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06 December 2022

Types of NDIS Plan changes and how to request one.

There are many reasons why you may need to make a change to your NDIS Plan. It may be something simple like updating your address or fixing an error. Or it could be more complicated, like a change in your support needs.

You need to let the NDIS know if your circumstances change and there are processes in place for changes required before your scheduled plan reassessment date. 

How this works depends on the type of change you need. We dive into these in detail below.


When can you ask for a change in your NDIS Plan?

The short answer is – any time. You don’t need to wait until your current plan ends. For more information, check out our previous story My circumstances have changed: What’s next?

The NDIS can also initiate a change to your plan at any time. This is usually referred to as a “CEO Initiated plan change”.

Depending on the type of change required, the NDIS may decide you need a plan variation or a plan reassessment. These can be triggered at your request or the request of the NDIS. 


NDIS plan variations.

Plan variations are simple changes that can be made to your existing plan, without the need for a complete plan reassessment (previously called a plan review). The NDIS calls the updated plan a “varied plan”. 

A plan variation can be initiated by you or by the NDIS. If you make the request, the NDIS can decide to vary your plan or not. Any changes will be made in consultation with you or your nominee.

When a plan variation may be likely:

  • If you change address
  • To fix a small or technical error
  • To change the reassessment date
  • To update how the funds in your plan are managed. For example if you decide to change from Agency managed to plan managed
  • You need crisis or emergency funding because of a significant change to support needs
  • If the NDIS receives reports or information about the need for additional supports after your plan is approved
  • Minor variations that require increased funding. For example, assistive technology repairs.

The NDIS is required to make a decision about your request for a plan variation within 21 days of receiving the request. If they need more time, they will decide whether to vary your plan within 28 days, or 50 days when addressing complex needs.

Requests for plan variations can be rejected if:

  • Your plan is suspended or ceased
  • You have flexible funding left that can be used
  • The NDIS can’t consider the variation without looking at the rest of your plan
  • If your situation has changed significantly and an assessment is required
  • You want more funding to help with a changed goal and the request is not minor
  • You have used funds more quickly than specified in your plan.


NDIS plan reassessments.

Plan reassessments (previously called plan reviews) generally take place when you are due for a new NDIS Plan. You can find the official reassessment date in your current NDIS Plan.

But they can also occur at other times such as:

  1. Asking the NDIS to review your plan because something has changed, such as your living arrangements. A plan reassessment may be more likely if there are significant changes in your situation such as starting work for the first time or moving our of home and your disability related support needs have changed
  2. When the NDIS decides to review your plan earlier than expected, which can happen for a variety of reasons, including if there is an issue with how your funding is used.

Plan reassessments are more detailed and complicated than plan variations. The NDIS is likely to assess all the information they have about you, your goals, situation and support needs.

They may also consider how you have used your funding to date and how well your previous plans worked for you. Funding in your new plan may increase or decrease depending on your support needs.

You may also need to provide additional information such as assessments or reports. 

Requests for plan reassessments can be rejected if:

  • You don’t have any new information or evidence
  • You just want more funding
  • Other supports can meet your needs
  • Your plan is suspended.


When your goals or aspirations change.

During the NDIS planning process, you will set some goals and aspirations you’re hoping to achieve with NDIS support. The NDIS refers to this information as a “statement of goals and aspirations”.

If those goals and aspirations change, you can let the NDIS know at any time. The NDIS may provide you with a varied plan that includes your new goals and the same supports as your previous plan.

If your goals and aspirations have changed and you need a change in supports, you can also request a plan reassessment. If this takes place, you may get a new plan with the new goals and different supports. The NDIS cannot change your goals and aspirations without your consent.


Prepared with information from the NDIS Planning and Operational Guideline – Changing your plan, current as of 26 June 2022.

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