Further guidance on NDIS planning decisions

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is adding better guidance for planners and participants in some of its operational guidelines. This will help to increase the efficiency of our planning process and improve consistency of decision making.

The extra guidance will help direct NDIA decisions on some funded supports those that were identified as being important to participants’ goal achievement.

The operational guidelines now give more direction about the expected levels of funded support in the following areas:

  • personal care supports
  • recreational supports
  • supports for sustaining informal support
  • supports for early childhood, and
  • household tasks.

Decision makers will still look at a participant’s individual circumstances when deciding on the right levels of support. The decision makers will also decide when funding should differ from the expected levels set out in the operational guidelines.

How were the levels decided?

The NDIA reviewed other scheme arrangements, including disability support systems for providing assistance for people with high needs and consulted with relevant organisations and representatives.

The information about expected levels of supports needs to consider the experience of people with disability, their families and carers. The NDIA met with peak associations and individuals to help create the expected levels.

As part of applying the expected levels in decision making at trial sites, the NDIA will listen to and learn from the experience of participants. The NDIA will continue to review the expected levels of support using feedback and consultation to remove barriers that get in the way of participants reaching the outcomes in their plans.

The NDIA is focused on building a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that is effective and sustainable. This will include trialing new ways of doing things and learning what works and what doesn’t. As part of its continuous learning approach, the NDIA will use what works and continue to learn to improve the Scheme.

The expectation of levels of funded supports

NDIA staff make decisions based on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) and the rules made under the NDIS Act. The operational guidelines also provide practical guidance for decision makers. Adding further guidance to some of the operational guidelines about supports in the plan will help:

  • give participants, their families and carers access to information about what to expect in the levels of funded support in the NDIS
  • guide NDIA staff to make consistent decisions when identifying supports that are reasonable and necessary, and
  • assist in ensuring the financial sustainability of the NDIS.

The NDIA is clear that the expected levels of some funded supports are not caps, but rather expected levels of funding that a participant might have in their plan.

In some circumstances, a participant’s plan might need higher levels of supports, where they are in line with their goals and outcomes. The operational guidelines include information about what can be considered above the expected levels of funding in individual circumstances.

The operational guidelines are on the NDIS website.

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