Updated: Feb 28
With NDIS, planning and then actioning has always been very crucial, especially when you are preparing for your next NDIS plan review. Before your plan review meeting, you may be constantly engaging and brainstorming with your family and/or support coordinator, for your future life goals to be added to your new NDIS plan.
This is when you must consider thinking about your work goals as well, so that they can be discussed during your plan review meeting.
Whether you wish to continue working long term, learn new skills, or develop strategies for further professional progress, achieving your employment goals is not difficult with the right NDIS plan.
Every Individual has different goals in life and you may wish to choose type of employment you like. NDIS provides you total flexibility and control, allowing you to tailor your NDIS plan based on your needs, as long as it fits the reasonable and necessary criteria. So, let’s discuss what does it look like when it comes to supports that can be funded within your NDIS plan potentially enabling you to achieve your work-related goals in life.
A list of support categories below can be added to your NDIS plan, to help you find the ideal Job or maintain your existing Job.
1. Support coordination (Category Code – 07)
If you have reasonable size plan and a certain level of funding, make sure that your NDIS plan includes support coordination. Support coordinator can work alongside you to connect to the right services helping you achieve your NDIS plan goals.
NDIA’s view of funding Support coordination in a plan is to get you the needed assistance to coordinate the supports in your plan. A support coordinator must help build your independence, explore options and may connect you to someone who can assist with your employment venture.
2. Supported employment (Category Code – 10)
If you have supported employment funded, it may appear in your plan as ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’. If you have this category funded in your NDIS plan, it may help you by speaking to a right provider who can then work with you to explore what an Ideal Job looks like for you and assist you find the right Job.
Based on the skills required for the Job you are willing to acquire, this option is most helpful for individuals looking for professional or personal growth required for your existing Job or build skills for future new jobs. Also, people with disabilities who love their jobs and yet want to learn new tasks can speak to their support provider for guidance on the kind of skills they can learn.
3. Improved Daily Living Skills (Category Code – 15)
‘Improved Daily Living Skills’ if funded within your plan may assist you undertake assessments conducted by a certified occupational therapist. This support can help you ensure that the kind of skills you want to learn is best suited for you and your long-term needs based on your disability.
After your assessment, it may further encourage you to explore other employment options including the amount of assistance required at your new work place.
4. Improved Relationships (Category Coe – 11)
With Improved Relationships under the ‘Specialist Behaviour Intervention Support’ category, it can help people with disabilities having a behaviour support plan developed which aims at providing positive behaviour support strategies. This helps so that any behaviour of concern can be eliminated completely or reduced and thus bringing positivity and improvement in your work or daily living. For participants who are working either under open or assisted labour market, this category can also help learn strategies for behavioural issues thereby improving work relationships.
Furthermore, Improved Relationships in the ‘Individual Social Skills Development’ category can help individuals develop social skills for participation in community and social activity, which may help participant make new friends, communicate and interact better and build strong personal relationships.
Once you have received a plan that is packed with right supports to get you started on your employment journey, sit down with your support coordinator and/or family and breakdown your plan to ensure how are you going to use paid supports for your personal and work related needs.
We have also seen a lot of confusion amongst participants and families about types of employment supports available to people with disability and who funds what. There are three types of support that exist for people with disabilites employment support needs -
1. DES (Disability Employment Services) – DES is run by the Australian Government and is not an NDIS support. DES helps people with disability find and keep jobs. DES is for those who have a disability, injury or health condition and are aged at least 14 but have not yet attained the Age Pension qualifying age.
2. ADE (Australian Disability Enterprises) – These are the Supported employment providers having the facility and act as a link to help gain people with disabilities the training and experience to explore open market opportunities down the line or to continue working in supported employment if chosen. ADE’s are suitable for people with disabilities having moderate to high needs.
3. NDIS – NDIS can fund you if you are willing to work less than 8 hours per week – NDIS funding can help you with finding a suitable work and supports you may require at your work to accomplish your work in a day-to-day routine.
The chart below (From DSC Consulting) is a really good visual presentation to who funds what -
What can the NDIS fund when it comes to finding and keeping a Job?
NDIS funding can help you with things such as –
Assistance in overcoming employment barriers;
counselling to successfully engage in employment;
resume writing assistance; and
support before and during a job interview.
If you are not sure where to start, it is important to do some homework and try to answer few simple questions below. Answering these questions may give you more idea of what you currently have as skills and where you wish to go in terms of your work life. It can be a good starting point and can form a starting point to be discussed with NDIS planner, LAC or support coordinator to put thoughts in to action.
Do you already have skills, qualifications or work experience in a specific field?
Are you looking to develop a new skill? And what areas are of interest to you?
Do you have any hobbies, that may lead you in to a Job opportunity or a business venture?
Are you able to travel on your own, or with assistance to the place of your work? If not, what supports you may need to reach to your place of destination.
How can we support you for finding and keeping Job?
Before the job
Resume/ cover letter writing
Extra assistance in the workplace
Finding the right workplace for you
Work experience/ Volunteering
Hands on experience
Support in the workplace
Specific skill development
Placements in industry of choice
How to keep a job
Work place expectations
How to become part of the workplace team
Dealing with workplace feedback and discipline
Working with different personalities
What employers want
HR – Tax file number, pay-slips, rosters, super and wages
It’s important to remember that finding the right job for you can take time, especially if you’re not entirely certain about the field you would like to explore. Participation in some kind of volunteer activity can be a great opportunity to gain more insight into finding the right job or to develop a new skill while you search for work.