How Can a Support Coordinator Help With Your NDIS Plan?

If you’re an NDIS participant, or are looking to become one, then you probably have a lot of questions about your plan and what support you’re going to receive. It’s likely that NDIS support coordination is one of the parts you find hard to understand, or are unsure of what the benefits will be. If you have support coordination listed on your plan, then you will have a support coordinator to help you get started with your plan and assist you along the way. It’s essential for you to understand what a support coordinator’s role is, to ensure you’re getting the most out of your funding, and you understand all of the benefits a support coordinator can contribute to your NDIS services.

What Is an NDIS Support Coordinator?

An NDIS support coordinator is the person who helps you organise your plan and choose the best combination of supports for your personal needs and goals. They also continue to work with you to help you grow, work towards your goals, and build new skills.

The roles of a support coordinator are clearly defined on the NDIS Price Guide as:

  • Connection:

The support coordinator is the connection between you and others, such as other forms of support and your surrounding community. They make referrals for you and organise activities for you to engage in.

  • Support Design:

They assist you with identifying what you want and need, and help you to understand plan funding. Your support coordinator will develop and design support solutions to help you reach your goals.

  • Establish Supports:

It’s their job to create a support and action plan, and make sure you know your available support options.They help you consider appropriate support, and link you to the relevant services.

  • Crisis Resolution:

They assist you with resolving points of crisis, and also help you to prepare for these situations by developing a resilient support network.

  • Coach, Refine, Reflect:

A support coordinator guides you through any problems that arise, and works with you to review and report your progress to help achieve future goals.

How Do Support Coordinators Benefit NDIS Participants?

  • A support coordinator helps you connect with the community and support providers, which means you will build your confidence and maintain relationships with these key people yourself. 
  • Sometimes the concepts of NDIS plans can be complicated, and a support coordinator will help you understand them, so that you can get the most out of your funding.
  • You have someone on your side when something goes wrong, you will always have someone to call who will know what to do.
  • The aim is to help you grow and eventually take over from some of the duties yourself, so that you’re in control of your NDIS supports.

What Is the Difference Between Support Coordinators and Plan Managers?

Both NDIS support coordinators and plan managers can assist you with managing your NDIS plan properly. You will need both people in order to know how to use your plan effectively and they will also help you to grow as independent as possible. The main difference between a support coordinator and a plan manager is that a plan manager assists with the financial aspects, and a support coordinator helps you organise the supports and providers. A plan manager provides access to service providers, while the support coordinator manages the supports once you have hired them. Also, if you have chosen to self-manage your plan – instead of using a plan manager – you will still have access to, and can benefit from, a support coordinator.

What Work Are They Unable to Provide?

It’s important to fully understand the role of your support coordinator, so that you know what to contact them about and when to contact someone else. For instance, although you can call them in a crisis, your support coordinator will only be able to put you through to the relevant services. They are not a replacement for other crisis support services, or the hospital, or a GP. A support coordinator doesn’t handle your finances, and they don’t organise your appointments. They also don’t complete administrative tasks, pay for invoices for direct supports, or undertake intake or rostering processes.

Choosing An Expert Support Coordinator

If you believe you could benefit from NDIS support coordination, then you need to let your planner know. Support coordination will be funded if it’s proven to be ‘reasonable and necessary’, and so you have to apply for it and explain why you need this assistance. Once you have been approved, you can choose an experienced support coordinator from a reliable organisation, who will be able to help you understand the funding and what can be done with it.