NDIS…..how we’re going

Well we’re nearly 6 months into using our NDIS plan and I thought I’d share a few thoughts on how it’s going and what has worked (and what hasn’t).

First thing I have to say is that self managed is not hard! People are being told by planners or early intervention that it’s like doing your own tax and that you need to pay for everything up front. This is not true and is putting people off self managing. You can enter service agreements with a provider and they will issue you an invoice that you claim through the portal on your myGov, the funds appear in your NDIS bank account and you then transfer them to the provider. I have it all set up on internet banking and it doesn’t take long at all.

Another benefit is that you don’t need to pay the NDIS rate for your therapies. We need weekly speech therapy sessions as that is our greatest need and to get her talking. This was recommended by the speech therapist but at the NDIS rate for therapy it becomes very costly. So I discussed this with the new speech therapist and I pay her private rate upfront and then claim through the portal and reimburse myself. I am now just paying for 30 minute sessions each week and we have seen the biggest explosion in her speech and language. Our NDIS plan allows for 40 sessions of therapy a year to cover everything so basically 1 session a week per school term. Thanks to self managing I am able to do 3 sessions a week – 2 early intervention and 1 speech with a block of OT incorporated into the year too.

One problem we encountered was being charged by a therapist every single time she touched our file. Every email, phone calls, notes in the file…everything. We don’t have this with the other therapists we have. It meant that instead of being charged the NDIS rate sessions were costing over $200 each time for a 45 minute session in the park. My little girl hadn’t warmed to her and just wasn’t enjoying it so it made it easy to say I’d like to end my sessions and let’s try something different. It then cost me another $104 in report writing and emails to end the agreement. I’ve learnt from this that I prefer to deal with therapists that I can build a relationship with and generally ones who work for themselves and are experienced have been the best so far for us. Because we are self managed it is easy to change things and try something different. I don’t think you could have that flexibility if you weren’t self managing.

Has NDIS made things better for us? Absolutely. For the past 5 years we have been going it alone and not able to tick any boxes for funding under Better Start or Helping Children with Autism. We now have funding for therapies, I’m able to maximise the funding to suit her needs and give her the help she needs and best of all it’s making a big difference to her development.

I would really recommend that parents look into self managed, don’t listen to people who tell you it’s hard but instead ask people who are already self managing. If you can do your own medicare claims online through myGov then you can absolutely manage your own NDIS funds. Keep all of your records in a folder and pay therapists as soon as the funds come in and make your funds go further.

If you have any questions please ask. We don’t have a huge NDIS package or a complex one and I’m not an expert but have learnt a lot and am happy that it’s going well for us…..after such a long wait to get a plan.

 

Comments

  1. Hi thank you for this post. Can I ask a question please? You’ve obviously transitioned over from HCWA funding. How long was your wait? We have Better Start funding (almost gone) and the NDIS rolled out in our area in July 2016 and we are still waiting for them to do our plan. Thank you.

    • We didn’t have any HCWA funding as we don’t have autism but we were receiving services from lifestart so were on their books and they became an early intervention partner for the roll out. But yes NDIS rolled out in July 2016 in my area and I think because we weren’t receiving any funding we were given some priority in the lifestart list. Is your child under 7? If so I’d contact some of the EI providers in your area (lifestart, northcott etc) and ask if you can go on their waiting list. Our wait was july 2016 to march 2017 when we had our planning meeting and then plan was approved and I set it up early may. Hope that helps:)

  2. Having an ndis package has changed my life! As my needs are quite complex i don’t self manage, but I’m so pleased that other people are having success to!

  3. What a fantastic post! We don’t have the need for NDIS but working for Dept. of Human Services means I hear bits and pieces. It is wonderful to know there is options to make it work best for your daughter and to help other people who might not know how to self manage. Love all your blog, and how you share so thoughtfully. Thank you!.

  4. Although this is not something that our family requires I am so pleased that some people are seeing positive results. This is such an important part of caring for others through our taxes. Thanks for letting us know how it is going.

  5. Jodie Moss says:

    Thankyou for this. Our daughter was diagnosed when she was 7 and privately so recieved no funding. We are currently nearly finished private diagnosis for our son as well. The thought of any funding is a huge relief, but also scary. NDIS starts in July next year here, but our local area coordinator is really helpful. I’m hoping to self fund too, because there are so many different organisations we are involved with. Hdo you just write a list of what supports she needs and why?

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