An important note for NDIS participants

I'm sure you've all heard talk of the importance of NDIS Plan goals, but do you know what the NDIS Act & the NDISRules say about a Participant's 'Statement of Goals and Aspirations'? Did you know it is a legislated right for Participants (with or without support) to prepare and write their own Statement of Goals and Aspirations?

In these early days of the NDIS roll-out, the significance of how a Participant's Statement of Aspirations and Goals is to be prepared is often overlooked. But choice and control starts with a Participant's right to decide what is included in their Statement of Goals and Aspirations. The Participant Statement of Goals and Aspirations is the first point of call for the NDIA when making decisions about a Participant's supports. It tells the Participant's story of who they are to the NDIA - their goals, objectives and aspirations, their living arrangements, how they participate; both socially and economically, and what community supports are in a Participant’s life. The Statement of Goals and Aspirations can be provided to the NDIA in writing or verbally. If provided verbally, the NDIA or LAC Planner must gain approval from the Participant (and/or their nominee) that they have accurately recorded their Statement of Goals and Aspirations.

As long as it includes all the aspects mentioned above, the Participant's Statement of Goals and Aspirations must be accepted by the NDIA and can be changed by the Participant at any time. This is different from a ‘Plan Review Request’ as it does not affect the Participant’s funding outlined in the second part of their Plan – the ‘Statement of Participant Supports’.

The 'Statement of Participant Supports' spells out the 'reasonable and necessary' supports that will be funded by the NDIS, the general supports that will be provided to or in relation to the participant, when the NDIS Plan will undergo review, and how the Participant's supports will be managed. This section of the NDIS Plan must be prepared with NDIA involvement and requires NDIA approval to take effect. The Participant and their nominee/s can choose how their NDIS Plan will be managed; by themselves, by the NDIA, by a Plan Manager or via a combination of these options. The Participant can make a 'Plan Management Request' about how their Plan's funding will be managed at any stage whilst their Plan is being prepared or whilst it is in effect. The NDIA can only deny this request if they are satisfied that the requested extent of self-management creates an 'unreasonable risk' to the Participant.

Whether you are an NDIS Participant, NDIS Plan Nominee, Parent, part of a Participant’s support network or even an interested member of the community, it is important for us to know wherever possible how the NDIS works and where increased choice and control opportunities exist (or occasionally are hiding) waiting to be taken up!

DSV is here to support you along this journey, get in touch and keep an eye out for our workshops and other upcoming support opportunities.