Kollen Sussman works with an amazing team of support coordination at OnSide and is passionate about building teams to deliver consistent high-quality service to people accessing the NDIS.

Hands up if you haven’t started preparing for your NDIS planning meeting because you have no idea where to start. If that’s you, don’t stress. Here’s an easy three-step guide that will break through the NDIS complexity and help get you that individualised support – to live the life you want to live.

STEP ONE: Get a Pre-Planner.

The NDIA is doing a fantastic job, and the NDIS is a brilliant model – one that has the potential to be the envy of the world in terms of social reform. I’m a big fan. Yet unless you work for the NDIA, how can you know your way around the process?

A Support Coordinator is the glue between the NDIA and you. Think of them as a translator and a key resource trusted by the NDIA to support the explanation of your life and how best to implement the plans that are unique to you.

A good Support Coordinator, provided by organisations like OnSide, will make this foreign, complex world of NDIS funding refreshingly simple, so you get the best outcome, working with you from the beginning.

They’ll help you make the most of your NDIS funds, and be there for advice and support. Even better, if you later get an allocation of support coordination in your plan, you don’t pay a bean. Speaking of food, let’s go to Step 2.

STEP TWO: Have a blueberry muffin with your local Support Coordinator.

Once you have decided to access Pre-Planning, contact your local Support Coordinator. Together, you’ll prepare your NDIS application. OnSide offers this service in a few different formats so you’ll feel ‘NDIS-ready’ no matter your circumstances.

Typically, we’ll catch up where you like, either in your local café or at home for 45 minutes, enough time for a chat, a coffee and blueberry muffin. You’ll be given a handy OnSide workbook that details the questions you’ll be asked by the NDIA, so nothing is unexpected. Think of this time as a very casual mini-workshop.

The NDIA will ask simple questions to gather relevant information about your needs and how the NDIS can improve your life. Remember that by this stage, everything will have been reviewed, discussed and organised in that 45min meeting with your Support Coordinator, while you enjoyed your blueberry muffin. Typically, some questions you have may be;

  • Which assessments do I need to take? 
  • What will they ask? 
  • Do I need to write a list of questions? 
  • What sort of goals would I like?
  • How can I re-connect to my community?

There’s more to it than that, obviously, which Support Coordinators will take you through.

STEP THREE: Apply to NDIA with confidence.

You and your friendly Support Coordinator have done the work. You are organised and prepared to meet with a NDIA Planner or LAC. You now have the best chance to ensure the following 12 months is set up for seamless access to the supports that will make your life better. 

One last thing before I go. While the OnSide Support Coordinator or any Support Coordinator can’t guarantee that you or your loved one will receive all of the funded support, we can guarantee that Support Coordinators will will help you express what you need to the NDIA

It’s often said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I’m not sure that that’s entirely true when it comes to the NDIS, as this wonderful system is set up to ensure your life is improved. Yet, it is true that the easiest, best way to do that is with a Support Coordinator. That, you can plan on.

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