How to change something in your NDIS plan
As you move through life, you may find your NDIS plan is no longer right for you. This is a normal part of your NDIS journey – particularly as plans now can last for longer than a year.
Fortunately, you can always request a change to your plan. In this article we explore the best ways to do that depending on your reason for wanting the change and share some tips to ensure you get the supports and budget you need.
The length of time that it takes for a plan review can depend on lots of different factors like the urgency of the request, where you’re located and the amount of evidence you need. We recommend that you submit your request as soon as you can and follow up with your Local Area Coordinator to stay up to date with the progress of your request.
Reason 1: You’ve had a change in your living situation
A ‘Change of Circumstances’ review
If you’ve had a significant change in your life, your NDIS plan might not be suited to your situation anymore. Some examples of significant changes include:
- You’re moving out of your family home and into an apartment of your own
- A key member of your informal support network is moving interstate
- You get a new job
- You have a change in your disability and require different supports
- You want to switch to Plan Management
The NDIS call such a significant change a ‘Change of Circumstances’ and have made it pretty easy to get your NDIS plan changed when this happens.
You don’t need to go through a formal plan review, all you need to do is let the NDIS know by submitting a Change of Circumstances form. Once they have received the form, they will update your plan to align with your new situation.
Reason 2: Your NDIS plan is expiring
A formal plan review
Approaching your plan’s end date presents a good opportunity to ask yourself “are my plan, NDIS goals and funding still relevant and meeting my needs?”
If they are, you don’t need to do anything as the NDIS will automatically extend your plan. Any funds that you haven’t spent will be carried over and added to your new budget.
If you feel they’re no longer relevant, you can change your plan through a scheduled formal plan review. But you should be aware that in this case, your funds will not carry over and you will receive a new plan with a new budget
To do this, wait for the NDIS to contact you when you’re near your plan’s end date (or call them first on 1800 800 110) and let them know exactly why you’d like to change your NDIS plan. They will then schedule a plan review. In this meeting, try to be as specific as possible about what you want and take as much evidence as possible, as this can help ensure you get the supports that you’re after.
Reason 3: You’re not happy with the plan you’ve been given
An Internal review
If you’ve just received a new NDIS plan and it’s not what you were hoping for, you can request a change too. Perhaps you didn’t get enough budget for a particular support or you feel your plan doesn’t accurately reflect your situation. If this occurs, you have three months to have it reviewed. The NDIS calls this an ‘internal review’.
When Tristram got his new plan, he was hoping for something different. Watch how he went about requesting an internal review:
To do this, contact the NDIS and let them know that you’re unhappy with your plan and would like to request an internal review. Clearly explain anything you feel wasn’t taken into account during your planning meeting and mention any additional information that might help. Be clear about how the decision has impacted you and what you’d like to see in your new plan.
If you’re still not happy with the result of this internal review, you have 28 days to appeal the decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
If you need some additional assistance requesting any of these plan reviews or preparing for a planning meeting, Support Coordination can be a very helpful service. A Support Coordinator can work with you to review your plan and work out what’s working and what isn’t. They’ll also help you develop goals that are suited to your situation and will allow you to access the supports you want.
Don’t have Support Coordination in your plan? No worries – you can currently use your Core budget to access a Support Coordinator.
Want to lean more?
- With plans now lasting for a significant period of time, it’s a good idea to take stock of your plan every now and then. If it’s not right for you, you can – and should – request to have it changed.
- There are plenty of reasons why your plan might not be right for you anymore. From moving house to looking for a job, any change that affects your life might benefit from an adjustment to your plan and the supports you receive.
- Rather than requesting a formal plan review (which be a lengthy and involved process) submitting a change of circumstances form can help you get a minor adjustment to your plan.
- If you’ve requested a review of your plan, you can keep spending its budget while you wait for the results.
- Sometimes people are disappointed when they receive their plan and find their request for Support Coordination isn’t included because they didn’t fit the eligibility criteria. If this happens to you, you can either use your Core funding to access a Support Coordinator or request an internal review.
- If you request a review of your plan or an internal review, take as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
- The length of time that it can take for a plan review can vary wildly depending on lots of factors, so try to submit your request as soon as you can.