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Bedford Psychologist and Disability Advisor, Joanne Russell has played a key role in helping our team prepare for and transition into the NDIS. Through her work across our multiple sites, in particular Silverwater in NSW, Joanne has established herself as one of our NDIS experts.

She answers some common NDIS questions below…

How long does a planning session usually go for?

A meeting with a Planner or LAC either over the phone or in person, goes for about an hour.

What types of questions are asked during planning meetings?

The Planner or Local Area Coordinator will ask a series of questions like:

  • Who does your family consist of?
  • What is your disability and how does this impact you?
  • What activities do you enjoy?
  • What activities do you go to on each day of the week? And how do you get to them?
  • What goals do you have?
  • Rate your support needs on a scale of 1 to 5, with low being 1 and 5 being high support.
  • Rate your health on a scale eg. good, very good, excellent, poor.

They will also ask how you would like to manage your funding, whether you need behavioural support and if you have any questions of your own.

Many of these questions are outlined in Bedford's NDIS Planning Workbook, so taking the time to write down your answers in this book will help you remember what you want to say.

Who usually attends the planning meeting?

An eligible person with a disability, family members, carers, advocates and even a Bedford staff member. Anyone can be present if the participants would like them there.

How has government support for participants changed since they entered the NDIS?

The mobility allowance gets transferred into the NDIS plan. The first plan should contain all the funding the participant currently gets from State or Federal funding packages. Remember, the Disability Support Pension is separate from NDIS funding.

What if you are unhappy with the planning process or final plan?

If you are unhappy with your NDIS plan, or it doesn't meet your needs, Bedford can work with you and the NDIA to resolve the issue. However, the better prepared you are before your planning meeting, the more likely you are to receive your desired plan.

What do I do once I get my plan?

It is important that once a participant gets a plan that the providers of all current services, like Bedford, are notified and either provided with a copy of the plan or given details from the plan so a service agreement can be written.