Finding the right service providers under the NDIS
But what if you find this level of control and personalisation somewhat daunting? Well, you’re definitely not alone. Many NDIS participants get in touch with us because they’re unsure of just where to start or how to ensure they’re getting the right supports for their situation.
We’ve gathered some of the top pieces of advice that you can use to find the best service providers with confidence and bring your plan to life!
- Support Coordination
For many people, Support Coordination is one of the most helpful services available. Essentially, Support Coordination involves having a professional help you find and connect with local service providers that are the best fit for your needs.
The NDIS can include funding for Support Coordination in your plan, but it’s important to note that not everyone’s eligible (this blog explains the eligibility criteria) and that it is considered a ‘capacity building’ support, meaning that where possible you are encouraged to build the capacity to support yourself in the future. So if you need some assistance managing your supports and think you might be eligible, why not ask about Support Coordination in your next planning meeting?
If the NDIS doesn’t give you funding for Support Coordination, there is a number of other avenues you can go down to get assistance.
- Ask your Local Area Coordinator
If you don’t have Support Coordination in your plan, your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) should be the first one to go to when you need support with finding service providers. Your LAC can supply you with a list of service providers in your area to get your plan started.
- Ask your Plan Manager
There are many benefits of Plan Management - one of which is that some Plan Managers (such as Plan Partners) can provide you with advice on how to best find service providers in your area. At Plan Partners, we have a large network of service providers all around Australia and extensive knowledge of what supports are available in local communities throughout the country.
- Making Use of Directories
The NDIS Portal contains lists of service providers, but it can be easy to lose your way as you navigate through thousands of providers.
Luckily, there are some websites that can help you sort through the sea of providers. Directories such as Clickability and MyCareSpace provide overviews of each service provider, including handy ratings and customer reviews to give you a sense of how others have found their experience. You can even review service providers yourselves – perfect for complimenting a service provider for delivering a great service…or sharing a bad experience as a warning to others.
- Organising your team
Some people like to organise their own team of supports and hire support workers themselves, instead of through a service provider. There are several organisations that can help you facilitate this, such as:
On their website you can read profiles of support workers and choose the person you think would fit your needs best. While this is pretty hands-on, some people really enjoy having that additional level of choice and control. Again, it all depends on your situation and what you feel comfortable with. Read more about organising your own team in this article.
Here are some key tips to consider when choosing service providers:
- Don’t disregard unregistered providers
There is a large network of passionate and skilled service providers out there who have chosen not to register with the NDIS. Unfortunately, if your funding is managed by the NDIS, you’re unable to access them. However, if you have Plan Management or self-manage your funds, you can unlock this huge world of unregistered providers. All NDIS participants are eligible for Plan Management, so if you ask for it in your planning meeting it’ll be included in your NDIS plan. Read more about unregistered providers here.
- Set up a service agreement with each service provider
Set up service agreements with your service providers to confirm when and how the support will be provided, and what costs and fees you may need to pay. Make sure you’re happy with the agreements before you sign them. This protects both you and the service provider, should any disputes arise in future.
- Ask for advice!
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Finding the right supports can sometimes be hard, so speak up and ask for advice.
Do you want to find out more? Contact Plan Partners’ friendly team on 1300 333 700 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.