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The Role of NDIS Planners in the Application Process


Updated 04-01-2024

The Role of NDIS Planners in the Application Process

Navigating the intricacies of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be a challenging endeavour for many Australians living with a disability. Central to facilitating a smoother journey through this system is the role of NDIS planners. These professionals play a critical part in ensuring that participants receive the support they need to lead fulfilling and independent lives. In this article, we delve into the responsibilities and impact of NDIS planners during the application process and beyond.

Understanding NDIS Planners

NDIS planners are individuals employed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) who are tasked with assisting potential and current participants of the NDIS. Their primary function is to develop personalised NDIS plans that outline the supports and services required for each participant. This process is conducted with a keen focus on the unique goals, circumstances, and requirements of the individual.

The Initial Planning Meeting

One of the foremost duties of an NDIS planner is to conduct an initial planning meeting with participants. This is a crucial step where participants articulate their goals, discuss their current support systems, and express their aspirations for the future. The NDIS planner will listen intently, asking clarifying questions to comprehend fully the participant’s situation and needs.

Assessing Support Needs

An integral component of the planner's role is to assess the support needs of participants. This involves determining the types of services necessary, such as:

  • Personal care assistance
  • Therapeutic supports
  • Mobility equipment
  • Home modifications
  • Capacity building activities

The NDIS planner must ensure that these supports align with the goals set by the participant while staying within the bounds of what the NDIS considers "reasonable and necessary."

Developing the NDIS Plan

Once the goals and needs are established, the NDIS planner will develop a comprehensive plan to address them. This plan will encompass various funding categories, but not limited to:

  • Core Supports for daily activities
  • Capacity Building for improving skills and independence
  • Capital Supports for significant investments such as equipment or modifications

Each category is tailored to empower participants to maximise their potential while providing the flexibility required to adjust to changing needs.

Plan Approval and Implementation

After formulating the NDIS plan, it is submitted for approval. The NDIS planner plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the final plan is clear and meets the criteria established by the NDIA. Once approved, the planner will aid the participant in understanding how to use their funds and connect them with service providers who can deliver the support outlined in their plan.

Ongoing Support and Plan Review

NDIS planners are not just present at the start but are actively involved in the ongoing journey of participants. They help review the plan regularly to reflect any changes in the participant's circumstances or aspirations. This periodic review allows the participant to provide feedback on services received and adjust their plan to better suit their evolving needs.

The Impact of NDIS Planners

The impact of an NDIS planner cannot be understated. They act as a bridge between the complex world of the NDIS and the participants who benefit from it. By offering support and managing expectations, NDIS planners ensure that participants access the right services to thrive. Their commitment to understanding participant goals and turning them into actionable plans is instrumental in improving the lives of Australians with disabilities.


The role of NDIS planners is integral to the application process and the ongoing success of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Their expertise facilitates not just the creation of plans, but also the empowerment of individuals with disabilities to take charge of their lives with dignity and confidence. As advocates, guides, and partners in the journey, NDIS planners are fundamental in turning the NDIS’s lofty goals into tangible outcomes for those they serve.

About the Author

Alex is an esteemed expert in assistive technology and disability support services, he holds a unique blend of professional expertise and personal dedication to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. With over a decade of experience in research and development, Alex has been at the forefront of integrating cutting-edge assistive technologies into practical support solutions. Renowned for his empathetic approach and strong advocacy for disability rights, Alex’s work extends beyond academic research to hands-on involvement in community initiatives and policy advisory roles. A prolific writer, his articles are widely acclaimed for their insightful analysis, clear communication, and commitment to ethical considerations in technology use.

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