A Nominee is a person or organisation you can request to assist you with your NDIS plan.
Applying for the NDIS can be very confusing for anyone but what happens when you finally get a plan? What does it all mean and what can you actually do with it? Understanding the groups of funds within a plan and how they translate into real English can be challenging and a topic for another day, but can someone help you in understanding the NDIS? Is there anyone who can assist in dealing with agency and providers? Well, the short answer is yes.
Your first level of assistance will probably be when you first receive your plan, you may receive some suggestions from your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or planner from the NDIS. They may suggest some local providers who should be able to assist in meeting your goals and they may arrange for service agreements for you.
Secondly a Support Coordinator can arrange the support required to help you meet your goals. They should have a good knowledge of the local disability providers and can suggest and arrange the right providers for you. They should keep in touch over the life of your plan to ensure that you are getting the supports that you need and to help you make changes if required. The third option for assistance is to have a nominee.
What is a Nominee?
A Nominee can help you understand how to make better use of your NDIS plan both now and in the future. A Nominee is someone you nominate to deal with a body (NDIS, Centrelink etc) on your behalf. The NDIS (like Centrelink) offer 2 types of nominee, a plan nominee and a correspondence nominee.
A plan nominee has your authority to enquire, request or change anything about your NDIS plan that you (the participant) can do. They become an extension of you and can do whatever you want them to do.
Like with Centrelink, a correspondence nominee can only request, receive, or provide information for you. They will receive a copy of any letters you get, and they can reply on your behalf or request further information if needed. This can be a good option for someone who wants to make their own decisions but still wants help in understanding letters or any written documents.
Who can be my Nominee?
You can select anyone you want to be your nominee if you feel confident that they will always act in your best interests. The NDIS won’t allow a nominee to be anyone under the age of 18 years, and they can’t be the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), or anyone associated with the NDIA (i.e. an employee or agent etc).
What are the duties of a Nominee?
A nominee has a duty to “always ascertain the wishes of the participant; and act in a manner that promotes the personal and social wellbeing of the participant”. This means they can do anything that the participant would normally do but always allowing the participant to act for themselves if they wish to.
Although a Plan Nominee can have the same decision making power as the participant, their scope of authority can also be limited. A participant can limit a nominee to only act when they are not able to act for themselves (e.g. if in hospital or overseas), but they can also limit the nominee to decisions in certain areas only. This may apply if a participant wants to be able to state their own goals, objectives and aspirations but want assistance in providing the required the supports.
What if I have a Guardian or Power of attorney?
Some people may have a power of attorney (POA) or a court appointed Guardian who looks after their affairs. These powers allow the appointed person to act on your behalf for most things but not with a Government department (who like to make their own rules). An NDIS participant can request anyone they like (see conditions above) to be their nominee but if you already have a Guardian or a Power of Attorney the agency will consult with them about your nomination and the NDIA may nominate your guardian or POA to be your nominee.
How long is a Nominee appointed for?
A nominee can ongoing so that it continues on to each future plan. They can also be for a set period of time (e.g. 12 months) or until a certain event (such as a participant’s 30th birthday for example). Any limits on the nomination are at the request of the participant when appointing the nominee.
Can I change my NDIS Nominee?
Yes, you change nominee or even add a nominee at any time throughout the plan. If you have more than one nominee, either can act on your behalf or you can nominate each to only act in certain areas of your plan. The choice is yours.
Can the NDIA change my nominee?
The appointment of a nominee can be reviewed by the NDIA if they feel that your circumstances have changed so that you may no longer need a nominee to act on your behalf or if they feel the nominee is no longer able to fulfil their duties. Both the participant and the nominee will be advised if a review is to be undertaken.
How do I request a Nominee be assigned?
If a participant wants to request a nominee, they should contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm local time) or email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to their NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC). If the participant has a Support Coordinator they can also speak to them to request a nominee be implemented.
If you’ve received a new plan and not sure how to proceed please contact us at OnTime Plan Services on email: email@example.com or phone: 0429 800 482 to find out more.