There are several reasons you might have for needing to request an early NDIS plan review. For example, you’re unhappy with your NDIS plan funding amount, your funding support categories aren’t quite right, or your circumstances have changed. Know that you don’t need to wait for your next review period to request the NDIA looks at updating your plan.
As an NDIS participant, you can request an early plan review well before your end-of-plan review date. Even as soon as your new plan comes through. If you’re not happy then speak up. It’s your right.
This is also known as an unscheduled plan review or a participant requested review. Here’s some more detail on the process.
Types of NDIS plan review
There are four types of NDIS plan reviews available to participants. Although we’re interested in the early or unscheduled review specifically, here’s an overview of all four reviews.
1. Internal review
An internal review is used when you’re not happy with a decision that the NDIA has made. This could be because you feel you need more funding or because the NDIS has rejected your application to become a participant.
Any requests for an internal review must be lodged within 3 months of receiving a decision from the NDIA.
2. An external review
This is a ‘next step’ which you can implement after an internal review. If you disagree with its outcome, you can challenge the decision via the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The Tribunal was formed to conduct independent reviews of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth Laws.
At your request, it will conduct an independent review of the NDIA’s decision. To do this, you need to send an application (using this form) within 28 days of receiving this decision.
3. A scheduled plan review
Your scheduled review is usually held yearly or every two years. This is a pre-planned review for NDIS participants that happens close to your current plan’s end date. In this review, you’ll discuss how your plan helped you move towards your goals.
You’ll also discuss what you want to achieve with your next NDIS plan and where any gaps were found with your current plan.
4. An unscheduled or early plan review
This is something you request when you believe your current plan’s funding needs to be reviewed. It may be the amount, categorisation or another funding factor that you’re needing changed.
It’s also something you request when your circumstances change. Whether they change for better or worse, you are obliged to tell the NDIA – by submitting this form. Below are some examples of what would constitute a change of circumstances:
- Your disability needs change
- There are significant changes to your informal care arrangements (e.g. the care offered by friends, family members, and the community)
- Your living arrangements have changed drastically
- You have applied for, received, or are entitled to compensation for injury
If you’re unsure whether your changed circumstances need to be shared with the NDIA, ask your local area support coordinator (LAC).
Why might you want an early NDIS plan review?
There are lots of reasons that you might need a plan review before the end of your funding period. Perhaps you moved out of home and don’t have parental support anymore. Maybe a key caretaker has passed on. Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with something new or your disability needs have changed. Perhaps a mistake has been made with your funding.
The reasons for requesting a plan review fall broadly into two categories:
- You don’t believe your plan will be sufficient to fund the supports you need
- Your circumstances have changed significantly and so have your support needs
If either of these statements apply to you, you may be deemed eligible for an early plan review. First, read up on what NDIS ‘reasonable and necessary supports’ are, as the NDIA will only fund supports that fall under its interpretation of this.
When you submit a request for an unscheduled plan review, the NDIA will review your request. If approved, they’ll then review your plan. If they don’t accept your request for review, you can request an internal review (followed by an external review if necessary).
How to request an early/unscheduled NDIS plan review
Now that you know why an early NDIS plan review might be needed, it’s time to look at how you go about it.
Keep in mind you’re not guaranteed a positive outcome, even if your review is granted. Your new plan might be rejected. In some cases, you might even end up with less funding.
Before you request a review, look at the NDIS Review of Decisions Operational Guidelines. This tells you which decisions can be reviewed. Once you’ve done that, you can begin the process of requesting an early review of your plan.
First, contact your LAC. Occasionally, they can adjust your plan immediately. If they can’t make the adjustment themselves though, don’t worry. Head onwards and upwards to Step 1, which is covered in this article: Requesting An Early NDIS Plan Review: Part Two