Decisions about National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plans can sometimes take a long time as the process is complicated. But when there are only minor changes needed, there is a form of plan review that can be completed in a quicker time frame in specific circumstances.
- Light touch plan reviews can only be used in specific situations to make minor changes to plans
- They are often used to change how your plan is managed and for administrative changes
- These reviews can be requested by contacting the NDIA on 1800 800 110
Known informally as light touch review, there is no official name for these changes but it may also be called an unscheduled plan review.
The quicker form of review was introduced to the NDIS review process a few years ago because the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) recognised the existing review options were long and unnecessarily complicated for minor changes which did not require a participant’s goals, funding or supports to be reassessed.
As a light touch review doesn’t require a full formal plan review meeting, it can be done over the phone and generally takes only a few weeks to complete.
The speed of the review can be important for the consistency of your supports and also reducing the stress you might be under while waiting to see if your requested changes will be approved or not.
When can I use a light touch review?
Light touch plan reviews can only be used for minor changes. They enable the NDIA to give you a new plan within a few weeks which includes those small administrative changes, without conducting a full review.
Not everyone is eligible for light touch reviews as they are only used in very specific circumstances, but there is no harm in asking if it is possible to solve your minor issues through a quick review.
The NDIA will tell you whether it is possible in your situation or not.
Often light touch plan reviews are used to change how your plan is managed without conducting a full plan review. For example, if you are happy with all your supports but want to change from being plan managed by the NDIA and take on self managing your plan to have more flexibility in how you manage your NDIS funds.
You might like to make changes and self-manage parts of your plan so that you can claim funding for an un-registered provider, such as a local gardener, and this should be able to be done through a quick review as it does not change the amount of funding you receive only who administers it.
If you move houses and need to change your address but you want to maintain your in home supports you can also use a light touch review. This is because none of your funding or supports need to be changed.
Light touch reviews can also be used to move funding between sections of your plan, for example from the Capacity Building section to Capital if you have an urgent unexpected assistive technology cost come up.
You won't be able to request an increase in funding using a light touch review. That has to be done through a full plan review - which you can still request at any time.
Light touch reviews also cannot be used to review the decision of the NDIA about what is included in your plan. If you don’t agree with a decision you can apply for, or request, a review of the decision, and take the matter to an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) review if it can’t be resolved.
How to request a light touch review
The easiest way to request a light touch review is to contact the NDIA directly on 1800 800 110 and talk to the operators about the small changes you want to make and whether they can be done without a full plan review.
Your support coordinators can also contact the NDIA on your behalf, if you ask them to, and request for the changes to be made.
If you just want to talk through the light touch review with someone you can contact your Local Area Coordinator for more information.
Have you ever used a light touch plan review? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.