There are hundreds of NDIS providers. They might provide similar services but they’ll each do it in their own particular way. So how do you work out which is the right provider for your needs? How do you spot red flags? What should you ask?
To help you find a provider you trust, we’ve put together a few questions you can use on your search. Here’s what to ask before engaging an NDIS provider.
1. What services do they provide?
Some NDIS providers cover a wide range of different services, meaning you could get all or most of your care from one provider. That might suit you perfectly.
On the other hand, you might want a provider that specialises in a particular thing or provides a rare type of service.
Either way, you need to be clear about the services you’re seeking and about whether you’d like them all from a one-stop-shop provider or from a smaller, more specialised provider.
2. Are they a registered or non-registered provider?
The NDIS is designed to give you choice and control about who provides your services. Some providers have registered with the NDIS meaning they meet government quality and safety standards. There are many other providers who are not registered: and there’s no independent validation of their services.
If the NDIA manages your funds for you, you can only use registered providers. If you manage your own NDIS funds or if you use a plan manager like Instacare, then you can choose from both registered and non-registered NDIS providers.
3. What’s their minimum shift?
This can vary considerably from one provider to another. You might want to receive your services in a 3-hour block or you might prefer to have shorter, more frequent care.
So, find out the minimum shift that each provider offers and consider whether or not that will meet your needs.
4. When are they available?
Some providers may have a wait time before they can commence services. If you’re looking for help with personal care like getting up, showering or going to bed, then you may need a provider that starts early and finishes late. If you’re after a provider for art classes or swimming lessons, then daytime hours may be fine.
5. What do their current clients say about them?
A good provider will know why their clients value them. And that can tell you a lot. Do their clients say they’re professional, reliable, serious? Or friendly, capable and fun? Which things are important to you?
6. Are there any gap fees?
Some providers charge for expenses that NDIS funding does not cover or charge above the capped NDIS rates so it’s always worth finding out if there will be any out-of-pocket costs.
You need to know this upfront, not when the first bill arrives. You might be willing to pay for out-of-pocket expenses or a gap fee for the right service. Alternatively, you may need to rule out all providers that charge out-of-pocket costs, depending on your own circumstances and budget.
7. What qualifications, training or experience do their staff have?
The right answer here depends on the service you’re selecting. You need different things from a driver than from a horse riding instructor, for example.
For a general disability support worker, you might ask if they have:
- Been fully vaccinated against COVID
- A current NDIS worker screening check (also known as a yellow card)
- Completed the NDIS worker orientation module
- A current first aid certificate and manual handling competency certificate
- Previous experience in disability services
- Qualifications such as a Certificate III or IV in aged care, disability, or community services.
8. How do they handle feedback or complaints?
Hopefully, they can show you a policy that outlines how they respond to feedback or complaints. You want to know that, if an issue arises, they’ll listen to your concerns, make any necessary changes and continue supporting you well.
9. What happens if you want to change providers?
Hopefully, you’ll love the provider you choose but it’s worth knowing what happens if you decide you want to make a change.
The NDIS lets you change providers if you’re not happy – after all, this is your life and your care. Whether that’s an easy or difficult process depends on the provider. Some charge a cancellation fee and insist on a notice period. Others are more flexible.
Why choose Instacare?
Instacare simplifies the process of choosing an NDIS provider. When you engage our Support Coordination services, we do the legwork to match your needs and preferences with the right service providers. We know what to ask – and we can often give recommendations on different providers based on experience.
We are also NDIS Plan Managers. Our function is to assist and support participants to manage their NDIS plan funding.
Our plan managed participants’ most favourite benefits include:
- Friendly, responsive and supportive team
- Fast, reliable payments – we pay your providers within 3 business days
- Fast reimbursements – we will reimburse you within 2 business days
- An online portal and mobile app which is the most convenient way to track your NDIS funding and supports
- We keep you informed, with periodic reporting and notifications when invoices are processed
If you’d like help to find the right NDIS provider for your needs, or an experienced plan manager, we’d love to assist you, please contact us.
All information is general in nature.