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Who’s Who in the Zoo: Roles and Responsibilities in the NDIS

Throughout a person’s NDIS journey, a participant will encounter various groups of people who can guide and support them to work towards their goals. We present to you our “Who’s Who in the Zoo: Roles and Responsibilities in the NDIS” to help everyone understand the core functions of each group.

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The National Disability Insurance Agency is the government body responsible for delivering the NDIS. The NDIA determines who is and is not eligible to receive NDIS supports and is responsible for deciding which funding a participant receives. Their decisions are guided by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.

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Support Coordinator & Psychosocial Recovery Coach

You may need some help linking in with services and coordinating these throughout the plan. In that case, the NDIA may fund a Support Coordinator or Recovery Coach. A Support Coordinator or Recovery Coach will help you use the plan to achieve your NDIS goals, live more independently and be included in your community. There are different levels of Support Coordination. In more complex situations the NDIA may fund a Specialist Support Coordinator.

Recovery Coaching applies where your primary diagnosis is psychosocial and you need someone specialising in mental health through lived and/or learned experience. Coaches work alongside you to build your skills and work towards recovery.

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Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI)

Coordinator Families and carers of children aged 0-7 years who have an NDIS plan will work with an ECEI Coordinator instead of an LAC. ECEI Coordinators have experience working with children with disability or developmental delay. They support families so that children can reach their developmental milestones.

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Local Area Coordinator (LAC)

NDIS participants who are seven and over (and their parents if under 18) will meet with an LAC to develop their NDIS plan. Your LAC will also help you to understand and use your plan. If you do not have a Support Coordinator (see below) your LAC may show you how to use the MyPlace portal and connect you in with supports and services in the community. If you have complex needs then the LAC will hand over to a “Planner” to do the monitoring.

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Plan Manager

Your LAC or Early Childhood Partner will ask you how you would like your NDIS bills paid. A Plan Manager is one of these options and gives you the ability to use registered and unregistered providers. For example, you might want to pay a physio that you are familiar with but who is not registered with the NDIA. The Plan Manager will pay your NDIS bills, provide you with regular statements and offer guidance on using your NDIS plan. Plan Management is funded on top of your other supports.

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For participants 18 and over

Under certain circumstances it may be necessary to appoint a Plan Nominee to help make decisions about NDIS matters. Being married to someone, or being someone’s parent, does not automatically make you a nominee – you need to fill in a form and provide 100 points of ID. Plan nominees are appointed by the participant or the NDIA and cannot be paid supports. When an NDIS participant is under 18 years of age, they are under parental responsibility, foster care or guardianship. Decision-makers for participants under 18 are called Child Representatives.

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Your daughter is 12 years old and has been assessed by a therapist as having autism and anxiety. Your daughter has been accepted onto the NDIS.

You are invited to meet with an LAC to discuss goals and supports that could help your daughter build her skills. At the meeting, you mention that there is a really good, local speech therapist but they are not NDIA-registered. How can you access them?

The LAC discusses options with you and you decide to have Plan Management to access unregistered providers. The Plan Manager will also pay the bills and answer questions about the NDIS. Your LAC creates a plan for your daughter which includes funding for Plan Management on top of other services. Separately, the LAC also adds support coordination because your daughter’s needs are complex. They then send the draft plan to the NDIA for approval.

Once it is approved, your daughter can access supports but you only know the speech therapist. Your Support Coordinator helps to link you with other local services. Your Plan Manager pays the invoices for those services. You and your partner are listed as your daughter’s Child Representatives.

To learn more about NDIS plan management, give our friendly team at NDSP Plan Managers a call at 1300 63 63 77



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