What responsibilities does a Coordinator of Supports have?
A Coordinator of Supports (COS) is responsible for the implementation of all supports in the participant’s plan. This includes informal, mainstream and community, also NDIS funded supports, ensuring service agreements and service bookings are completed. A COS helps to strengthen and enhance the participant’s abilities to coordinate supports and participate in the community.
A COS also makes sure that mainstream services meet their obligations, for example housing, education, justice, and health. The COS provides reports to the NDIA on outcomes and success indicators.
How do I get help from the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is responsible for determining who is eligible to access the NDIS. To allow the NDIA to determine whether you meet the disability access requirement you will need to provide evidence of your disability.
This includes information on what your disability is, how long it will last and how it impacts your life. The first step is to contact the NDIA and ask for an Access Request Form for you to complete to apply for the NDIS.
If the evidence of the disability you provide does not help the NDIA to decide if you are eligible for the NDIS, you will be asked to provide more information. This can delay your application. To help the NDIA make a fast decision it is best to provide clear information about your disability and how it impacts on your daily life.
You can ask your GP or other health professional (e.g. specialist) to complete the Supporting Evidence Form.
How does a Coordinator of Supports help the participant to lead their best life?
A Coordinator of Supports (COS) will assist the participant to strengthen their abilities to coordinate and implement supports and participate more fully in the community. This can include initial assistance with linking the participant with the right providers to meet their needs. A COS will also help the participant to build on their informal supports, resolve issues or points of crisis, and develop resilience in their own network and community. The aim of the COS is to build the capacity of the participant so they have more choice and control over their life, and to become more independent so they can look after their own services and supports longer term.
Is there a timeline in place for supporting the participant?
Every NDIS plan has a start and end date. If Coordination of Supports is funded in your NDIS plan it will say how many hours are funded with the start and end date of the plan. At your yearly plan review meeting, the NDIA Planner will determine if you need ongoing assistance with COS in your next plan.
How long does a plan usually last?
You first NDIS plan normally runs for twelve months. Your first NDIS plan review usually falls twelve months after your plan started. At your first plan review meeting you may be given the option to have a two-year plan.
If your circumstances change significantly during your plan you can apply to have an early plan review. The reasons for an early plan review include, if the impact of your disability on your life has changed, if you have started a new life stage such as school or work, or if there is a significant change in your personal circumstances and/or living arrangements.
If your personal circumstances change significantly and this affects the supports you need from the NDIS, you can ask for a plan review at any time.
Is the Coordinator of Supports involved in reviewing plans?
The Coordinator of Supports (COS) will assist the participant to be ready and prepared for their plan review conducted by the NDIA. The COS will help the participant to determine if they need their new plan with the same supports, a new plan with minor changes to their current supports or require a full plan review. The COS can accompany the participant to plan review meetings as their support person.
Does a Coordinator of Support come at an extra fee?
If coordination of supports is considered to be a reasonable and necessary support, it is funded separately in your NDIS plan. Your plan will show the hours that have been allocated to pay for this support. This funding cannot be used for any other type of support.
How long does it take to get a Coordinator of Supports?
If you prefer a particular support coordination provider, you can request them at the time of your NDIS assessment. Otherwise, you can look up registered support coordination providers using the Provider Finder tool in the NDIS portal ‘myplace’. The Provider Finder will let you search for support coordination providers that are located near you. Every three months the NDIA publishes a list of registered providers in NSW on the NDIS website.
Your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) may also assist you to find and connect with a Coordinator of Supports.
What are the most common questions asked around a Coordinator of Support?
Most questions about coordination of supports will be asked of the Local Area Coordinator (LAC) who conducts the assessment on behalf of the NDIA.
How many hours of COS do I get?
Does the cost of COS come from funding that I could otherwise use for support services?
Can I choose my own COS or change the COS if I am not happy?
The hours of COS are determined by the NDIA Planner based on the answers you provides to questions at the assessment.
COS funding is a separate funding stream in your NDIS plan and cannot be used for any other support type.
You can choose any Coordinator of Supports provided they are registered for the NDIS. You can change you COS if you are not satisfied with them.
How are supports and services sourced?
Registered providers of supports and services can be found using the Provider Finder tool in the NDIS portal ‘myplace’. The Provider Finder will let you search for any support type that is located near you. Your COS will assist you to negative this tool. Every three months the NDIA publishes a list of registered providers in NSW on the NDIS website.
Why do I need a coordinator of support if I intend to manage my own plan?
The decision for a plan to be self-managed, plan-managed or NDIA-managed has no effect on funding support coordination. Funding support coordination is separate and decided by what is considered reasonable and necessary.