Planning - Describing supports in a participant’s plan

11. Describing supports in a participant’s plan

The NDIA has a high degree of flexibility around how to describe supports in a participant’s plan. The supports funded or provided under the NDIS may be:

  • described generally, by reference to a specified purpose or otherwise; or
  • specifically identified (section 33(3)).

Where supports are described generally, whether by reference to a specified purpose or otherwise, participants will have a high degree of flexibility over the implementation of the supports (rule 6.2 of the Plan Management Rules).

In contrast, supports specifically identified and described in a participant’s plan (also known as ‘stated’ supports) will have to be purchased in the way described in the statement.

For example, the participant’s plan may specify the type of supports to be funded and the way in which they are to be provided, where to do so would help ensure the expected outcomes from the supports are attained by the participant (rule 6.3 of the Plan Management Rules).

Therefore, supports specifically identified in a participant’s plan cannot be swapped for other supports.

The NDIA’s decision how to describe support’s in a participant’s plan is a reviewable decision (see participant may request a review of the decision to approve the statement of participant supports) (section 99(d)).

11.1.1 Whether supports should be specifically identified or described generally?

When deciding whether a support should be described generally or more specifically, the NDIA must have regard to the following:

  • the cost of the support (rule 6.4(a) of the Plan Management Rules);
  • any expected return or saving in costs from providing the support (rule 6.4(b) of the Plan Management Rules);
  • any risks associated with the supply of the support, such as the need for the support to conform to State or Territory laws (rule 6.4(c) of the Plan Management Rules);
  • whether achievement of other goals in the plan, or the effectiveness of other supports, is contingent on a particular support being procured or used (rule 6.4(d) of the Plan Management Rules);
  • whether a participant’s disability requires a specialist, evidence-informed support, provided by a qualified person or a particular delivery mode (rule 6.4(e) of the Plan Management Rules); and
  • whether the participant accessed the NDIS by satisfying the early intervention requirements (rule 6.4(f) of the Plan Management Rules);

11.1.2 Supports that are most cost-effectively provided by the NDIA

If the NDIA considers it is more cost-effective for the support to be provided by the NDIA (for example, by using bulk purchasing of goods) the participant’s plan must record the support is to be provided by the NDIA (rule 6.5 of the Plan Management Rules).

11.1.3 Supports that are most efficiently and effectively provided by a specific provider

If:

  • the NDIA is considering approving a particular support for a particular participant; and
  • the NDIA has entered into a funding agreement with a provider to provide that support; and
  • the NDIA considers the support is most efficiently and effectively provided to the participant by that provider;
  • the NDIA must specify in the participant’s plan the support will be provided by that provider (rule 6.6 of the Plan Management Rules).

11.1.4 Supports that are most efficiently and effectively provided by a particular person or delivery mode

If:

  • the NDIA considers a participant’s disability requires:

(i) specialist, evidence-informed support provided by a qualified person; or

(ii) a support to be provided in a certain delivery mode; and

  • the NDIA considers the support is most efficiently and effectively provided to the participant by a particular person or through a particular delivery mode;
  • the NDIA must specify in the participant’s plan the support will be provided by that qualified person or in that delivery mode (rule 6.7 of the Plan Management Rules).

11.1.5 Describing in-kind supports

The NDIS Plan Management Rules were amended in early 2017 to address situations where a support is made available to be provided to participants under an in-kind arrangement with the Commonwealth, or with a State or Territory, as part of the contribution to the NDIS made by the Commonwealth, the State or the Territory (as the case may be).

In summary, Rule 6.9 creates a general rule where an in-kind support that is available to be provided to a participant that the participant’s statement of participant supports must specifically identify the support will be provided by the relevant provider of that in-kind support. Rules 6.10, 6.11 and 6.12 are exceptions to the general rule.

Rule 6.9 applies if the support is an in-kind support. A support is an in-kind support if:

  • the support is available to be provided to the participant by a provider (the in-kind provider) who is:

(i) the relevant jurisdiction; or

(ii) the Commonwealth; or

(iii) a provider under a service delivery mechanism operated by the relevant jurisdiction or the Commonwealth; or

(iv) a person engaged or funded by the relevant jurisdiction or the Commonwealth; and

  • the support is made available to the NDIA on an in-kind basis as part of the contribution to the NDIS made by:

(i) the relevant jurisdiction; or

(ii) the Commonwealth;

whether or not the participant has previously been provided with the support (Rule 6.8 of the Plan Management Rules).

Subject to Rules 6.10, 6.11 and 6.12, the statement is to record the support will be provided by the in-kind provider (Rule 6.9 of the Plan Management Rules).

Rule 6.9 does not apply if the NDIA has received written notification from the in-kind contributor that:

  • the in-kind provider is not available to be specified as an in-kind provider in the statement that is included in the plan for:

(i) the participant; or

(ii) a class of participants that includes the participant; or

  • the in-kind provider is not available to be specified as the in-kind provider of:

(i) the support; or

(ii) a class of supports that includes the support (Rule 6.10 of the Plan Management Rules).

Under Rule 6.10, the in-kind contributor (i.e. the Commonwealth, or the relevant State or Territory) can withdraw the availability of an in-kind provider. The relevant jurisdiction or the Commonwealth can withdraw the availability of services of an in-kind provider in relation to a particular participant or a class of participants, or in relation to a particular support or a class of supports.

Paragraph 6.9 does not apply if the CEO considers the provision of the support to the participant by the in-kind provider would involve a serious threat to the participant’s life, health or safety (Rule 6.11 of the Plan Management Rules).

Paragraph 6.9 does not apply after 30 June 2019 (Rule 6.12 of the Plan Management Rules).

In this Part:

relevant jurisdiction, in relation to a participant and a support, means the State or Territory in which the participant is provided with the support.

in-kind contributor, in relation to a participant and a support, means:

  • if the support is made available to the Agency on an in-kind basis as part of the contribution to the NDIS made by the relevant jurisdiction - the relevant jurisdiction; and
  • if the support is made available to the Agency on an in-kind basis as part of the contribution to the NDIS made by the Commonwealth - the Commonwealth (Rule 6.13 of the Plan Management Rules).
This page current as of
5 December 2018