Once your plan is approved, we’ll ask if you want to meet and talk about how to use your plan. We call this an implementation meeting. If you want to have this meeting, we’ll arrange it within 28 days after we approve your plan.
For example, they can help you:
- understand your plan, and what supports you can buy with your funding
- understand what supports other government services, such as the health or education systems, can provide for you
- connect with your community and other government services
- find providers that meet your needs and will help you pursue your goals
- use the myplace portal
- make service agreements and service bookings with your providers
- answer any questions or concerns you have
- ask for a change to your plan if something in your life changes.
An Early Childhood Partner can also help families understand the principles of Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention .
If you self-manage your funding, you’ll need to give us bank account details before you can claim any funding.
How can we help you connect with informal, community and mainstream supports?
There are many supports you can get outside the NDIS. These include:
- informal supports, such as your friends, family and other people you know in your community
- community supports, such as community groups, religious groups, sporting groups or other activities in your area
- mainstream supports, such as health, education and other government services that are available to all Australians.
These supports can often help you pursue your goals.
When you start using your plan, we’ll see how we can help you connect with other supports available to you.
For example, we could help you:
- find community clubs you’d like to join, or activities you’d like to do
- talk to organisations, so they can adapt their service to meet your needs
- contact other government services, such as Medicare, childcare, job services or health providers
- explore ways you can see your family and friends more often, or make new friends, if you want to.
Learn more about these supports in our reasonable and necessary supports guideline.
How do you find service providers?
A service provider is a person or organisation that provides your funded supports.
You often have choice and control over who provides the supports in your plan. You can usually choose where and when your supports are provided.
Some providers are registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. This means they meet strict conditions for the quality and safety of their services. We call them ‘NDIS registered providers’. Learn more on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website.
If a provider isn’t registered with the Commission, we call them an ‘unregistered provider’.
You can usually choose any provider you want. You must use NDIS registered providers for some types of supports.
Your Early Childhood Partner, Local Area Coordinator, Support Coordinator or Recovery Coach can help you. We can’t recommend specific providers to you. But we can let you know about the different providers in your area, to help you decide which ones you might like to use.
You can also check for providers on the internet, look at reviews, or get advice from friends or family. It’s a good idea to speak with different providers before you choose one.
You can search for NDIS registered providers on the myplace portal, or check out our provider lists for each state and territory.
We don’t pay for family members to provide paid supports other than in very limited situations. Learn more about this and sustaining informal supports
How do you agree on supports with your service provider?
Once you’ve chosen a provider, you’ll need to contact them and agree on what supports they’ll provide.
You can negotiate with your provider about what you get from your support. For example, you can agree with your provider about:
- what’s included and not included in the support
- the cost of the support
- your and your provider’s responsibilities
- how to change the agreement in the future if you or your provider want to
- how you and your provider will resolve any issues and disputes.
Your Early Childhood Partner, Local Area Coordinator, Support Coordinator or Recovery Coach can help you negotiate with service providers.
You don’t need a written service agreement for all supports. But it’s usually a good idea to have one and to record answers to the types of questions listed above. This way, it’s clear what you and your provider agreed to. You need a written service agreement for Specialist Disability Accommodation.
Even though we fund the support, we’re not part of the agreement. The service agreement is between you – the consumer – and your provider. This is a legal agreement that you’re both responsible for.
Learn more about service agreements and the things to think about when making a service agreement.
What happens if your agreement doesn’t go the way you want it to?
You need to raise any problems directly with your provider. It’s important to set out your expectations and your provider’s responsibilities in your agreement.
The Australian Consumer Law applies to service agreements. This law protects you as a consumer when you buy supports with your NDIS funding.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has some helpful resources if you have a complaint or need advice. We also have links to other consumer resources on our website.
If you want to make a complaint about a provider, you can also contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The NDIS Commission can take complaints from anyone about:
- supports that weren’t provided in a safe and respectful way
- supports that weren’t delivered to an appropriate standard
- how an NDIS provider managed a complaint about the supports they provided to you.
What if there are no service providers in your area for your supports?
If you’re finding it difficult to find service providers in your area, talk to your Early Childhood Partner, Local Area Coordinator, Support Coordinator, or Recovery Coach. They may be able to help you find services in your area, or work out other options for your situation.
You may be able to get some support over the phone or internet, for example therapy through telehealth.