9. The statement of participant supports
A participant’s plan must include a statement of participant supports, prepared with the participant and approved by the NDIA, that specifies:
- the general supports (if any) that will be provided to, or in relation to, the participant (section 33(2)(a));
- the reasonable and necessary supports (if any) that will be funded under the NDIS (section 33(2)(b));
For guidance on deciding to include any ‘general’ or ‘reasonable and necessary’ support in a participant’s plan see deciding to include supports in a participant’s plan.
- the date by which, or the circumstances in which, the NDIA must review the plan (see setting the plan review date) (section 33(2)(c));
- the management of the funding for supports under the plan (section 33(2)(d)); and
- the management of other aspects of the plan (section 33(2)(e)).
9.1 What is a general support?
A general support refers to a service provided by the NDIA to a person, or in relation to a person, or an activity engaged in by the NDIA in relation to a person, that is in the nature of a coordination, strategic, or referral service or activity (section 13(2)).
For example, common types of general supports include referring participants to other sources of supports or services, and the allocation of a Local Area Co-Coordinator. See also Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC).
The NDIA may provide general supports to, or in relation to, people with disability who are not participants (section 13(1)).
9.2 What are reasonable and necessary supports?
Reasonable and necessary supports refer to the supports in a participant’s plan which are funded under the NDIS.
Reasonable and necessary supports for people with disability should:
- support people with disability to pursue their goals and maximise their independence (section 4(11)(a));
- support people with disability to live independently and to be included in the community as fully participating citizens (section 4(11)(b)); and
- develop and support the capacity of people with disability to undertake activities that enable them to participate in the mainstream community and in employment (section 4 (11)(c)).
The NDIA funds reasonable and necessary supports that help a participant reach their goals, objectives and aspirations, and to undertake activities to enable the participant’s social and economic participation.
Reasonable and necessary supports are funded by the NDIS in a range of areas, which may include education, employment, social participation, independence and living arrangements.
9.3 Interaction between informal / mainstream supports and reasonable and necessary supports
Informal supports are supports that are provided by carers, family or friends. The NDIA recognises the vital role informal supports play in supporting people with disability, including NDIS participants.
Mainstream and community supports are available to all members of the Australian community regardless of whether they have a disability or not. For example, supports provided or funded through the health, education or transport systems.
Before determining which support/s are reasonable and necessary, the NDIA will thoroughly explore what supports are currently being provided, or should reasonably be provided by informal and community supports and mainstream support systems.
Informal and mainstream supports are critical to the financial sustainability of the NDIS, and the NDIS is intended to complement, not replace, these supports.
9.4 What is an in-kind support?
All of the States and Territories are host jurisdictions for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Each of the States and Territories and the Commonwealth make a contribution to the funding to the NDIS and that contribution can be made by providing funding or by providing supports in-kind.
As the NDIS transition proceeds some of the supports provided by or for the States, Territories and the Commonwealth will begin to be funded under the NDIS. The provision of in-kind supports facilitates the transition to the NDIS.
In-kind does not refer to particular feature of the supports themselves but to how the supports are provided as part of the State, Territory or Commonwealth’s contribution to the funding to the NDIS.
In-kind supports can be provided to a participant in a number of ways, including when supports are specified in a participant’s plan, and the plan also sets out the provider from whom a support is to be provided (see describing supports in plans).
To the extent permissible under the NDIS Act and Rules, the NDIA will consider and prefer, in almost all cases, the provision of in-kind supports.