Are you getting an NDIS plan for the first time? Or, maybe you’re moving out on your own or relocating to a new town? These are some of the things that might make you eligible for support coordination, and that means you’re very lucky! This service is an invaluable tool to help you make the most of your NDIS plan, and it won’t cost you anything.
There are three levels of support available, including support connection, support coordination, and specialist support coordination. The purpose is to help you learn the ropes to make the most of what’s available to you. Here’s what else you need to know.
What Is Support Coordination?
The job of a support coordinator is to connect you with the people, tools, and other resources you need to reach your goals. Based on your needs, they’ll match you with providers in the community along with mainstream and government services.
A support coordinator will work with you to make sure that you can build and sustain relationships; thrive within your community, and achieve the most independence possible. The support coordinator is also there to make sure that you understand your NDIS plan and your plan goals, so ask all the questions that come to mind.
Overall, the idea behind support coordination is to build your skills and your confidence. You know that your support coordinator is doing their job well when you feel like there are no gaps in your support system and you can achieve your plan goals.
Who Is Eligible?
A support coordinator is there to help you learn how to make the most of your NDIS plan. For that reason, support coordination eligibility is often limited to your first plan when you’re just starting to figure things out. But, there are exceptions.
Support coordination eligibility ultimately comes down to what NDIS deems “reasonable and necessary.” They will factor in your current support, such as what your family and friends can provide. They’ll also look at any government or community services that you are utilizing to determine gaps that your plan needs to fill.
If you’re eligible, funding for support coordination will be added to your Capacity Building budget as a fixed amount.
Some plans will describe the level of support coordination that has been funded (i.e., connection, coordination, or specialist coordination). If the plan states a specific level of support, you must only purchase that level–no more and no less. If your plan doesn’t state a specific level of support coordination, you can decide what fits your needs.
What Are the Benefits of Support Coordination?
Whether you choose support connection, support coordination, or specialist coordination, this service is designed to be flexible. Your coordinator isn’t following any blueprint or program. Instead, they should work to address your specific needs and goals.
For instance, you might want to focus on finding the right living supports so you can improve your independence. Whatever the case may be, you’ll get to sit down and chat with your support coordinator to decide the best way forward. Here’s why it’s worth doing that.
Learn to Make the Most of Your Plan
There’s a reason why support coordination is almost always included in your first NDIS plan: Your planner wants you to thrive! Your plan is designed to support your life goals, but it can only do that if you utilize it to its fullest potential. The problem is that many new participants don’t know how to do that.
How can you use your plan to its full potential when you don’t even know where to find support? Or when you aren’t even familiar with the supports available to you? That’s precisely why support coordination exists. Your coordinator will help you make the most of your plan by teaching you where to find support and giving you advice on how to use them.
Get Guidance During Major Life Changes
Generally, support coordination is not something your planner will incorporate in the long term. The budget for support coordination is funded a year at a time, and your planner will work to reduce the hours as you grow. Once you’ve learned the ropes and you know how to tap into plan supports, this service will likely go away.
However, there is an exception: If you’re going through a life change, support coordination may be available again. This could mean moving into more independent accommodations or relocating to a new city or state. In these instances, you can ask your planner about support coordination to help you adjust to the new challenges and supports in your life.
Build Confidence and Life Skills
The primary goal of support coordination is to enable you to live independently. Your support coordinator wants to see you thrive, which is why they work to build skills and confidence that will help you set and achieve goals on your own. They offer guidance while giving you a place to grow socially and economically.
By the time support coordination is factored out of your NDIS plan, you should be in a position to manage your plan (and future plans) on your own. You’ll know where to go when you need this or that, and, in all likelihood, you’ll have made new social connections along the way who can begin to shape your informal support network.
Overall, the things that support coordination can offer are priceless, so be sure to utilize it if you’re eligible.