Step 2

Local Area Coordination

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Local Area Coordination (LAC) and their Coordinators (LACs) have been set up by the National Disability Insurance Agency to help deliver the NDIS in local communities. They help both people who are eligible and ineligible for NDIS funded services and supports.

Local Area Coordinators are the public face of the NDIS in the community. They are local workers whose organisations (known as ‘National Disability Insurance Agency community partners’) are contracted by the National Disability Insurance Agency to deliver the NDIS in communities like yours.

  • These are the workers you will speak with most often about the NDIS. They work in accordance with the NDIS Act and National Disability Insurance Agency work practices
  • They will guide you and help you as you move from stage to stage on your NDIS journey.
The NDIS Act 2013

The NDIS Act 2013 is legislation that established the NDIS (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2013A00020) as well as the National Disability Insurance Agency. Being aware of the requirements of the Act can be helpful in navigating the NDIS.

Some of the things the act sets out are:

  • The objects and principles under which the NDIS will operate
  • How a person can become a participant in the NDIS
  • How a participant’s individual, goal-based plan is prepared and reviewed, including how the National Disability Insurance Agency approves the funding of reasonable and necessary supports
  • How a provider can become a registered provider of supports
  • The governance arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Agency, including its CEO, Board, Independent Advisory Council, and Actuaries
  • A process for internal and external review of certain decisions made under the NDIS Act.

How can Local Area Coordinators support me?

The Local Area Coordinators (LACs) have three main responsibilities; they will:

  • Link you to the NDIS and help you to:
    • understand and access the NDIS, and
    • if you become a funded participant
      • help you create your first plan
      • identify if you need additional help with your NDIS plan such as support coordination
      • review your plan and set new goals if required
  • Help link you to information and support in your community (whether you become a funded participant or not).
  • Work with the local community to make sure it is more welcoming and inclusive for people with a disability.

The National Disability Insurance Agency’s Local Area Coordination community partner organisations are located all around Australia and arrangements can vary depending on the NDIS agreements between State, Territory and Commonwealth governments. A list of their offices is included in the National Disability Insurance Agency office list. In Step 2 of your reimagine.today workbook you can make a note of your local National Disability Insurance Agency and Local Area Coordinator’s office.

Everyone’s experiences are unique and your experience with the NDIS will be distinctly yours. This experience will include your Local Area Coordination partner and other community organisations along with the National Disability Insurance Agency.

If you currently receive a state/territory funded specialist disability service, or receive supports through a Commonwealth funded mental health program, a Local Area Coordinator may contact you by phone, post or email to help you transition to the NDIS. The Commonwealth Mental Health programs include:

  • Personal Helpers and Mentors Service (PHaMS)
  • Partners in Recovery (PIR),
  • Day to Day Living (D2DL) Program
  • Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS)

The Local Area Coordinator will also work with your family/carers and support workers but only if you want them to and give your permission.

Please understand that Local Area Coordinators do not decide whether you are eligible for the NDIS or the level of funding you may be eligible for. This is done by the National Disability Insurance Agency’s National Access Team and also Planning and Support Coordinators.

Useful link

Local Area Coordination [Website]

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The reimagine.today workbook can help you prepare for the NDIS