Questions to ask your Local Area Coordinator

Questions to ask your Local Area Coordinator

For many people, Local Area Coordinators (LACs) are the main point of contact for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). When you first connect with the NDIS or when your plan is up for renewal, the LAC will work with you to determine your goals as well as what supports you need and would like to meet those goals.

To help you get the best support through the NDIS and make the most of your funding, here are some questions you can ask your LAC in preparation of and during your planning meeting.

Key Points 

  • Navigating your disability support options, particularly when accessing support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be challenging

  • Planning meetings with your Local Area Coordinators (LACs) help build a plan that’s right for you

  • It’s normal to have a few questions around the NDIS, so come to your planning meeting prepared with a few of the examples listed below

How do I set my goals?

Establishing what goals you want to achieve is vital in the NDIS process. Your goals determine what support and funding you receive, and your LAC will be able to support you in identifying and setting these goals. You can include a total of seven goals in your plan and will be asked to think of a number of short-term and a few medium to long-term goals to work towards. 

What supports can I access through the NDIS?

LACs have a broad range of knowledge about the different types of support offered under the NDIS. You can highlight any areas of difficulty to your LAC and where your goals may lie. For example, you may be specifically looking for transport assistance, personal care or help finding a job. Your LAC can explain what support options are available to you to help you reach your goals to independence.

What do I need to prepare for my NDIS plan?

There are many steps when it comes to receiving support through the NDIS. Your LAC will help you prepare for an NDIS plan by explaining the process and what information you need to gather for your planning meeting. They will help you with compiling the relevant documents, assist with setting your personal goals and by filling out the paperwork to lodge the plan. 

Can the LAC assist me in engaging and participating in my community?

Your LAC works within your local community to make it more accessible and inclusive for people with disability. If you wish to participate in your community through recreation, sport and social activities for example, your LAC can give you information about what options are available near you and how you can get involved.

What does “reasonable and necessary” mean?

“Reasonable and necessary” is mentioned often in NDIS information when it comes to funding. Your LAC will be able to explain to you what this means and provide real-life examples to reflect your situation and disability needs.

What happens after my plan has been lodged?

You might wonder what becomes of all your hard work once your plan is lodged and your LAC will be able to tell you what happens next. They will give you a rough indication of when you can expect an outcome from the NDIA and will meet with you again once your plan comes back to explain how you can spend your funding.

How long should I expect to wait for my plan?

Your LAC will be able to give you a rough estimate of when you can expect your NDIS plan. 

How does the NDIA decide on how much funding I receive?

There is a process between your planning meeting and when you receive your NDIS plan when the NDIA considers how much funding you should be allocated. Your LAC can explain to you how they make this decision.

What do I do if I am not happy about my plan and funding?

If you aren’t happy with your NDIS plan, your LAC can let you know what steps you can take and can help you on your way. 

Can you help me appeal or review my plan?

Your first NDIS plan may not adequately support your needs. For example, you may be missing an essential support or you may believe you have not been allocated enough funding to meet your needs. Your LAC may be able to help you appeal your plan. Your LAC may also be able to help you establish any ‘gaps’ in your plan and put these into a statement for the National Disability Insurance Agency to consider.

How often will my plan be reassessed?

Once you receive your plan you can ask for a review or wait a certain period until your NDIS plan is reassessed. Your LAC can let you know when this would be. 

How do I find a service provider to deliver my NDIS supports?

Finding a service provider to deliver the supports highlighted in your NDIS plan can be an overwhelming process. You can ask your LAC for helpful tips, advice and recommendations as you navigate this minefield.

You can search and compare disability service providers at DisabilitySupportGuide.com.au or in our Disability Support Guide printed publications. Visit dpsshop.com.au or call 1300 186 688 to order your copy.

What would be the best way to manage my plan?

If you wish to, you can have your NDIS plan managed by the NDIA or through a plan manager or through an agency; you can self-manage your own plan, or you can have a combination of both. 

For more information on the various options you have for managing your NDIS funds, read our information guides here.

What is the difference between NDIS registered and unregistered providers and why does this matter?

Your LAC can explain the difference between these and what impact the management of your plan has on which ones you can use, so you are informed when it comes to making your decision on a service provider. 

I have a different question about the NDIS

Your LAC is your main point of contact for the NDIS. They have a wealth of knowledge and should be able to answer most, if not all, of your questions surrounding the NDIS and your plan. 

To find out more about LACs, what they do and how they can help you, you can read our Local Area Coordinator explainer.

How has your Local Area Coordinator helped you on your NDIS journey? Let us know in the comments below!

Related Content 

Local Area Coordinators (LACs) explained

How to manage your NDIS funds 

What support can I get?

What is NDIS support coordination and how can it help me?