Choosing NDIS service providers can be overwhelming - especially if you have many options. However, choosing the right providers is critical for getting the most out of your NDIS plan. Here, we’ll discuss helpful questions to ask when choosing a provider along with other tips for choosing the best people to work with.
Understand what you need and what providers can offer
NDIS service providers are an integral part of your NDIS journey. Your plan states the supports you need to achieve your goals, so you can use it as a roadmap to determine what kinds of providers you’ll need.
Providers encompass everyone from support workers to doctors, specialists, companies, and organisations to determine who you’ll work with, so you need to know what you need along with what each provider can offer.
Think goals first, then match your goals to the right provider.
- Goals: First, look at your NDIS plan and examine your short- and long-term goals. Think about whose help you may need to reach these goals. Imagine that you want to learn a new skill, such as an instrument. You may need a teacher to help you learn the instrument, along with a support worker to take you to lessons if transportation is a concern. If you want to improve your health, you may need certain types of doctors or specialists to help you through the process along with support workers to take you to appointments.
- Providers: Conversely, it’s important to know what NDIS service providers can offer. Some providers are highly specialised, like an eye doctor or a chiropractor. Others, like support workers, fulfill broad responsibilities. They can drive NDIS participants to appointments, assist with daily living activities like showering and eating, household tasks such as cleaning, and other support tasks. You may need a mix of specialists and generalised support workers depending on your NDIS plan.
5 questions to ask potential NDIS service providers
Asking detailed questions can help you determine if a provider is right for your needs. Bring up these fundamental topics when you’re meeting with prospective NDIS providers.
- What experience do you have working with NDIS participants?
Registered NDIS providers will have experience working with NDIS participants, but unregistered providers may not be as familiar with how NDIS plans work. If you’re self-managing your plan or working with a plan manager, there’s no need to avoid unregistered providers - you can work with any provider you’d like. However, It’s wise to ask providers about their NDIS experience and to ensure that you’re on the same page regarding payments, service agreements
, and your NDIS goals.
- Do you charge extra fees that I should be aware of?
The maximum allowable charges for supports are set forth in the NDIS price guide
. NDIS funding will cover up to this amount, but beyond that, participants are responsible for the costs.
Ask your providers about additional charges. These can include gap fees (when a provider charges more than the NDIS allowable amount and the participant is responsible for the difference) or establishment costs (where providers charge a setup fee to your NDIS plan at the start of service). Make sure that your service agreements clearly state the scope of the work being performed along with all costs.
- What is your availability?
Many providers have flexible schedules to accommodate participants' needs. You can find providers who will be available after hours or during the night, on weekends, and over holidays - but you should discuss schedule expectations beforehand so that there aren’t misunderstandings. Ask providers about their availability and choose ones whose schedules align with your needs.
- What is your cancellation policy?
As you reach your NDIS goals, your needs will likely change. You may not need the same services that you require now. In many cases, providers require advance notice for cancelling or altering service agreements. Ask providers about their alteration or cancellation policies so that you can plan ahead.
- How can I get in touch with you?
Every provider is different. In large organisations, you may have to speak with several people before reaching your provider. In other cases, you’ll have a direct link to them. Ask about contact methods and choose someone who will be accessible and responsive to your needs.
Need help managing payments and invoicing? Contact All Disability Plan Management
Paying providers, invoicing, and tracking your finances are essential for NDIS success. When you work with All Disability Plan Management, we manage all financial aspects of your plan so that you don’t have to worry about day-to-day accounting tasks. We’ll ensure that your providers are paid quickly and correctly. We also hold bi-monthly budget reviews with participants so that you know exactly where your funds are going.
Plan management comes at no cost to you - it’s included in your NDIS plan. Contact us
to learn more.