Several important changes to the NDIS came into effect on the first of July that impact both participants and providers.
The changes include updates to some commonly used NDIS-related terms and new language reflective of best practice.
There are also some adjustments to the process of transitioning from one plan to another, notably that unspent funds from one plan will roll over for 90 days when a new plan has been created. Read on to find out all the details.
1. Making changes to your plan.
There are new terms associated with making changes to your NDIS Plan.
Plan reviews are now called “plan reassessments”. These occur when significant changes are required to a plan and involve a meeting with an NDIS planner.
- The process can be started by you or the NDIS
- Also covers changes of circumstances and scheduled or unscheduled reviews
- You can ask for a plan reassessment at any time
- You may get a different plan, a new plan with the same supports, or a new plan with minor changes.
Light touch reviews and plan extensions/continuations are now called “plan variations”.
- This is where your plan may be varied without needing a full reassessment
- You can ask for a plan variation at any time
- Also covers minor changes to new plans.
Internal review of decision
Review of a reviewable decision and S100 reviews are now referred to as an “internal review of a decision”.
This occurs when you ask the NDIS to review a decision made about an aspect of your plan or supports.
- Any participant can ask for an internal review of a decision by the NDIS
- If you are unhappy with the outcome, you can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
If you’re unsure which term to use, the NDIS will talk to you about the types of changes you want to make and help you to make the changes.
2. Variations that can be made without a full assessment.
These cover the types of changes that can be made to an NDIS Plan without needing a full reassessment. It’s helpful to know this information if you are considering requesting a plan variation.
Variations can be made in the following situations:
- To correct a minor technical error
- To change a reassessment date
- Changes to the statement of supports
- To add a different provider or type of support to a stated support
- If your needs have changed significantly and you require crisis or emergency funding
- New information is available relating to a previous NDIS request for information
- Minor variations related to increased support funding.
3. When your existing plan ends.
The end date of an NDIS Plan is now called a “reassessment date of a participant’s plan”.
The NDIS will look at your plan with you before this date and decide upon any changes. If you’re not expecting any major changes to your situation, you may be able to get a longer plan.
If the reassessment has not been completed on time, your plan will be extended by 12 months, excluding home modifications and assistive technology. Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) and Supported Independent Living (SIL) service bookings will also be extended by 28 days to ensure continuity of supports.
Unspent funds in a previous plan will now be available for 90 days after it has been replaced by a new plan.
Read more at Changing your plan.
4. Participant check-ins.
During COVID-19, the NDIS began making calls to see how people were going and whether their NDIS Plans were working for them. These were called “participant check-ins”.
Check-ins will continue and will usually be around three months before your plan is due to end (the reassessment date).
5. Episodic and fluctuating conditions.
The NDIS changes now reflect the episodic or fluctuating nature of some disabilities, which can be considered as permanent in relation to NDIS eligibility.
Clearer guidance will be provided on whether an impairment is permanent, recognising that some conditions (including psychosocial disability) may be episodic or fluctuating.
Other changes in brief
- The NDIS must commence preparing a plan within 21 days of a person becoming a participant
- People on the NDIS now have 90 days (previously 28 days) to provide information or an assessment report relevant to an access request prior to it being withdrawn
- The NDIS must give reasons for review decisions to each person affected
- Reasonable and necessary home and living supports may be funded by the NDIS if they can’t be funded by mainstream, community or informal supports. There’s a new supporting evidence form for Home and Living Supports requests.
Leap in! can help.
Do you have questions about how any of these changes may affect you or want more information about plan management? Get in touch with the Leap in! Crew by calling 1300 05 78 78, email email@example.com or chat online via our website.