Ed note: Tania is the administration officer for QSSS, and this is her NDIS transition advice for people with physical disabilities:
I have spinal cord injury and I transitioned to the NDIS in December 2016 and I fully self-manage. I live in Charters Towers.
After your NDIS Interview and once you are given a Plan Start date, you need to notify your current provider as soon as possible because the Disability Services money stops being used and the remaining funds have to go back to the State government.
You will need to then sign a Service Agreement with the Provider/s you choose to engage under your NDIS Plan so that your services are then paid for from your NDIS funds. If you self-manage then you are sent invoices directly for services provided, and are also responsible for lodging them via the MyGov portal and then paying your provider. Alternatively you can choose for the Provider to upload directly to the NDIS portal or have an Agency pay the invoices.
I went to all the workshops prior to the NDIS rolling out in my area and they never really helped me as far as providing me with a simple plan template as a guide. I found out about goals and planning for what I want to do in the future and how the NDIS wants you to have 1 short term and 1 long term goal. I ended up with a 14 page NDIS plan complete with pictures. Now my NDIS plan template which I use every year for the review process, is 5 pages long! Every year I just amend or update any details that have changed in my plan to give to my planner.
There is a link to my Plan template at the bottom of this paragraph. I’ve taken out some details but it gives you an idea of what’s been working for me – and why reinvent the wheel I say! Feel free to use it for your plan and amend it to suit your needs.
NDIS Plan Template 2018 (word document, 32 KB)
The primary issue I had when engaging Service Providers was that I had no idea how many support hours my funds provided each week and so it was trial and error for my first plan. Then I found QSSS and they were the first and only service that developed a budget for me which gave me a much better idea of how many hours per week my funds equated to as well as how much over the full time of the Plan. This also gives you a better idea of how many Support Workers you can recruit and after this trial and error I found that you’re better off employing a pool of casual workers so you’re not left short staffed.
The other main thing I found was that you need to check your MyGov NDIS Portal to keep a track of funds spent and remaining as you have to stay within budget. QSSS can help you keep track of your budget as well by giving them an update of funds remaining on a regular basis. As far as I’m aware the NDIS won’t make up for a shortfall if you go over budget and that leaves the service out of pocket so keeping track of funds remaining in the last quarter of your plan is crucial.
So when your Service Provider asks you for a copy of your plan or how much funds remaining you have you’ll know why as it’s a risk for services to get caught out by having invoices not getting paid due to lack of tracking your budget and running out of funds. Services still have a responsibility as well to work with you and make sure you’re not going to run out of funds before your review date. I believe you carry the same responsibility as well to work with the service. I know some people don’t think they should give their plans to Providers but at the end of the day you are in control of how much money they can claim against your plan and if you’re no longer happy with a service then this is where you negotiate a new agreement or cancel your agreement.
You can also choose to have quarterly, six monthly or annual service agreements with providers.
If you wish to communicate with Tania to ask her any questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and your message will be passed onto Tania for a response.
Ed note: We also have a Testimonial Brochure (pdf, 209KB) for those interested (screenshot of the brochure is below).