is a functioning and contributing member of her local and greater community. Tricia and many like her spend time in the community, accessing services and employing people in support worker roles. We thank goodness every day we have such great people that do such a wonderful job caring for Tricia. She is loved and our life and many other lives are much better having her in it.
Lesson learned – Love is a powerful and compelling reason for us all to – Live Your Best Life!
DEO – Founder & Owner