Frequently asked questions

Updated 4 months ago

NDIS funding, supports and plans

Can people be funded for more than one level of support coordination?

Yes, a single plan can include funding for different types of support coordination. For example, someone with very complex needs may be given a limited amount of funding for a specialist support coordinator to begin the plan, as well as funding for a support coordinator to support the person with the plan over the year.

Do support coordinators need specific qualifications?

Only people who provide specialist support coordination will be required to have specific academic qualifications. This is because this support is usually provided by allied health professionals (e.g., psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers).

To provide coordination of supports (level 2) providers should have experience in working with complex populations and can be disability support workers, peer workers, welfare workers, allied health workers, developmental educators or Aboriginal health workers. The NDIA do not require specific qualifications to deliver this level of support; however, organisations may choose to recruit staff with specific skills or qualifications.

Does the NDIS fund transport costs?

Transport is an everyday cost but when a person's disability makes travel more difficult or expensive, NDIS participants may be able to get some funding for transport in their plans. Providers can also, in some cases, claim travel-related costs from a participant's plan when the costs are directly related to providing an NDIS service. To gain a better understanding of transport and travel in the NDIS see our Participant transport & provider travel in the NDIS factsheet or refer to the NDIS price guide.

How can the NDIS support people with episodic needs?

While the NDIS is designed to support people whose functional capacity is substantially reduced on a day-to-day basis, it is recognised that some people may require more support at certain times. If a person is found eligible for the NDIS they will work with an NDIA representative, to develop an individualised plan to meet their needs. Often NDIS services can be used flexibly, so a person can plan their supports to receive less when things are going well and more when their support needs intensify. If a person’s needs change over the course of the plan to the point that the plan is no longer suitable, a participant can request an unscheduled plan review.

Furthermore, when thinking ahead about a person’s episodic support needs the person and their support network may also develop a plan to ensure that the appropriate mainstream services (e.g. those that provide acute care) can be engaged to complement the supports funded in the NDIS plan.
If a person is found ineligible for the NDIS, NDIA local area coordinators (LACs) can assist people to access alternative supports available in the mainstream and community sector.

For more information on mental health and the NDIS, visit the NDIS website.

How do people use their plans in situations where there are no suitable providers available to deliver supports?

Sometimes it may be difficult to find NDIS providers for specific services. Remember that NDIS funding is flexible and there is room to be creative. There are a couple of different options for you to consider if you are struggling to find providers:

  • Are there unregistered providers who can support the person and if so, can the person access self-managed/plan-managed funding? (If they don't have this in their plan already you can call the NDIA and ask for a review of the funding management.)
  • Is there another way the person can work toward the same goal? For example, if you are seeking therapy providers but there are long waiting lists, are there different providers (e.g., support workers, therapy assistants) that can also provide suitable services?
  • Contact your local NDIA office and let them know you are having difficulty. They may be able to offer some ideas.

Don't forget to document any difficulties you have spending NDIS funding - this is helpful at plan review (see our training module on plan reviews for more detail).

In what circumstances might someone be funded for level 3: specialist support coordination?

Specialist support coordination is usually short-term, intensive support for participants who have extremely high needs or are in high risk, complex environments e.g. participants leaving the justice system or a mental health facility. Individual circumstances are considered when determining whether funding for support coordination is necessary, such as informal support networks, disability support needs and any other service systems involved e.g. justice, housing.

To find out more information about support coordination, including demonstrating the need at planning and review, complete our ‘Support coordination in the NDIS’ training module, or read our support coordination factsheet. You can also visit the NDIS website.

What is support coordination?

Support coordination is a capacity building support designed to help participants make the most of their NDIS funds, and help them navigate the NDIS system. It is the role of the support coordinator to activate all supports in a participant's plan and support them to develop a wrap-around system of care, including informal, mainstream, community and funded supports.

There are 3 levels of support coordination - level 1: support connection, level 2: coordination of supports and level 3: specialist support coordination.

Not all NDIS participants require funding for support coordination. Most NDIS participants are supported to implement their plan through an NDIS partner in the community (Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) or local area coordinators (LACs)). Support coordination is for NDIS participants who have support needs that exceed the role of an ECEI or LAC partner. The amount of funding a person has for support coordination will vary, depending on their circumstances and needs. For more information see our ‘Support Coordination in the NDIS’ training module or support coordination factsheet.

What options are there for NDIS participants to manage the funding in their plan and pay for NDIS services?

There are three different ways that NDIS services can be paid for: agency managed, plan managed and self-managed. A person may choose to use a combination of management types within their plan. Different options may suit different people, so it is a good idea to have an understanding of these in advance of planning and review meetings, so the person can discuss their preference.

For more information you can complete our ‘Preparing for NDIS planning meetings’ training module, or read our NDIS planning factsheet. You can also visit the NDIS website.

What types of supports will the NDIS fund?

The NDIS can fund a range of supports to help a person reach their goals. Broadly, NDIS funded supports will focus on helping people with activities of daily living and/or helping people to participate in the community, in employment and in social settings. The NDIS does not fund supports that are already provided through other government systems, such as health treatments.

All NDIS funded supports must meet the reasonable and necessary criteria, which are the guiding principles for deciding what can be included in a NDIS plan. The NDIS is an individualised scheme and everyone has different needs and goals, so what is considered reasonable and necessary for one person might not be for another.

For more information complete our reasonable and necessary in the NDIS training module or visit the NDIS website.

Where can I find information on understanding and interpreting a person's plan?

We recommend the following resources:

Will the support coordination hours in a plan decrease every year?

The decision to allocate funding for support coordination in each plan depends on the reasonable and necessary criteria. Each time the person receives a new plan from the NDIA they will decide if support coordination is necessary and how much is required. It is the role of a support coordinator to help people to implement their plans and manage their services while building capacity for the person to do this themselves (or with less support) in the future. For some people this will mean that their need for support coordination will decrease after the first plan, while for others it may take longer until they are able to reduce their need for support coordination. 

Support coordination hours should only decrease when a person is doing well enough that they don't need as much support. If the person is not at this point yet, then make sure you clearly describe why significant time is still required when preparing for plan review.

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Last updated Jul 11 2024 11:59 PM CST