Why getting started with your NDIS plan can be hard and what you can do about it

Jonathan Salgo
May 14, 2023

Feeling overwhelmed with your NDIS plan is normal. 

If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to getting some NDIS supports in place, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are people you can turn to that can help you build confidence and get started. 

Here are 4 common roadblocks and what you can do to overcome them. That way, you can start using your NDIS plan to find the supports you need.

1. Roadblock 1: Tricky NDIS terms 

The terms you find in your NDIS plan are probably unlike anything you’ve seen before. So naturally, it can be confusing while you learn this new language. 

Understanding what the support categories in your plan mean is a great place to start. Your support categories determine what you can spend that bit of funding on. Support categories are found underneath your support budgets (Core, Capacity Building or Capital Supports Budget). 

Common support categories explained

To get you started understanding your plan, here are couple of common support categories and what you can buy with them.

Assistance with daily life - found in Core Budget

  • Support workers to help you with everyday activities or errands
  • Meal prep services
  • Linen services (with approval from the NDIS)
  • Gardening

Improved Daily Living - found in Capacity Building Budget

  • Occupational therapy 
  • Speech pathology
  • Psychology
  • Physiotherapy
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • All other allied health therapies

Roadblock 2: Not knowing what you need

Being in the NDIS involves a lot of decision making. If you know what you want to do, this can feel really empowering. But if you’re new or unsure, you might just want some extra guidance while you figure things out.

HeyHubble has created a free online tool to help you see which NDIS supports exist for different goals you might have, like making friends or increasing your independence. Try our free tool here.

The good news is that confidence in the NDIS and in knowing what you need is possible for everyone.

Roadblock 3: A new world of supports

Without previous experience with disability or the NDIS, it can be hard to know what kinds of supports are out there. Here are just a few common types:

  • Support work
  • Allied health (Includes supports like occupational therapy, speech pathology as well as therapies like music and art therapy) 
  • Positive behaviour support
  • Home maintenance
  • Respite
  • Support coordination
  • Plan management (Support to pay your invoices on your behalf)
  • Assistive technology

You may not be able to get all of these with your specific plan but it’s good to be aware of them. You can ask the NDIA to consider adding funding to your plan if you think you need a support that’s not already included. 

Allied health, though, is pretty common. It’s also very broad with lots of different kinds of allied health professionals.

We’ve written a guide explaining the 9 most common types of allied health providers, what they do and how to know if you can work with them. Read the guide on allied health providers here.

Roadblock 4: How 'hit and miss' finding the right provider can be

It’s often a process of trial and error finding a provider who fits all your criteria. And this process is important! 

Here are some criteria that might help you narrow down your choices:

  • If they have capacity or if you’ll be on a waitlist
  • If they have experience with your disability
  • Where they’re located
  • How far you, or they, are willing to travel
  • If you get along with them
  • The quality and expertise of their service
  • If they’re NDIS registered (this only matters if your funding is agency-managed)

Finding all this out about providers can be time consuming, which is why what we do is research NDIS providers for you - connecting you with the best options for your needs.

Solution 1: Use HeyHubble

HeyHubble can help you understand your plan, build your confidence, and find you supports that are right for you. 

We do this by providing 1:1 support to you to explain your funding and the types of providers available to you. Then when you’re ready, our team will find some quality, trusted providers for you based on what you want and need.

We’re a free service and platform with the goal of making the NDIS work for you. Learn more about how we help NDIS participants find quality providers.

Solution 2: Contact your LAC, NDIS planner or early childhood partner

They are your official point of contact regarding your plan. They can answer any questions you have about your specific funding and point you in the direction of local supports.

Solution 3: Ask an occupational therapist

An occupational therapist (OT) can officially assess your needs with a functional capacity assessment (FCA). Getting an FCA is helpful as it can inform the level of support you should receive. 

An OT can also recommend other therapy types for you, based on what they observe your needs to be.

Your LAC, NDIS planner or early childhood partner can connect you with an OT who can do a functional capacity assessment for you.

HeyHubble can also find you someone with availability close to you.

Solution 4: Find online community groups

This type of advice is more informal but can be equally valuable. Facebook in particular is full of NDIS community groups dedicated to helping each other with personal advice and recommendations. It’s a great idea to join a few groups, post a question or simply learn from others also navigating the NDIS.

Book in a Plan Guidance Session

If you want some 1:1 support and someone to talk to about your individual plan, our team can help.

A Plan Guidance Session is a free 20 minute call where we can explain your NDIS plan, highlight any particular restrictions or rules to keep in mind with your funding, and help you find providers you’ll like.

Fill out your details below and we’ll be in touch with you soon.

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