Independent Assessments are a hotly debated topic in the NDIS community. The recent, 'pause' to allow further consultation with both providers and participants is welcomed by all. The pilot, however, continues to be in operation and assessments are being carried out, with participants feeling anxious about whether this is the right way to assess their situation holistically.
If the ‘pause’ is lifted, Independent Assessment could be a mandatory part of the plan-review process, which is when a participant’s supports and budgets are determined for the coming 12 months.
At the moment, you can choose your own health professional to assess your current situation. This evidence can then be given to the NDIS to help them determine your eligibility, or the way your plan is built.
In most cases the health professional will know you well, having worked extensively with you.
The new style of Independent Assessment may be carried out by an NDIA-appointed healthcare professional using a pre-approved form.
While the government says that this offers a fairer approach, many in the industry disagree.
They believe that the complex nature of disability, the participant’s full needs and their particular history cannot easily be understood by an assessor who they’ve never met and has not had time to develop a deep understanding of their case.
In addition to this significant change, the plan-review process may eventually move to 2- and 5-year assessments, which also means that participants’ budgets may be set 2 or 5 years in advance.
It’s becoming clear that being fully prepared for the plan-review process is going to become more and more important if these and other changes are implemented.
In essence, every year, or potentially even longer, you might only have one shot at explaining to an Independent Assessor how you have spent your budget, why your spending is essential and what your future needs are.
So what’s one step you can take towards achieving a successful plan-review?
My Spending Planner helps you specify your budget to get the supports that you need. Everything is laid out in a clear table, with easy-to-understand time and expense calculations, as well as how these take up your full budget.
My Spending Planner also creates a great report that will explain how you’ve utilised your budget clearly and accurately, helping you put your best foot forward when it really counts.
If you’re self-managed, consider accessing extra help using My Spending Planner from an Auscare Support’s Budget Builder analyst. Our cloud-based technology can also be used by your Plan Manger or Support Coordinator to supplement their ongoing assistance.