What Actually Is Choice and Control?

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What Actually Is Choice + Control?

Written by: Mekayla Lambert l NDIS Plan Management Team


One of the questions that we are asked every day without fail in Canny Plan Management is:

What is choice and control?

One of the main focuses of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is to give you, the NDIS Participant, the choice and the control over the supports that you receive and how you achieve the goals that are set out in your NDIS Plan.  When you hear the term “choice and control” – put simply, it means that you have the freedom to use your NDIS Plan, the way in which you see fit!

Why Is There A Need for Choice and Control?

Choice and control is a key element of the National Disability Insurance Scheme with the goal to empower NDIS Participants to lead more independent lives.  Choice and control ensures that NDIS Participants maintain their right to choose, when, where, how and with whom they work with to achieve their goals.

Maintaining your right to choice and control ensures that you are receiving the best supports for your needs at all times, this supports and empowers you, the NDIS Participant, to achieve your goals that are in your NDIS Plan, your way and ensures that you maintain your right to dignity and respect.

How Can I Use Choice and Control?

You can exercise your choice and control by learning and understanding how your NDIS Funding can be used and as well, deciding how it can be best spent.

From who delivers your supports, to how your NDIS Plan is managed – choice and control is intended to empower you by supporting your right to choose!  Right from the time of your NDIS Planning Meeting, you have the right to choose.  Do you think that your NDIS Plan would be best managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency?  Would you like your NDIS Plan managed to give you more flexibility of providers?  Or, do you think that your NDIS Plan would be best utilised if you were able to manage it yourself?

This also means that you not only have the choice over the supports that you receive but also how your supports are delivered to you and how you want to work towards achieving the goals set out in your NDIS Plan.

As an NDIS Participant on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, choice and control means that you have the right to:

  • Choose who delivers your supports and how they do this;
  • Not use a provider if you feel that they are not acting in your best interests;
  • Ask if a provider has a conflict of interest;
  • Do not feel pressured to buy services or supports that you don’t want or don’t need;
  • Pay for supports at a fair and reasonable rate; and
  • Decide what personal information you give to a provider so they can deliver the supports.

If you need help exercising your choice and control you can ask a friend, a family member, a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or an Advocate.

Who Can Use Choice and Control + When Can It Be Used?

Choice and control is there for you, the NDIS Participant, however, the National Disability Insurance Scheme has rules around choice and control.  These rules include that if you are under 18 years of age or have a guardian, your parent or guardian needs to be involved in the decision-making process.

Exercising your right to choice and control also depends on the supports being provided and if they are meeting the reasonable and necessary criteria.

Want to know more about reasonable and necessary?  Check out this previous article we put together: What Actually Is Reasonable and Necessary?

Your responsibilities when exercising your choice and control include:

  • Ensuring that supports are within the supports that the National Disability Insurance Scheme does fund and keeping clear of the supports that the NDIS does not fund;
  • Ensuring supports are directly related to your funded disability and align with your NDIS Plan;
  • Supports must not be covered or delivered by another service system or organisation, for example, Medicare;
  • If you are self-managing the funds in your NDIS Plan, you will need to keep evidence of what you are spending your NDIS Funds on.

Remember, if you are unhappy with any of the supports that you are receiving, you can take steps to make the necessary changes.  This includes, if your NDIS Plan is not working for you and your needs, you are entitled to request an NDIS Plan Review.

When you have a concern about the supports that are being delivered, you can take the following steps to resolve your concerns:

  • Talk to the provider, if you feel that you can do this;
  • If you feel that you can’t talk to them or if they don’t help you with your concern, talk to someone you trust, they may be able to support you;
  • If you can’t find a solution, you may want to make a complaint.  To do this you can:

Canny Plan Management, Your NDIS Plan + Your Choice and Control!

The National Disability Insurance Scheme can be overwhelming!  If you are in doubt about when your choice and control comes into play, what it actually means and how to be able to ensure that you are given the right opportunities for you, the NDIS Participant to exercise your rights to choice and control, Canny Plan Management can help.

Canny Plan Management has a team of NDIS Plan Managers that are available to discuss the definitions and the use of choice and control as well as provide the applicable National Disability Insurance Agency information to our clients and to you, to help you make an informed decision.

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you and how we can form part of your support network to ensure that your supports are supporting you!

Pictured, Mekayla Lambert standing next to an orange circle, wearing a black short sleeve top and tweet colour pants.

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