Your NDIS Application was Successful – What Next?

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In this section: 

“When I first accessed the NDIS I didn’t realise how many ways I could use that funding. I was just like, ‘I need a wheelchair’. Having my NDIS plan and learning how to use it has meant that I could find supports I didn’t even know I needed.Robin (they/them), is a multiply disabled wheelchair user. 

Becoming an NDIS Participant

You may have a variety of reactions when your NDIS application is approved – you might be excited, relieved, daunted about what happens next, or feel numb after the application process. You might go through any or all of these emotions. You deserve to feel proud of yourself for getting through the application process.  

Once you are approved to use the NDIS, you become what is called a participant. When you become an NDIS participant, you can start to think about how you can use your NDIS funding to increase your participation in daily life. The key principles of the NDIS are choice and control – this can include choice over the supports you receive and how you receive them.  

  • When you become an NDIS participant, you will be put on a plan. Usually a plan lasts for the next 12 months after it has been approved. If your living situation and support needs are stable, you may be put on a plan lasting up to 36 months. 
  • What goes in your plan will be worked out between you and your plan manager during a planning meeting. Your plan manager usually contacts you first.  

The NDIS uses a framework of goal setting as part of plan development.   Not everyone likes the idea of framing their vision and choices about their life as ‘goals’ but it can be useful to think about what things you would like to achieve in the next 12 months, and what equipment and/or supports can help you to achieve them. These supports could be specific support to assist you in achieving your goals, or assistance with the tasks of daily living so that you can focus on what’s important to you. For some people, making decisions can be hard and cause anxiety. There’s a helpful video on decision making skills for your NDIS journey here. 

“My funding covers support I might need as a person who’s blind. This includes software on my computer that means I have access to the screen, it reads out to me in speech what’s on the screen. I also have a braille computer. If I need help learning new places, like moving to a new house, I do work with orientation and mobility instructors.” – Cath (she/her), Cath is blind. 

Your First Planning Meeting

Prepare for your first planning meeting by completing a copy of the NDIS planning booklet.  

The planning meeting often takes place by phone. If you get a call from an NDIS provider, you should first ask them if this is a planning meeting. You can request an in person meeting.   

Your planning meeting can last for up to an hour. To prepare for your planning meeting, make sure your phone battery is charged and you’re in a quiet place with good reception.  

You can have a friend, family member or carer with you if you want and can ask for them to speak on your behalf. You can ask the person you’re speaking to stop and repeat or explain things at any time.  

In this meeting, you start to form your NDIS plan and part of this plan includes the NDIS participant statement. This is a snapshot of who you are. It is a document that highlights who you are as a person, how you get about your day-to-day life and the supports you require to live the life you want to live.  

Your NDIS plan includes your goals, needs and aspirations for the next 12 months, and the supports you will receive to meet these goals.  

For example, you may want to have a support worker help you to use public transport so you can attend LGBTQ+ events in your area, or you may want to learn ways to manage your anxiety so you can look for work. You may also want support to access LGBTQ+ affirming sexual health services or support to access sexual services, such as visiting adult shops.  

It is important to remember that goals which are about building your capacity, increasing your independence and wellbeing, and improving skills are more likely to be useful and able to be funded.  

Think about what goals you want in your plan, and the supports you might need to reach them.  

“I’ve managed my cerebral palsy by myself my entire life. It blows my mind I now have money to access allied health services and explore other avenues I might not have thought about. My goals are around maintaining mobility and improving health and well-being, and I can already see really big changes. I’m seeing an exercise physiologist who’s focused on improving my strength and balance. With support from the NDIS I’ve found a modified trike that suits my needs. It’s been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, I use it everyday. I get shopping, get out and about and see people – I’m not sure the novelty will ever wear off!” – Finn (he/him), lives with Cerebral Palsy  

A Good NDIS Goal Is:

Outcome focused – ask yourself what do you want to achieve with the help of the NDIS. An example could be “I would like to communicate more effectively.”  

Flexible – having broader goals is helpful as it expands to more ways you can achieve that same goal. For example, “I would like to explore my creative side” is much broader and is likely to give you funding flexibility than if you were to say “I would like to learn only pottery.”  

Highlights areas of improvements – areas in your life impacted by your disability you want to improve on. For example, communicating more clearly for those with a speech impediment due to their disability.   

Builds your capacity – where appropriate, creating goals that build your capacity to exist independently are generally favored. For example, a goal to “gain more independence” is likely to be funded.  

The Fighting Chance Australia webinar: Understanding how NDIS funding decisions are made is targeted towards people preparing for plan reassessment but has some helpful tips on how to self-advocate towards better plan outcomes and how to use NDIS language to write NDIS goal statements.   

You also need to consider how you would like to manage your funding. There are three ways you can do this: by having an NDIA managed plan, where the NDIA manages the payment and administration of your NDIS plan; self management, where you use your funding to buy supports that will best help you meet your plan goals; and plan management, where you have a service provider who manages the day-to-day logistics of your NDIS plan. Each type of plan management has its own pros and cons.  To learn more about the types of plan management and think about which one is right for you, see reimagine’s guide here.  

Plan Reassessment

The NDIS has made changes to the plan review process in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further changes were introduced on 1 July 2022. Since 1 July 2022, participants requesting a change to their plan may be eligible for a plan variation. This means that the NDIA can change your plan without having to go through a full plan reassessment to create a new plan.    

The NDIS introduced participant check ins in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The participant check ins have continued as a result of feedback from NDIS users. Near the end of your current plan, the NDIS will contact you to book your plan reassessment meeting, and to check in with you and see how you are going with your current NDIS plan, and if your circumstances have changed in the last year.   

If your circumstances have changed or you would like a full plan reassessment, the NDIS will work with you to understand what information you may need to provide.   

You can have your plan reassessment meeting face-to-face, over the phone, or even via a video call if available - whatever suits you best. You will also have the option to invite supports along to your check-in, such as a family member, friend or Support Coordinator.    

“I have someone who helps around the house, with odd jobs, the dishes, but he also helps me with my uni work and computer stuff, goes shopping with me – all those things might not seem like a lot, but they’re foundational for me to go on and do other things.” – Debbie (she/her) lives with a psychosocial disability. 

What will the NDIS not cover?

NDIS will not cover the following:  

  • Supports which are the responsibility of another government system or community service, for example blood sugar monitoring equipment which is the responsibility of the health system.  
  • Things that are not related to your disability, for example entertainment expenses such as movie tickets; or study costs like course fees that apply to all students.  
  • Day-to-day living costs that are not related to your support needs, for example help with the cost of rent or utility bills or everyday groceries like food.  
  • Anything that is likely to cause you harm to or pose a risk to others.  

You can find more information on supports provided by the NDIS here. 

Finding Providers and Support Workers That Are Right For You

When you choose to work with professionals – whether they be for assessments or health care, or as plan managers or support workers – you need to know that they will respect your relationships and identity. Only you can decide if a provider is right for you. 

Here are some questions you might like to ask when considering if you wish to work with a new provider: 

  • Do you have an LGBTQ+ Diversity policy? Have staff undertaken diversity training? 
  • Do your systems allow for people whose gender marker isn’t male or female? Can those markers be changed? 
  • Do you record and respect people’s pronouns? 

You may use your NDIS funding to hire support workers. A support worker is someone who helps you with your disability related needs. This may include providing personal care, help around the home, accompanying you to events, and transportation. Because of the intimate nature of care provided, it’s important to find support workers you feel comfortable with and who respect your sexuality  and gender.  

If your NDIS plan is agency managed, you can only hire support workers from NDIA registered providers. Otherwise, you can choose workers from NDIA providers and online platforms such as Hire Up and Mable, where you can either search from a list of available support workers, or post your own ad seeking workers. Some online platforms allow support workers to indicate on their profiles that they are LGBTQ+ affirming.   

You can also find support workers by asking friends, family, and your social networks, or posting on social media – if you choose to do this, be careful with how much information you share online. Before agreeing to work with a support worker, it’s a good idea to meet with them first in a public place such as a coffee shop or library. 

Before meeting, you can make a list of questions to ask potential support workers, such as: 

  • How long have you been a disability support worker? 
  • Do you have any formal qualifications or training? 
  • Do you have an NDIS Worker Screening Check? 
  • Have you ever supported LGBTQ+ people before? (You can choose how much information you’re comfortable revealing about yourself and your life) 
  • Are you okay with my pets in the house? (if you have pets) 
  • Do you have any physical limitations that would make the job hard? (if you need support with personal care, lifting, household tasks, etc).  
  • What is your availability and what notice do you require? 

It’s your right to choose not to hire a potential support worker if you feel they wouldn’t be a good fit for you.  

You can decide how much you feel comfortable letting your support workers know about you. 

Reimagine Today has created a resource to support LGBTQ+ communities with service delivery. You can access it here. 

ACON has produced a letter you can download and fill in to introduce yourself to new providers. You can download it here. 

Knowing Your Rights

You’re allowed to keep some parts of yourself to yourself.” Robin – They/them 

The NDIS is bound by the NDIA ACT 2013 which clearly states consent must be explicitly given by you in person/verbally/written for information to be disclosed. 

Unless the information the NDIA wants has to explicitly do with service delivery, you are under no obligation to divulge information you don't want to share. 

You can explicitly state you do not wish to share information about your sexuality or gender. 

When signing your consent forms, it is important to know this allows the NDIS to share personal information to services if they deem this appropriate. You can discuss at your planning meeting which services you prefer knowing and NOT knowing this information. 

NDIA Consent and Privacy

Consent is very important especially with disclosure of particularly sensitive information about who you are. It is your right to choose who you share the details of your plans with, and this extends beyond providers to include doctors or family members. 

You/your nominee are allowed to also share only parts of your plans with service providers who have bookings with you. 

By agreeing to share your plan, providers will be able to see basic plan details including your name, NDIS number, date of birth and your goals. 

There are two main forms regarding information sharing: 

The Consent for the NDIA to Share Your Information form is used if you want to share information about your plan or access request with another person or organization. 

The Consent for a Third Party to Act on Participant’s Behalf form is when you want someone to act for specific activities or processes related to your NDIS plan.  

You can specify who can do this, for what purpose and for a set period. You could give third party consent for activities regarding: a plan reassessment if there is a change in circumstances, or an administrative change like updating bank account details in your NDIS record. 

It is important to remember you do not need to go on this NDIS journey alone. For most LGBTQ+ people with disabilities, that's really isolating and difficult at the best of times. So, having an advocate on your behalf can be a great thing. Having someone there who can lessen the burden will not only benefit you, but it'll also help to ensure accountability.  

How to Make a Complaint

Unfortunately, as LGBTQ+ people, we may face discrimination including homophobia and transphobia. You never have to accept this discrimination. You have the right to make a complaint about unsatisfactory treatment you receive. The way you make a complaint depends on whether your complaint is about the NDIA itself, a planner, a service provider or a support worker. 

Complaints about the NDIA 

You have the right to make a complaint about your experience with the NDIA, including complaints about a decision made by the NDIA or the conduct of a staff member.  

Find more information about making a complaint to the NDIA here. 

Complaints About Service Providers

To make a complaint about a planner, service provider or support worker, you can do so with the organisation directly. Refer to the organisation's website for details on how to lodge a complaint. If you don’t feel safe making a complaint with the provider, or you’re not happy with their response, you can also make a complaint to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.  

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

If you don’t wish to make a complaint directly to your provider, or you’re unhappy with how your provider has responded to your complaint, you can make a complaint with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.  

You can find more information on how to make a complaint and a link to the complaint form here 

Find out more about the NDIS Journey

Is the NDIS right for you? | Your NDIS application | Your NDIS application was successful – What next? | Your NDIS application was unsuccessful – What next? | Self Care, Facing Stress and Anxiety | Family, Friends and Allies | Language used | Useful Links


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Click here to view / download the NDIS Journey Map.

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