National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) providers come in many shapes and forms and sometimes the provider you start with might not reflect your current support needs anymore.
- If you want to change NDIS service providers you need to talk to your current provider first
- There may be steps to follow set out in your service agreement about changing providers
- It’s important to do your research on any new providers you are considering
You don’t have to stay with the same providers forever and it’s important your providers match your current circumstances so they can provide you with quality supports.
Funding in your NDIS plan needs to go to the best supports for you to help you reach your goals - so when your provider can’t give you the best possible support anymore, you may need to look at changing providers.
The process of changing providers doesn’t need to be complicated but there are a number of steps involved, which we’ve outlined below.
Why would I need to change providers?
There are several different reasons you might like to change providers, including:
- If you move to a different area
- If your needs change and your current provider doesn’t provide the services you need
- If your provider changes the services they offer and no longer offer what you need
- If your provider no longer offers services in your area
- If your provider changes management and no longer matches your requirements
- If your provider is not providing you quality services, or you feel uncomfortable or unsafe with their services
- If you are unhappy with the way your provider communicates with you
- If your provider is no longer offering value for money
It could be one or a mix of these reasons, but your provider should be understanding of your need to move to another provider.
What are the steps to changing providers?
The first thing to do if your supports or services are not meeting your requirements is to talk to your provider.
You should notify the provider in writing, as well as through any verbal discussions you have, that you are considering stopping their services and moving elsewhere.
While you don’t have to give a reason why you want to end the service, it can be helpful if you feel comfortable giving the provider your reason/s.
Providers sometimes need feedback to make sure their services are doing the best they can, so talking constructively with your provider gives them a chance to understand the issue you have.
They might be able to fix the issue, for example, if you don’t think your support worker is providing quality support that you need the provider might find you a different support worker or ask your current worker to do more training.
The next step is to look over the service agreement you have with your current provider to check what the process is that you agreed to follow.
This could include how much notice you need to give your provider about stopping your services and whether you need to pay cancellation costs.
Once you have given your provider a chance to respond to your concerns or your reasons for wanting to change providers, consider whether they will fix the issue or not.
If not, end your service agreement by following the steps in the service agreement document and ask your provider to end their service booking on the NDIS portal.
In some cases you might have to contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to cancel a service booking, so ask the provider if this is the case for you.
Your support coordinator or plan manager, if you have one, also needs to know what you’re planning and when you are ending the arrangement with your provider.
They might also be able to help you with the process and answer questions you have.
The importance of research
Before entering a service agreement with a new provider, it is important you search for a new provider that will better fit you and your needs.
To ensure you change to the right provider, you should:
- Do your research on available providers in your area
- The services they offer
- Their qualifications
- Reviews from other clients
- Values of the organisations
Starting this research before you start the process of switching providers could be necessary if you need your new services to begin soon after ending the arrangement with your original provider.
This will ensure your switch is seamless and you’re never left without the supports you need.
If you’re moving homes, research providers in your new area when preparing for the move so that your supports are ready for when you move in.
You can read more in our article, 'Tips for choosing a support provider'.
What else would you like to know about NDIS providers? Tell us in the comments below.