Local Area Coordinators and NDIA Planners do not listen to people with disabilities on what they want in their plan. There is no teamwork where the Local Area Coordinator and NDIA Planner builds the plan together with the NDIS participant and people with disabilities.
Since transitioning to the NDIS my experience has not been good, have not been able to use the funding in my NDIS plan as flexibly as to what I was able to use my state funding for, Each time I have spoken to a NDIA planner and Local Area Coordinator they say to me no you can’t use your funding to attend conferences you have funding for a support worker in your plan. When I say to them I don’t need a support worker I need the funding for me there is no middle ground and no other options to choose from other than to send the money back to the NDIA.
Each time have pre-planned before the planning meeting everything that I mention that is written in the plan is not approved the plan that is approved does not match what I have asked for in the plan, statement of participants supports in a participants plan is not complied with, have had to apply for an NDIS review, An NDIA planner has then made a decision not to fund what I ask for, have had to take the case/matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review decisions that the NDIA has made as there is no other choice given to me,contacted an NDIS Appeals Support Officer about my goals not being supported, have received free legal advice from a Lawyer/Solicitor at Legal Aid NSW, From March 2018 case conferences between the registrar at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, NDIS Appeals Support Officer and myself have been held via phone and face to face, around June 2018 A solicitor was allocated, the solicitor represented me, spoke about the legal issues, kept in contact with my NDIS Appeals Support Officer and myself, the AAT disagreed with the original decision from the NDIA to not fund my conferences, the AAT said that is fair, reasonable and necessary that my conferences be funded, A resolution was achieved in September 2018 in total this took about 6 months to resolve. It is only with the support from an NDIS Appeals Support Officer and a solicitor from Legal Aid NSW with a lot of experience and knowledge who has been taking on a lot of cases with the ADHC transition that I was able to get all my costs funded for the Australasian Society For Intellectual Disability Conferences that are held annually every year where I speak at.
Had the Administrative Appeals Tribunal not overturned the original decision and an experienced solicitor/lawyer had not been able to represent me, identified legal issues and how what I am asking for fits in with the legislation then I would have not been very happy and would not be able to continue to attend the Australasian Society For Intellectual Disability Conferences annually every year where I have been speaking at for the past 7 years. It is very important that the NDIA planners and Local Area Coordinators ask people with disabilities/NDIS participants what is important to them? How a good NDIS plan looks? Ensures people with disabilities/NDIS participants that they are valued, being heard and accepted? Ask questions to each participant at the planning meetings if they are unsure or don’t understand anything, To be a planner you have to have some experience, show how you have developed, implemented, reviewed plans and support people to achieve their goals. Not interpret information in the way you think, clarify with the NDIS participant each time you have written something down to ensure that you have heard what is said, ask them if there is anything else you would like in your plan, show them a draft plan for them to view before the final plan is approved this way the participant can make sure there are no mistakes, miss communication and before the planning meeting is finished ask the participant is there anything else you would like to add in your plan or are there any changes you would like to make? If the participant says no planner to ask participant if they are happy with their plan if participant says yes that is good I approve the plan then the planner approves the plan, the plan that is received in the mail is exactly what was shown in the draft plan and the participant does not have to apply for a review. If there are any changes down the track the participant should be able to make a plan amendment to add anything they think of before their next planning meeting and make small changes without having to do a new plan. People should be able to have easy read paperwork they can understand when applying for the NDIS, services to be available for people not eligible for the NDIS, instead of the NDIS looking at reasonable and necessary in a negative manner spend half a day with the participant and let the participant explain to you why it is important for that activity/item to be funded, ask the relevant questions and then say to the person the NDIS does not normally fund conferences however for you it is reasonable and necessary. People who were receiving a mobility allowance were told that the NDIS will fund transport. There was no mention that this would only be a short time and then people will need to get letters every year from their GP to be funded for transport. No planner asks the participant what level of transport would you like 1, 2 or 3? instead of that being at the level that the person says they want it is a level down for example if a participant asks for level 2 transport they receive level 1 if a participant asks for level 3 they receive level 2 transport funding instead of the transport allowance being at level 3. Without changes to the NDIS, Gaps between Mainstream Services and the NDIS minimised so participants know what the NDIS and will fund and what the NDIS will not fund with each of the mainstream services, Respite/Short Term Accommodation Assistance being funded and other areas being funded people will continue to be worse off and disadvantaged under the NDIS and have no choice other than continue applying for reviews, going to the AAT to fight for their rights whether it be accessing the NDIS or something else and will not be able to implement their plan and have an effective plan that meets their goals, passions, interests, aspirations and expectations. There is a lot that needs to be to the NDIS for the NDIS to work the way people expect it to work. The way it is working currently is not the way people expected.