The NDIS is an ever-evolving scheme, with lots of different roles all working together to deliver the best outcomes for NDIS participants. Confusion about the responsibilities of different roles can very easily occur. After all, everything is new and there is a lot to take in!
We explain the responsibilities of some key roles within the scheme. Having a good understanding of the different roles can be really beneficial to participants and their nominees. The better you can piece together the puzzle, the easier it will be to navigate the system and get the best outcomes from your plan.
First up, the NDIA
National Disability Insurance Agency. This is the government agency that oversees the running and implementation of the NDIS. They are responsible for determining who is eligible for the NDIS and who isn’t. They hold all funds contributed by commonwealth, state and territory governments to manage the scheme’s funds, and approve payments of a participant's plan.
Local Area Coordinators, or LACs
These are local organisations that work in partnership with the NDIA to help participants over 18, their families and carers, access the NDIS. Once a person is an approved participant, LACs will help them write, manage and understand their plans as well as assist with the connection to supports and mainstream services in the community. The LAC organisations differ depending on what area you are in Australia.
Early Childhood Early Intervention, or ECEIs
Early Childhood Early Intervention Partners assist families and carers with children under the age of 9, to access and, once an approved participant, understand and utilise their plan. They have experience working with children with developmental delay and disability. Early Childhood Early Intervention Partners will differ depending on where you are in Australia.
When a participant’s circumstances and needs are complex an NDIA Planner may take the role over from a Local Area Coordinator, to develop and monitor their plan.
NDIS Support Coordinator
Is a person who delivers one of three levels of Support Coordination (Support Coordination Level 1, Support Coordination Level 2, or Support Coordination Level 3 - Specialist Support Coordination). If you need additional help to understand your plan, engage with providers and other government agencies, Support Coordination might be funded in your plan. A Support Coordinator works with you to ensure a mix of supports is used to increase capacity, help maintain relationships, manage service delivery tasks, live more independently and be included in your community.
NDIS Plan Manager
You can choose the way your funding is managed, with one of the options being Plan Managed. A Plan Manager is a service provider that supports you to manage your funding by paying your provider invoices. Being Plan Managed allows you to use registered and non-registered providers. Your Plan Manager will support you to understand your funding, and how you can use it. They also provide you with monthly statements and other digital budgeting tools to get better insight into your spending. Additional funding is placed into your plan for this service and you can choose to switch to Plan Management from Self-Management at any time.
A Support Worker is a paid worker, who helps assist you with various tasks in your home or outside of your home. A Support Worker can be paid to help you with household support, which might include domestic chores. They can be paid to help with personal care support, for example showering and dressing and making meals. They can also support you with tasks outside of the home, such as helping to do groceries or supporting you to attend community programs and events. You could engage with a Support Worker from a large organisation, or they may be a sole trader, and only work for themselves.
Each role plays an important part in ensuring the NDIS is successful in delivering positive outcomes to participants. Many roles will communicate with others, to ensure the most appropriate support is being provided. For example, open communication between Support Coordinators and Plan Managers ensures continuity of support in really complex situations.
When you are plan managed by Pathways to Care we will always help guide you around the system, explaining as you go. We are on your team not just to reduce the stress that can come with navigating the NDIS but to also help build your NDIS knowledge. Give us a call any time!