Weekly Q and A - 3 November

Posted on 03 November 2017

Would anyone know where on the NDIS website I can find list of providers?

You can find local providers in each state and territory on the Find registered service providers page.

What is the difference between a Local Area Coordinator and a planner?

Local Area Coordinators (LACs) are employed through NDIA's Partners in the Community program.

LACs work with participants to develop their plan and support them to implement it, including how to use the portal, connect with funded supports and how to begin to access services. LACs support participants throughout their plans to monitor how the plan is going, and they reassess progress regularly.

LACs also work with participants and their families to build capacity and to support them to achieve their goals by building new community networks and accessing support and services in their community. They engage with local organisations and communities, including mainstream agencies to build awareness and improve opportunities for people with disability to access and actively participate in community activities.

Planners are employed directly by the NDIA and have delegation to approve participant plans. They often work with people with increased complexities to develop their plan and they make informed decisions about supports with regards to NDIA legislation. Once a plan has been approved, a planner will refer back to an LAC or to a Support Coordinator (if this support is included in the plan) to help people start their plan.

After being accepted as a participant in the NDIS, how long until I will be contacted to set up a plan?

As the NDIS rolls out in different areas around Australia, the time between receiving your letter confirming your eligibility for the Scheme and having your planning conversation will vary. For some people it can be a few weeks, in other cases a few months.

The timing of your planning conversation depends on the agreements reached between the Commonwealth of Australia and the governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

These agreements outline how the NDIS will operate and funding for the NDIS in each location, including the planned schedule of participant intake and planning.

General information is available on your State or Territory page and detailed information about intake is outlined in the 'Heads of Agreement'.

You can view the Heads of Agreements, and the schedule for full scheme rollout, on the 'Intergovernmental agreements' page of our website.

While you are waiting for your planning conversation, there are a number of things you can do to prepare. Take a look at the getting ready for the NDIS and information on developing your NDIS plan sections of the website for more details.

How do I upload documents to the myplace participant portal?

When you access the myplace participant portal and log in, there will be a tile on your homepage called "John's Document Upload" (John is an example name – it will have your name or the participants name here).

Click on that tile.

Type the name of the file you wish to upload, add a description, and then click "Browse" to find the document from your computer and then add it to the portal.

There is more information on how to use the portal in the myplace Participant Portal – step by step user guide (PDF) and general information on the Participant Portal User Guide.

Currently, the myplace participant portal doesn't allow you to view existing documents or to delete existing documents. If you would like assistance with the participant portal talk to your local NDIS representative or call 1800 800 110.

Does the NDIS cancel out the Carers Payment and Pension?

The NDIS is designed to work alongside the Disability Support Pension and other measures, which provide income replacement for people with disability who cannot work.

Assistance from the NDIS is not means tested and has no impact on income support such as the Disability Support Pension.

While both the Disability Support Pension and the NDIS provide support for people with disability, they perform very different functions and have different assessment criteria.

If I'm self-managing, where do the funds for a worker's compensation or public liability insurance policy come from? Can you claim it from 'daily living' expenses?

If you are directly employing staff, the funding for any employment costs such as workers compensation, insurances and taxes should be claimed from the same support category as the wages. This means that if you are directly employing staff to provide support with 'daily living' you would make Payment Requests for their wages and any associated costs such as workers compensation or public liability insurance from the 'daily living' support category in your Plan.

If you are self-managing funds and directly employing staff it is important to ensure wages and other expenses can be managed within your Plan support budget for the duration of the Plan.

Please refer to our factsheet which sets out the participant's responsibilities when engaging their own staff (PDF).

What can I do when I have a problem with a provider?

If you are having a problem with you provider the first step is to raise the issue with your provider and discuss how it can be resolved. If you are not happy with the provider's response you should refer to your Service Agreement.

Normally when you engage a provider, you make a written Service Agreement with them, where you might have set out terms about how or when you can stop engaging their services. If this is the case, and you feel they are not meeting the other terms of the Service Agreement, you may want to refer to the termination provisions in the agreement including the notice provisions. Depending on your agreement you may be required to provide two or four weeks' notice before engaging another provider. 

You can find more information, including a guide to making a Service Agreement on the Finding and Engaging Providers page.

If you would like to make a complaint about a provider you can contact them directly or raise this issue with your State or Territory safeguarding systems. This list on the Advokit website (external) can help you find the right group for your area.