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WA NDIS Trial - Lower South West

The WA NDIS (formerly called My Way) Trial in the Lower South West region (see map below) commenced on 1st July 2014. WA NDIS is due to expand to Upper South West on 1st July 2018.

  • Do you want to know more about WA NDIS?
  • Are you unsure about what to include in your WA NDIS Plan?
  • Do you have a problem with your WA NDIS Plan?

SWAN CAN HELP! Please contact us on 0499 819 038 or email info@swanautism.org.au for independent information, support and advocacy about WA NDIS processes and planning.

What is WA NDIS?

WA NDIS (formerly called My Way) is a model of supporting people with disability to exercise more choice and control over their supports and services. This includes participating in the local community and building on natural supports such as friendships, neighbours and local community groups.WA NDIS is the Western Australian version of the federal National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). WA NDIS focuses on building strong partnerships between the government and the community sector and maintaining close connections with mainstream supports and services. View the WA NDIS Brochure.

Disability Services Commission have provided personal stories of people supported by WA NDIS on youtube. Thank you to those people who shared their stories.

Disability Services Commission have also provided a fact sheet on the WA NDIS trial in the Lower South West. You can view it here. See the WA NDIS Frequently Asked Questions.

Am I Eligible?

The WA NDIS Trial is being held in the Lower South West region (please see map below). WA NDIS will rollout to Upper South West on 1st July 2018. To be eligilble, you must reside in this area and have a disability or a family member with a disability. If you or your child have a formal diagnosis of Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, PDDnos (Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified), the person diagnosed is eligible for registration with Disability Services Commission (DSC). Disability Services Commission provide an online self-check quiz to assess your eligibility for the WA NDIS. You can access the online eligibility quiz here. If you live in the Lower South West Region and have any type of disability or care for someone with any type of disability (including psycho-social disability / mental illness), you can also contact your local Lower South West Disability Services Commission office here. You can contact your local Upper South West Disability Services Commission office here. To register with Disability Services Commission to access WA NDIS, you will need to provide:

  • Formal diagnostic report
  • Proof of identity (birth certificate or passport)
  • Proof of residence (eg. electricity bill in name of adult with disability or parent / carer for child with disability)

Map of Lower South West My Way Trial Site

How will a WA NDIS Plan support me / the person I care for?

Planning is central to WA NDIS. The planning process enables people with disability, their families and carers to consider the possibilities of how they might like their life to look, both now and into the future. Local Coordinators can assist you to develop your plan. They can provide advice about available opportunities and help you figure out how best to achieve the goals identified in your plan. You are central to this process and can choose to take full control of your own plan, or you may choose to have a disability service provider manage all or some of your supports and services. Disability Services Commission have produced a fact sheet describing the benefits of a developing a WA NDIS Plan. You can view the fact sheet here.

What is the process of WA NDIS?

Each WA NDIS Plan is unique to the individual with disability and their family. Your WA NDIS Plan is about supporting you to achieve your individual goals. The process of developing your WA NDIS Plan will look something like this:

WA NDIS Process Pathway Diagram

Disability Services Commission have developed a Guide to Planning in WA NDIS and a Fact Sheet: Individualised Planning. If you need information or support during this process, please contact SWAN. The steps you can expect are:

  1. Register with Disability Services Commission to participate in WA NDIS. If you are already registered with Disability Services Commission, you will be advised by your Local Coordinator when it is time to start WA NDIS Planning (1st July 2018 for Upper South West).
  2. Within 3 weeks you should be advised who your Local Coordinator will be. If you haven't heard within this period, contact your local Disability Services Commission office, or phone 1800 996 214 (Freecall).
  3. Meet with your Local Coordinator. Your Local Coordinator will work with you to develop the WA NDIS Plan. You can choose to have an advocate with you to support you through the process, and this can be anyone you feel comfortable with supporting you.
  4. Complete the Support Needs Assessment with your Local Coordinator. This is a multiple choice questionnaire designed to work out what areas of life the person with disability needs support in. This questionnaire in combination with the person's diagnosis are used by Disability Services Commission to work out which support banding the individual requires - Low, Medium or High. Further details about the Support Needs Assessment can be found in the operational policy here.
  5. Develop a Vision of what type of life the person with disability would like to have.
  6. Write your Story - this is the background information about the person with disability, and can include things like additional diagnoses, family situation, school / work, interests etc.
  7. Identify Goals - what does the person with disability want to achieve in the year ahead? What skills does the person with disability want / need to develop?
  8. Consider Options - how can the goals be achieved?
  9. Develop Strategies - these are the ways you will work toward achieving the Goals in the Plans. It's a good idea to include funded and non-funded goals and strategies, and strategies that are being provided somewhere else. You will also need to choose who will provide the supports (service provider/s) in the WA NDIS Plan, and how the Plan will be managed - by service providers, self-managed or shared management. If you disagree with your Local Coordinator over including a strategy in the WA NDIS Plan, you can request that the strategy be included in the Plan in order to appeal the decision, or you can ask to speak with the Area Manager (your Local Coordinator's supervisor). Remember that the WA NDIS Plan belongs to the person with disability, and that supports included in the Plan must be 'reasonable and necessary'.
  10. Your Local Coordinator will finalise your WA NDIS Plan. Read the final Plan VERY CAREFULLY. Do NOT sign the WA NDIS Plan until you are satisfied with the entire Plan.
  11. Do it! Start using your WA NDIS Plan, and accessing your supports. If you experience problems, contact your Local Coordinator.
  12. About 1-2 months before your WA NDIS Plan is due to end (Most WA NDIS Plans run for 12 months), your Local Coordinator will contact you to Review your Plan. Discuss with your Local Coordinator which strategies worked (and why), which strategies didn't (and why), which Goals were met, and which Goals were not (or need to be included in the Next WA NDIS Plan). Consider what has changed during the course of the WA NDIS Plan, and what is likely to change in the year ahead.
  13. Once the Review is completed, you will work with your Local Coordinator to develop your next WA NDIS Plan. Expect that (for most people), the strategies and funding will change somewhat from year to year. Funding may be less or more each year, depending on the anticipated needs of the person with disability.

What is a Local Coordinator?

Everybody who is eligible for WA NDIS will be allocated a Local Coordinator (LC) by Disability Services Commission (DSC). Local Coordinators are part of a locally-based team and work with no more than 55 people at a time, so they can provide you with highly personalised, flexible and responsive support. A key part of the Local Coordinator role is to work together with you to build and maintain an effective and trustful relationship. This is important because your Local Coordinator will be your main point of contact throughout your WA NDIS journey. Disability Services Commission have developed a fact sheet describing the role of Local Coordinators. You can view the fact sheet here. If you have an issue with your Local Coordinator that cannot be resolved, or disagree over the inclusion of a goal or strategy in your WA NDIS Plan, please contact your your regional office and ask to speak with the Area Manager. The Area Managers supervise Local Coordinators, and can assist with resolving issues.

What is 'reasonable and necessary'?

Reasonable and necessary supports relate to the disability of the individual and meet each of the following criteria:

a) The support will assist the individual to pursue the goals and vision set out in the plan

b) The support will assist the individual to undertake activities that facilitate their social and economic participation

c) The support represents value for money in that the costs of the support are reasonable, relative to both the benefits achieved and the cost of alternative support

d) The support will be, or is likely to be, effective and beneficial for the individual, having regard to current good practice

e) The funding or provision of the support takes account of what it is reasonable to expect families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide

f) The support is most appropriately funded or provided through WA NDIS, and is not more appropriately funded or provided through other service systems:

(i) as part of a universal service obligation (for example, accessible public transport), or

(ii) in accordance with reasonable adjustments required under a law dealing with discrimination on the basis of disability.

In deciding the supports to be funded under the plan, consideration will need to be given to:

  1. the individual's circumstances
  2. the individual needs assessment
  3. how the strategies outlined in the plan contribute to the individual's identified goals
  4. the supports that can be funded in the plan
  5. the supports that cannot be funded in the plan
  6. plan tested against the Reference Package
  7. general considerations, for example whether the strategies in the plan are aligned with WA NDIS principles.

A support will not be funded through WA NDIS if:

a) it is likely to cause harm to the individual or pose a risk to others; or

b) it is not related to the person's disability; or

c) it duplicates other supports provided to the person; or

d) it relates to day-to-day living costs (for example, rent, groceries and utility fees) that are not attributable to a person's disability support needs; or

e) the provision of the support would be contrary to:

(i) a law of the Commonwealth; or

(ii) a law of the State or Territory in which the support would be provided; or

f) a support that consists of income replacement.

For more information about decisions regarding reasonable and necessary supports, see the WA NDIS Operational Policy on Funded Supports - Reasonable and Necessary.

What service providers are available in the Lower South West region?

service providers have registered with Disability Services Commission (called 'endorsed providers') to provide services to people with disabilities and their families in the lower south west region. Many have yet to start service provision in the region. You can search for DSC endorsed service providers and learn more here (click on the webpage link 'Lower South West service provider search' to download an Excel spreadsheet). You or the person you care for are not restricted to being supported by the service providers on this list. You may also choose a private therapy provider or community organisation to support part(s) or all of your WA NDIS Plan. You would need to self-manage or share manage the part of your WA NDIS Plan paying private (or non-endorsed) service providers. You can view the WA NDIS operational policy for managing funding here.

I / my child need therapy services. Can that be included in a WA NDIS Plan?

YES. Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist and Physiotherapist services may be included in WA NDIS Plans. If you are uncertain as to which therapy services you / your child needs, and/or how much of each type of therapy; include a component in your WA NDIS Plan for "Multi-disciplinary" or "Trans-disciplinary" therapy. This will enable you and your therapy provider(s) to work out therapy goals and priorities over the duration of the WA NDIS Plan, with the aim of providing the greatest possible therapeutic benefit to you / your child. Please refer to page 14 of the WA NDIS Pricing Schedule herefor further information about including therapy in your WA NDIS Plan. Therapy can be included in WA NDIS Plans throughout the lifespan. Disability Services Commission have produced A guide to selecting therapy and specialist services which will assist you in making this decision.

What else can I include in my WA NDIS Plan? How much should strategies in a WA NDIS Plan cost?

There is a pricing schedule for WA NDIS Plans, to guide the estimated costs of goals to be included. The pricing schedule provides pricing limits (bandings) for various strategies that may be included in WA NDIS Plans. The pricing limits for therapy are split into three categories, based on the level of support needed. Lower support needs will have a lower pricing limit, and for individuals with high support needs there is a higher pricing limit. Categories included in the pricing schedule are:

  • Accommodation (page 8)
  • Daily Living: Independence, personal care and support (page 9)
  • Communication (page 10)
  • Wellbeing: Recreation, education and employment (page 10)
  • Having a Break: Supporting positive care relationships (page 11)
  • Episodic coordination and planning of support (page 11)
  • Behaviour support and specialist care (page 12)
  • Therapy and specialist support (page 13)

Other important documents with information on pricing and support clusters in WA NDIS:

How do I change or review my WA NDIS Plan?

Individual Plans developed in WA NDIS are reviewed at least once every 12 months to determine whether the plan supports assisted the person to achieve their plan goals. The review is undertaken with the person with disability and any other people they wish to include or otherwise identified person who may have relevant information. You can see the fact sheet on reviewing and appealing decisions here.

A plan review is triggered by one of the following:

1) In accordance with the review date as indicated in the individual's plan being:

  • no longer than 12 months from the plan's endorsement date
  • a period less than 12 months from the plan's endorsement date nominated at that time, as coinciding with anticipated life event points or a set of identified circumstances.

2) As requested by the person or their representative or initiated by the Local Coordinator in response to:

  • change of goals which necessitate a change of plan strategies
  • change of life situation
  • change in funding request
  • change of disability service provider which results in a change of goals, change of strategies or change of funding
  • as a result of plan monitoring activities
  • the funding being used for a completely different purpose or goal than for which it was originally allocated
  • change in status related to eligibility requirements.

You can view the WA NDIS Review of Plans operational policy here. To request a review or appeal a decision, you can contact your Local Coordinator, Area Manager, or fill out the Decision Review/Appeal Request Form and send it to Disability Services Commission.
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What if I have a problem or complaint about my WA NDIS Plan?

WA NDIS supports people with disability, their families and carers to maximise their level of choice and control. This includes the right to request a review of key decisions made by WA NDIS Coordinators. If the person is not happy with the outcome of the internal review process they have the right to request an appeal, overseen by an independent external panel. Disability Services Commission have developed a fact sheet detailing the complaints process for the WA NDIS trial. You can view the fact sheet here.

Alternately you can:

More information:

For further information on the WA NDIS visit:

For further information on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) visit:

To join the social media discussion on disability support in Western Australia visit:

To look at the comparison between the disability support system running in WA (WA NDIS) and the federal version running in the rest of the country (NDIS), visit:

You can also follow SWAN on Facebook or ask to join our closed Facebook group for individuals with autism and their families: