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NDIS Planning Meetings - how they will change in 2021?

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Door opening to the NDIS with the words independent assessments written on it

Last updated: 23 December 2020

Changes to the NDIS Planning Process

There is much discussion around the changes proposed by the NDIS starting in 2021, we shine a spotlight on what we know so far.

Here is a summary of key changes proposed to the NDIS access and eligibility process:

  1. Planning meetings will still happen. 
  2. You will get a draft plan and draft budget before your planning meeting.  
  3. Your independent assessment will be used to develop your plan
  4. ​Your NDIS planner will be the person who makes the final decision on your plan
  5. The NDIS Plan Review process will remain unchanged

Planning meetings will still happen.

You will have a choice to meet face-to-face or you will be supported to do so virtually through online conversations.

You will get a draft plan before your planning meeting

You will know what your plan might look like and how much funding you will receive before you meet with your planner.

You will have the chance to discuss:

  • the best way to implement your plan to pursue your goals
  • how to use your plan flexibly 
  • when you’d like the NDIS to check-in with you

We are waiting for clarification in what kind of changes we can expect to the draft plan during the meeting.

Note that your plan will much simpler and easier to use.

There will be only two budget categories:

  1. A fixed budget for specific supports, such as high cost assistive technology, specialist disability accommodation or home modifications,
  2. Your remaining budget which will be flexible

Your independent assessment will be used to develop your plan

It will be a holistic view of your life.  It will consider all the things that have previously been used to build your plan – including your functional capacity, your living arrangements and your family supports.

Your NDIS planner will be the person who makes the final decision on your plan

For those with complex or high needs supports, this will be considered as part of your plan.

The NDIS Plan Review process will remain unchanged

If you think a decision made about you and your plan is wrong, you will still be able to request a review.

The new process will look like this

Steps in the planning process

Where are the Goals?

You might be wondering where goals fit into this new process. As you can see from the diagram above, they do not factor into the draft budget. But participants are still supposed to use their budgets to work towards defined goals.  

We are scratching our heads over this and waiting for more clarification on goals and their role in the new process - especially when they were the centre of the old process!


The NDIA are inviting you to submit your thoughts about these new changes. You can write up a submission in word or even pdf and upload it with your details.

How can I have my say on the planning policy for personalised budgets and plan flexibility?

You can tell us what you think about:

  • how independent assessments will be used to help determine your NDIS budget
  • how you will have more flexibility in your NDIS plan
  • where your funding will be ‘fixed’ (not flexible)
  • how we can better help you to implement your plan
  • how we can best manage the process of making small changes to NDIS plans and checking-in with you on your plan
  • anything else you want to say.

You can make a submission here by 10.00am ADST Tuesday 23 February 2021.



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