If you find yourself overwhelmed while searching for providers you’re not alone. One quick search for a local NDIS service provider could fill your browser with hundreds of options.
So, how do you find the right one?
It can be complicated to choose the right service provider, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve come up with the 5 top things to look for to help you narrow your choices and find the best provider for you.
1. Look at the service or product they offer
The first thing to look at is the service or product the provider offers, to make sure they can support you with your goals.
Here are some examples to consider.
If you’re looking for an NDIS provider to help you prepare your meals (including meal planning and driving you to the grocery store), you need to find a support worker who has their own vehicle and who offers in-home support services.
If you have a goal related to getting your driver's license, you will need to find an occupational therapist who is a specialised driver-trained occupational therapist.
It’s important to make sure that the services or products a provider offers have been funded in your NDIS plan. For more information on the types of services available to you, you can check out some common and uncommon ways to use your funding.
2. Assess their experience and qualifications
The next thing to do is to look at their experience or qualifications. This will help you decide if they offer the quality of service that you are looking for.
As far as experience goes, this is a personal choice. You might, for example, prioritise finding a disability support worker with similar interests. Another NDIS participant might prefer someone who has experience supporting people with similar needs to them, or someone who has worked with people with disabilities for a long time.
Independent support workers don’t need specific qualifications, however, they should have the following:
- NDIS worker screening check
- Current first aid certificate
- Police check
If you are self-managed or plan-managed the above checks and qualifications are not a requirement but are strongly advised. If you hire someone who is employed by a larger organisation, they should already have these qualifications.
Allied health professionals throughout Australia must be qualified. You want to be sure that they are well-informed so that they can give you the best tools and techniques possible to help you develop skills and support your needs and goals.
All NDIS providers must have an ABN. If you self-manage or are plan-managed, you can choose unregistered and registered NDIS providers. If you are NDIA-managed, you must use NDIS registered providers.
The difference between registered and unregistered providers is that those registered with the NDIS have applied for registration and met the standards set by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards commission.
3. Determine if their service is flexible and allows choice and control
For some NDIS participants, having support that is flexible is really important. You might want to know what happens if you need to cancel, change or request a shift last minute. If the provider has sent you a service agreement, they should have a cancellation policy you can look at. If you do not have a service agreement with the provider yet, you can ask to see their cancellation policy.
Some service providers will allow you to be more specific about the type of support person you get. Maybe you want a support worker of a certain gender, age or religion. If any of these things are important to you, you can ask the service provider if they are able to find someone who matches your preferences.
4. Check out the cost of the product or service
The cost of the service or product is something we suggest looking into. You want to be sure that your NDIS plan can cover the product or services that they are offering and that they are charging you correctly.
If you are unsure what a reasonable price might be when purchasing a product with your NDIS plan, you can download the ‘Assistive technology - Guide for low cost support funding’ from the NDIS website. This document gives you examples of low cost assistive technology and the average price for those products.
When it comes to services or supports, the NDIS releases a document called the NDIS pricing arrangements and price limits. It tells you the maximum amount the NDIS will cover based on the service the provider offers. Some providers choose to charge less, and that is absolutely fine.
If you are self-managed, price caps do not apply.
If you need help budgeting your plan, you can speak to your local area coordinator (LAC). If you have funding for a support coordinator or plan manager, they can also help you.
5. See if you have common interests and if your values align
There are some providers who are able to offer unique services that you might need. Perhaps you would like a provider who speaks a certain language, is of a specific religious background or is involved with the LGBTQIA+ community. It is a great idea to speak about this early on to ensure that the provider is right for you.
It is important to remember that once you choose a service provider, you can still change your mind. If at any point you are unhappy with the services you receive, you have the right to change NDIS providers. You will need to check your service agreement for their termination policy to know how much notice you will need to give them.
Even though it's an important decision, choosing a provider doesn't need to be overwhelming or take up a lot of time. You can let us know here at HeyHubble what you're looking for, and we'll personally find you some great NDIS provider options for you to choose from. Request a service here.
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