You may have heard that some aspects of the NDIS are changing.
These changes include a new computer system (called PACE), some new processes and additional NDIS support categories.
It’s much easier to work with change when you understand it and we’re going to explain what we know so far. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more.
A new NDIS computer system is coming.
The NDIS has a new computer system and new provider portal. The systems have been designed to be more user friendly and easier for NDIS staff to use.
Many aspects of the system and provider portal relate to providers, while some also affect people on the NDIS.
The new system has been tested in Tasmania and is beginning to roll out nationally from 30 October 2023.
There’s nothing you need to do right now.
Roll out of the system will take up to 18 months. Your NDIS Plan will be moved over to the new system at the time of your next plan reassessment. That means there’s no action you need to take now.
The NDIS will provide support throughout the process and the Leap in! Crew is also here to answer any questions. Keep an eye on this page which will be updated as new information becomes available.
What is the NDIS PACE system and why is it needed?
The NDIS PACE system is a new business system for the NDIS and its partners. It’s going to replace the existing computer system the NDIS uses to communicate with you and manage your NDIS Plan.
The NDIS says the new system is designed to:
- Improve the participant and provider experience
- Provide clearer and more consistent information about how decisions are made
- Make systems and processes more consistent nationally
- Make it easier to implement recent changes to the NDIS Act.
The system will hold participant information, enquiries, plans and budgets. It also connects to a new my NDIS participant portal.
What’s not changing?
Firstly, here’s a list of the things that aren’t changing:
- How the NDIS makes decisions about funding. The “reasonable and necessary” test still applies.
- What the NDIS can fund
- NDIS eligibility criteria
- Your NDIS Plan will still be based on your individual needs.
Creating your NDIS Plan – what’s changing.
About four months before your plan reaches its reassessment date, your NDIS contact (Local Area Coordinator/Early Childhood Partner) or NDIA planner will be in touch to talk with you about your current plan.
They will work with you to do a plan reassessment.
They will ask you about:
- How your plan is going
- Your budgets and how you’ve used your funding
- Any reports you have from providers
- Any new or different information about your situation.
New plans may be for up to three years except for children under 9.
Top tip: It’s a good idea to confirm with your planner if you would like to manage your plan in the same way (plan manage, self manage or have the NDIA manage) and provide the name of your plan manager at this initial meeting when your preference is to plan manage.
Situation 1: If your new plan will be like your current plan.
If you’re generally happy with your current plan, the NDIS will use your current plan and budget as a starting point for your next plan. You won’t need to provide as many details and reports as you may have previously if your plan doesn’t need to change.
Your new plan will be like your current plan if:
- Your support needs haven’t changed much
- Only small changes or no changes are needed
- Your plan continues to meet your needs
- Your supports still meet the NDIS funding criteria.
Even if you need small changes, the NDIS can develop your new plan based on your current plan. When your plan is developed this way, you won’t need a plan meeting.
Situation 2: If your new plan needs to be different to your current plan.
If you need more, less or different supports, your NDIS contact will work with you to reassess your existing plan and develop a new plan.
They will explain the information and evidence you will need, how to gather the information and other details about the reassessment process. Once your plan is developed, you will be invited to a plan meeting.
Changes to plan meetings.
You will only need to attend a plan meeting if your new plan is different to your current plan.
A plan meeting is an opportunity for you to request changes to your new plan if needed.
The following processes have changed:
- You will need to record your preferred providers (including your plan manager if you have one) at your plan meeting
- You will give consent for providers to see your plan if you want them to.
New optional plan implementation meetings.
The NDIS has introduced new plan implementation meetings which you may be offered to help you get started with and use your plan.
Plan implementation meetings will be with your Early Childhood Partner or Local Area Coordinator. These meetings are optional – you can choose whether to participate or not.
At plan implementation meetings, you can talk about:
- How to use your plan to make the most of budgets and supports
- How you will manage and pay for your supports
- Getting support to make service agreements
- The check-in process (see below).
Participant check-ins involve your NDIS talking with you to see how your plan is working and how you are going with your goals. It’s a chance to tell them if anything has changed or if something isn’t working.
This doesn’t mean your plan has to change.
- Check-ins will happen every year
- You can take a family member, supporter or someone who helps you
- Your NDIS contact may check in with you if you haven’t spent your funds or are spending a lot of your NDIS Plan budget.
Changes to NDIS support categories.
When you transition to the PACE system, you will notice some changes to support categories. While most support categories remain the same, there are some new supports and names have changed for others.
Under Core supports, there is one new support category:
- Home and living
Under Capital supports, there are two new support categories:
- Assistive Technology, maintenance, repair and replacement
- Specialised Disability Accommodation (SDA)
Under Capacity Building, there is one new category and several category names are changing:
- New support category: Behaviour supports
- Support coordination is renamed to Support coordination and psychosocial recovery coach
- Improved relationships is renamed to Relationships
- Improved health and wellbeing is renamed to Health and wellbeing
- Improved learning is renamed to Lifelong learning
- Improved life choices is renamed to Choice and control.
There is also a new Support type called Recurring which is where you can fund Recurring transport funding.
Top tip: the new support categories are all stated supports. A stated support is funding in your NDIS Plan that is allocated for a specific support or service. The funding cannot be used for any item other than the one specified.
New NDIS website.
The NDIS has built a new website which is still being developed. It has loads of information about the changes and new systems and for people transitioning to the NDIS PACE system. The existing website remains live for people who haven’t moved to PACE.
New website https://improvements.ndis.gov.au
PACE FAQs: Your questions about the NDIS changes answered.
The NDIS says it’s making changes to improve participant experience, as well as ensure greater consistency in decisions made by staff.
It’s also implementing some recent changes to the NDIS Act, the main law governing how the NDIS operates.
PACE is the name of a new business computer system for NDIA staff and partners. It will replace the current system once the rollout is complete. It’s a big change so expected to take more than a year to complete.
PACE is the platform or program that the NDIS staff will use to manage participant information, enquiries, NDIS Plans and budgets. It will also connect to a new NDIS participant portal.
PACE started rolling out across the country on 30 October 2023. Anyone who is beginning the plan reassessment process after that date is likely to be moved to PACE.
Your NDIS contact (local area coordinator/early childhood partner) or NDIA planner will contact you and explain what happens next. They’ll ask you how your plan is going, how you’ve used your funding and anything that’s changed. You will only need to attend a plan meeting if your new plan will be different to your current plan.
At your planning meeting, your NDIS contact will tell you if your plan is under the PACE system. Each time you contact the NDIS, the operator will remind you which computer system your plan is under.
Your new plan may be longer, depending on your needs. The NDIS has said that it may offer longer plans of up to three years to people with stable support needs who are unlikely to go through a big transition during that time.
Young children and teenagers moving from school to further education/work are likely to receive shorter plans. You can ask your NDIS contact for a longer plan during the renewal process.
No. For longer plans, you will get the same budget for each year. That means you get an annual amount to manage and spend on supports and services you need to pursue your goals.
You won’t be able to dip into the next year’s funds if your funding runs out so it’s important to manage your budget carefully each year. Your budgets will be indexed annually in June based on any changes in price limits (same as currently).
A plan implementation meeting is a chance to meet with your NDIS contact after you get your new plan – it’s a new thing being introduced to help people get started and make the most of their plans.
Attending a plan implementation meeting is a good idea if you:
- Are new to the NDIS
- Are getting a new NDIS Plan
- Have had changes to your current NDIS Plan
- Have asked for changes to your NDIS Plan that have not been approved.
It’s not compulsory to attend. If you feel confident managing your plan by yourself or with your support coordinator and plan manager, you don’t need to attend a plan implementation meeting.
The way people apply to access the NDIS is changing. The new process will be to contact the NDIS by phone. They will then refer you to an NDIS local area coordinator or early childhood partner who will verify your identity.
This person can then help you apply for the NDIS, gather the correct information and evidence for your application and enter all the information into the NDIS computer system.
The current NDIS access request form is expected to be removed from the website once this process is fully implemented. The NDIS eligibility requirements have not changed.
Your NDIS Plan will show a whole dollar figure for each support type rather than as a line-by-line cost, giving you more flexibility over how you use your total budget.
For example, you will see your Core supports budget as a total figure, to use flexibly across your assistance with daily living, social, community participation and consumables supports.
Capacity Building may still include stated supports that must be spent on a specified support or service. It cannot be flexibly spent on anything else.
Some changes are being made to support types and categories. Any new NDIS Plans generated after 30 October 2023 may reflect these changes.
There will now be 4 support types instead of three:
- Capacity Building
- Recurring (new).
There have also been 6 new support categories added:
- Home and Living (Core)
- Behaviour Support (Capacity Building)
- Assistive Technology Repairs and Rental (Capital)
- Specialist Disability Accommodation (Capital)
- Transport Recurring (Recurring)
- Young People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) (Core).
Recurring supports are where funds are paid directly on a regular basis into your nominated bank account. You don’t need to make a claim for these supports.
Recurring transport funding is for your everyday transport needs. You can use this on the form of transport that suits you best, including public transport or taxis. It’s a good idea to keep receipts or a log of how this funding is used.
In most cases, Capacity Building supports have changed in name only. However, the following additions have been made:
- Support coordination now covers support coordination and psychosocial recovery coaches
- There is a new support category called Behaviour Supports.