Talk to your friends about NDIS Improved Daily Living Skills
Andrea received $6240.60 through her NDIS plan under Improved Daily Living Skills. She decided to ask two friends with NDIS funding about what they did to get the most from this.
Philip, who received less funding than Andrea (names changed), said he sat down with his Support Coordinator and worked out a couple of different ways that he could use it. The Support Coordinator helped him contact three different providers. Not all could help him with everything he needed.
Making inquiries with all three helped Philip see how different organisations took different approaches to the provision of services. He could then make informed decisions about which providers he preferred. Phillip chose his providers, and with help from his Support Coordinator prepared Service Agreements for each of them. These helped him negotiate with each provider the conditions under which he would engage them. Among those were commitments to supplying him with reports. Nine months into his NDIS plan, Philip began receiving reports and other information from his support providers that would assist him at his next NDIS planning meeting.
Andrea also called her friend Marjorie, who had other useful information to share. Marjorie, previously self-funded, had been in desperate need of a new wheelchair. Her Local Area Coordinator (LAC) encouraged her to get an assessment from an occupational therapist (OT) as soon as possible.
“It is also a good idea to share either your whole plan or relevant parts with your support providers, as this will help you achieve your goals for your first 12 month plan."
Given that NDIS funding of new equipment such as a wheelchair has to be approved by an OT, this was a great tip. It still took five months for the chair to arrive, but if she had delayed the assessment Marjorie would have been waiting longer. Meanwhile, the OT who assessed her for her new chair had an additional report written up, approving more equipment and home modifications, which she will be able to use at her next planning meeting.
Improved Daily Living Skills is a broad component of the capacity building section of the NDIS price guide. Among the supports it covers are continence nurse assessment, specialised driver training, skills development, and therapy - OT physiologists, psychologists and counselling. This is also where the funding sits for your equipment assessments, and for reports that will assist you with your next plan.
“If you have funding under Improved Daily Living Skills it is important that you map out your requirements clearly,” says Fiona Scoullar, NDIS Service Development officer with AQA Victoria.
“A key step is to ensure you have explained your plan to your support providers. This will ensure that all of the stated or requested items are completed - for example: ‘Written reports to be provided to the NDIA 6 weeks prior to the plan review’.
“If you have funding for an OT assessment, have the assessment done at the beginning of your plan as there may be a waiting period. Getting in early will also help you be prepared as you go into your second plan.”
Andrea found it very beneficial to talk to her two friends about their use of Improved Daily Living Skills funding. Hearing about their experiences helped her get the equipment, therapy and reports that she needed to achieve her goals and develop her next plan.