Autism Spectrum


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Our Family’s NDIS Journey: Part 3 The Portal and Some Issues

Read previous parts:

Part 1 Preparing and The Planning Meeting here

Part 2 The Supports here

Part 3 – Using the NDIS Portal, Record Keeping and Some Issues

We are self managing our son’s NDIS supports, which means we need to keep very good records of supports he receives, invoices and repayments.

The first step is to start using the NDIS participant portal.

Using the portal

I sign in using my son’s myGov username and password.  A security code is then sent to my phone and I pop that in.

This is the main portal.

When I first tried to make a claim, I had a message to say that I hadn’t lodge bank details… but no clue as to how to do so, a link to the right page would have helped.

After a bit of hunting, I found the space to add my bank details under the My Contact Details section.

Putting in a payment request is very easy.  I just upload the date, support category and the payment amount and that’s it.  No need to upload invoices at all.

Payment has always come through very fast too, the next day or the day after.

What has money been spent on so far

My son has seen his regular psychologist and I’ve claimed for that.

We have employed an experienced young man as a support worker to mentor Tom across many areas. So far they have done cooking at home, plus been out and about in the community doing things. I’ve put in three claims for his hours too.

I’m choosing to pay providers first and then to reclaim the money.

Keeping Records

I’ve started up an Excel spreadsheet of all costs and when claimed. It’s early days so far.

Most invoices are sent by email and I keep them in a folder in my computer called 2017 NDIS Invoices.

NDIS Glossary

If I get confused about a name, word or phrase, I go to the NDIS Glossary here which explains all the terms used.

Here is a useful list of fact sheets

There’s an NDIS Autism Support group on Facebook here.

Our Issues With The NDIS So Far

It’s very hard to talk to a real person at the NDIS. The main number has long wait times. I’ve got through and asked some specific information about my son’s plan and where to find our details on exactly what he can use the Core funding: Social Community and Civic Participation for.

The person who answered the call wasn’t able to help. I was told a message would be sent to my local office and I’d be called.  No call has come four weeks later. I’ve emailed the same question to our local office. No reply after two weeks.

In retrospect it might have been easier to have this plan managed by an agency, at least at the start. But I wanted to use a psychologist and a support worker who are not yet NDIS registered so chose to self manage.

There’s no search function on the portal, so finding out exactly what each support means at first was hard. I had to do a general Google search and ended up looking at the NDIS price guide.  I detail all my son’s supports and what they mean back in Part 2.

For self managed participants a great deal more explanation would be welcome.

There seems to be no tracking of how much has been spent. It would be really handy to have a running tally on the NDIS portal about how much we have spent and how much we have left. If there is one there, I can’t find it.

We will need to do one ourself, using the Excel spreadsheet would work best.

Overall though, we are very happy with my son’s plan. He is getting help that he certainly needs and which he wasn’t getting before.

We are not having to pay all the costs of the psychologist which is a great relief.

Do you have NDIS plan and supports in place.

How is it going?

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