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  • FAQ
  • NDIS
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You have questions?

We have answers.

Why choose Great Mates?

At Great Mates, we’re here to support you for life. All of our services — from employment opportunities to living skills development and accommodation — are designed to support you to live your most fulfilling life. Our team is made up of a group of passionate and caring individuals committed to putting your goals, interests and needs at the heart of everything we do.

How do I contact you?

You can email us, give us a call on 1300 333 900 or find us on social media. However you reach us, we’re looking forward to the chat!

What disability support services does Great Mates offer?

We offer several tailored programs and services to meet your needs and goals. Whether you’re looking for accommodation, interested in finding a job, learning a new skill or even starting on your NDIS journey, the team at Great Mates can help. 

What is the NDIS price guide?

The NDIA sets price limits for some supports to ensure they provide value for money for participants. Every year, they release a new price guide to ensure you always have the most up to date information and price expectations are consistent with the cost of living.

How do I use the NDIS price guide for services?

You can refer to the NDIS price guide to check that you’re paying a reasonable amount for a particular service. The NDIS sets maximum limits a provider can charge to protect you and ensure you get value for money in the services you pay for.

Do I have to pay the prices shown in the NDIS price guide?

The NDIS sets maximum limits for the amounts providers can charge for their services, so you can think of that as a benchmark. To make the most of your support funding, you can negotiate lower prices with providers for services you’re interested in.

How do I know if I have funding for something in my plan?

Everything you have support for will be listed in your plan in the ‘funded supports’ section. There are three main funding categories, and depending on your needs, you may not have all categories funded in your plan. The three main funding categories are:
  • Core Support — This is help with everyday activities. 
  • Capacity Building Supports — This is any activity that helps you to build your independence, develop skills or learn new ones. 
  • Capital Supports — This is funding for higher-cost pieces of assistive technology, equipment and home or vehicle modifications (including one-off purchases you may need). 
If you’re ever confused about what is and isn’t available to you on your plan, you can always give us a call, and we can go through your plan together!

What is an NDIS plan?

Your NDIS plan is a document that lists the disability supports and services you require to meet your needs and achieve your goals. Your plan will also include information about your funded support.  That section will tell you what funding you’ve been allocated across the support categories and what the funding is for. Your NDIS plan is tailored specifically to you, and it will change over time as your needs do, so you’ll always have a plan that works for your life.

What’s the difference between the NDIA and the NDIS?

You’ve probably heard both terms used a lot, and they are related to each other, so it can quickly get confusing!  The NDIA (which stands for the National Disability Insurance Agency) is responsible for implementing the NDIS (the National Disability Insurance Scheme). The NDIS is the system that provides the funding for disability supports, so that’s why you’ll have more to do with officers from the NDIS.

How do I prepare for my NDIS planning meeting?

The NDIS has a booklet (Booklet 2 — Planning) on their website, which you should fill out and bring along to your meeting.  It can seem overwhelming to answer many questions, but every answer you can provide helps create an NDIS plan that works best for you. You’ll also need to bring some documents with you, like proof of identity, bank account details and any NDIS paperwork you already have. Your NDIA planner will ask you about you and your life during your meeting, so be prepared to answer questions about:
  •  your current living situation
  • the kind of transport you use to get around
  • your employment status
  • your education
  • your hobbies and interests.

The NDIS uses words like ‘reasonable’ and ‘necessary’ a lot. What does that mean?

“Reasonable” and “necessary” are part of the funding criteria for the NDIS —that’s why you’ll hear them a lot in your planning meeting!  The aim of your NDIS plan is to provide you with the reasonable and necessary support to help you live an ordinary life.  In order to be considered reasonable and necessary, a support or service:
  • must be related to your disability
  • must not include day-to-day living costs not related to your disability support needs, such as groceries
  • should represent value for money
  • must be likely to be effective and work for you, and
  • should take into account support given to you by other government services, your family, carers, networks and the community.

What costs won’t be funded through my NDIS plan?

Your NDIS plan won’t cover your rent/board or lodging or usual living expenses that are unrelated to your disability, like food and electricity and costs of study or school.

What’s the maximum funding I can receive?

There’s no limit to the funding you can receive in your NDIS plan, as it’s tailored to your specific needs. When you get your plan, it will outline the funding you have and we go from there!

What is Short-term Accommodation and Assistance (STAA)?

Short-term accommodation is funding in your plan for support and accommodation for a short time away from your usual home. It covers the cost of your care in another place for up to 14 days at a time.

How do you get STAA funding in your plan?

Like all things in the NDIS, you’ll only receive funding for STAA in your plan if it’s deemed reasonable and necessary for you. But don’t worry! If your plan doesn’t mention STAA, you can still choose to use your core budget for this support as long as it assists with meeting your goals.

What are my options for STAA?

At Great Mates, we have beautiful homes throughout South East Queensland that are perfect for your short-term stays. Only a short drive from great parks and stunning beaches, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to rest and relax. If the idea of this tickles your fancy, chat with us to get started!

What are the benefits of STAA?

There are so many benefits! Getting away from home for a bit gives you the opportunity to:

  • meet new people and try new things
  • enjoy a change of scenery
  • step outside your comfort zone
  • de-stress and recharge
  • increase your independence.

It also means you get a break from your routine and your informal carers (like your family and mates) get some time for themselves.  We know that taking a break can be beneficial for you and your support network because some time to refresh and relax helps maintain positive relationships. It also means you’ll have something new to chat about when you see each other again!

What is an Individualised Living Option (ILO) on the NDIS?

An ILO is an NDIS support package that lets you choose the home you live in and gives you the support you need to live there. It’s a very personalised and detailed home and living support option. You can work out how you want to live, where you live and who you live with — there are lots of choices with ILO. At Great Mates, we specialise in setting ILOs, so if you’d like to chat further, make sure you get in touch with us.

What happens once ILO is set up?

As your provider, we can set up your supports and make sure your ILO supports are paid.  Like every other part of your plan, we’ll monitor and review your arrangements with you regularly to make sure that you’re getting the support you need.  When we check-in, we’ll ask you things like:

  • Can you do what you’d like at home?
  • Are you still happy with your living arrangement?
  • Are there any problems with the people you live with?
  • Have your needs or goals changed, and is there anything you’d like to change?

What’s the ILO process?

The process to determine whether you’re eligible for ILO happens in two stages.

Stage 1: Exploration and Design

This stage is all about working out what you need and want. It also gives the NDIS information to help them find the reasonable and necessary support you’ll need. This funding lets you to choose a support provider (like us!) to work with you, your family and your mates to help figure out where you want to live and how you’d like to be supported.

Everyone has ideas about what makes a safe and happy home, so you must be the one making the decisions — this is your home, after all!

Stage 2: ILO Supports

At this stage the NDIS will use all the information you’ve shared with them to decide what ILO supports meet your support needs.

How do I know whether an ILO is right for me?

There are many different home and living support options available to people on the NDIS, but an ILO might be right for you if:

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you need help at home for at least 6 hours each day
  • you’re ready to explore your home and living needs, what you’d like, and are ready to look into potential options
  • you’re willing to invest time and effort towards creating your future home
  • your family or mates might be part of your ILO support.

What is Supported Independent Living (SIL)?

SIL provides all the help or supervision with daily tasks you need to develop skills so you can live as independently as possible. You can receive this support living on your own or in a shared accommodation arrangement. With SIL, you can get support on:
  • Domestic duties, including cooking, cleaning and laundry
  • Shopping for groceries, budgeting and money management
  • Arranging transport to visit your family and friends and other social activities
  • Personal care, showering and dressing
  • Creating and maintaining a routine, and learning new skills.

What do I need to do before I can Live with Great Mates?

If you’re approved for SIL in your NDIS plan, we’ll need to check a few things before you can move. Like with any shared living arrangement, you’ll need to be compatible with your potential housemates. Plus, with SIL housing, your support team will also need to consider: whether the housemate to support worker ratio is right whether an Occupational Therapist has approved the house.

How does SIL funding work?

If approved, SIL funding will be part of your plan, but it doesn’t have a dollar amount assigned. So, you’ll work with your Support Coordinator and provider to determine how much support you need. Since SIL is typically used in shared living arrangements for people with high support needs, your provider (that’s us!) will create a quote for everyone living in the home. The program is funded individually, but you may be living with others who have similar needs to you, so the provided support can be shared amongst everyone living in the home. The NDIS will cover reasonable and necessary costs of SIL, so you’ll  never be out of pocket for SIL support.

Where can SIL funding be used?

Lots of places! SIL funding can be used in Special Disability Accommodation, or a private rental, your own house, housing through the Department of Housing or shared accommodation.

Will my NDIS plan pay for my rent?

No, your NDIS plan funding can pay for support you receive in your home but not for your home itself. You’re responsible for day-to-day living costs, including rent, groceries, utilities, telephone or internet costs. However, Great Mates does subsidise all accommodation support models. The amount will depend on how much support we provide and the type of accommodation you’ll be living in.

How soon can I move in?

Once we’ve gone through the process and found the perfect place for you, your move-in date can be set fairly quickly. It’s really up to you to determine when you’ll need to move and how long it will take you to get ready.

How does the NDIS decide what kind of accommodation I get?

If you have a goal related to home and living supports that can’t be achieved through mainstream, informal or community support, then you can complete a Home and Living support application formThe NDIA will review the information you provide in this form (and any other supporting documentation provided) and identify appropriate home and living supports that might assist you to work towards your goals. Depending on what’s included in your NDIS plan, we’ll then work with you to find accommodation that suits you. We want you to achieve your dreams, whether you’re hoping to live alone with support or with others in a shared house.

Who needs home and living support?

Like everything on the NDIS, home and living supports are determined by your individual needs and lifestyle. However, you may be eligible for home and living support as part of your NDIS plan if:
  • your home or living arrangement isn’t suitable for your disability-related needs
  • you have restricted or limited mobility and have trouble with day to day activities
  • you need a specialist home and living solution to be able to receive the care that you need
  • your quality of life would be significantly improved by moving to alternative accommodation or by receiving additional support
  • you’re currently in temporary accommodation or somewhere unsafe or unsuitable for your disability-related needs. 

Can I make friends in these classes?

Of course! Meeting other people is a huge part of our classes. Classes are generally capped at ten people, and you’ll see them every week during term time, so there are plenty of opportunities to meet, chat and mingle. Building bonds together is important to us at Great Mates so we hope you’ll love the classes as much as we love running them!

Can my support person join me?

At our classes and activities, we’ll have the Great Mates support team there to help out and provide support to you in a group. If you have high needs and would like to bring your support person with you, that’s fine! Let us know of any concerns when you register for the class or activity, and we can figure out a plan because it’s important you are comfortable.

How do I pay for the classes?

Generally, funding for the classes will be claimed from the ‘developing life skills’ budget of your NDIS plan and the cost factors in anything that you may need for the class (though we generally supply everything). That means no out of pocket expenses for you! 

What kinds of activities can I learn how to do?

At Great Mates, we believe that you should be in charge of your future, so all our activities are aimed at helping you improve your confidence and independence so you can live the life you want. At the moment, we’ve got classes to help you learn how to cook, recycle, get out and about with public transport and learn about handling money. We’re always adding more activities so keep an eye on this space!

Can you help me find a job?

We’d love to! First, you’ll need funding for employment support in your NDIS plan to be able to pursue supported employment, but if you’ve got that sorted we can get started! Chat with us today!

What kind of jobs can I do?

There are all kinds of jobs you can get at Great Mates as a supported employee! Our initiatives give you the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and enjoy the sense of accomplishment from a job well done. You can read more about our Supported Employment here or give us a call, and we can chat about what kind of job might be best for you.

How many hours a week do I have to work?

There are no set rules, and every job will be different. You won’t need to work more than you can handle — supported employment might mean you work for a few days a week, or it could mean a few hours a day if you want. Either way, you’ll make some new mates, learn new skills and grow in confidence!

What if I’m not ready to work yet?

That’s totally fine! If working sounds like something you’d like to do, but you don’t feel ready to take it on right now, you can still start the conversation with your Local Area Coordinator, Support Coordinator or your NDIS Planner. There are some things you can do to prep for work in the future, including setting goals for what you’d like to accomplish in your work life.  This could be: 
  • a goal to get a part-time job in 6 months
  • to start researching the kinds of jobs you’d like to do, or
  • talking with people already in those jobs and learning how they adjusted to working life.

Will my plan pay for travel?

While the NDIS won’t pay for your holiday, they may help fund additional support that you’ll need on your trip because of your disability (if it’s deemed reasonable and necessary). You may receive this support through your plan if it’s been budgeted for.

If I want to go overseas, is there anything extra I need to do?

If you’ll be out of the country for your trip, it’s a good idea to let the NDIS know so they can make any necessary changes to your plan while you are away. This might mean they adjust the supports you receive — because you won’t be home to use them!

Planning a holiday sounds overwhelming — where do I start?

As the old saying goes, preparation is key. While prep work isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, planning and research is half the fun when we’re talking about holidays or trips! Start by thinking about where you want to go, and write down a list of the places and the sorts of things you want to do while you’re there. Then, start Googling!  Read some reviews, and once you’ve got an idea about where you want to go, be sure to explain what your needs are when making your bookings.  You want to make sure the places you choose are aware of your needs and can accommodate you.

Can my support worker or family and mates come with me?

If you need assistance, you might choose to have a Support Worker come along with you, who can help you out while you’re away. If that happens, we have options available to cover the costs of their travel.

Your family and mates can absolutely go with you on holiday! It’s the perfect opportunity to have fun and make some wonderful memories together — who’d want to turn that down?

Are there any limits on where I can go?

Nope! Obviously, any trips the team at Great Mates have planned will have specific destinations in mind, but if you have a holiday destination you’ve been dreaming about, we can make that happen! Of course, you’ll want to make sure the places you’re going can accommodate your needs, but that’s all part of the planning process, which is half the fun 😉  We can help you make your dream trip a reality — let’s get a conversation going

What if I have high needs? Can you accommodate me?

Absolutely! Fun and relaxing holidays should be accessible to everyone, regardless of your needs. Depending on the support you need, you might choose to have a Support Worker come along with you, who can help you out while you’re away. If this is the case, we have options available to cover the costs of their travel. 

How far in advance should I organise a trip?

It really depends. A short weekend away? A couple of weeks of prep time should work. If you’re planning a once in a lifetime trip around Europe, maybe give yourself (and us!) at least a few months to plan.  Regardless, know that even the waiting will be exciting — sometimes the anticipation and planning for a trip can be just as fun as the actual holiday.

What are the benefits of taking part in Great Mates’ lifestyle activities?

There are so many! Not only can you make friends, learn something new, see different places and grow in confidence and independence, but your NDIS plan is goal-oriented, meaning that when you make use of your plan, you’re actively working towards something.  And when you feel supported (like you will as a Great Mate), you can kick your goals knowing you’ve got a group of mates there to encourage and cheer you on!

How will I know what activities I’m covered for in my NDIS plan?

Most activities will be funded through your Core Supports, but funding may also come from your Capacity Building budget (depending on how a specific activity or class helps you achieve your goals).  Your NDIS plan is full of technical terminology, so if you’re confused by what supports you qualify for, your Local Area Coordinator or Support Coordinator can help you. Or, give us a call, and we can go through it together!

What kinds of activities are on offer?

Our goal at Great Mates is to help you grow in confidence and independence so you can thrive. We can help you find supported employment, take a trip somewhere, learn new skills and make new mates —all things that help you build a great life that you love. 

What makes Great Mates a great employer?

We’re proud to be an organisation driven by our values and our dedication to people with different abilities. We extend that same level of commitment to our team members, and we aim to motivate, equip and champion your greatness as much as we do for our Great Mates.

Do you need people to work outside of Queensland?

Yes! We’re excited to be putting down roots in NSW soon, so if you live in the Newcastle, Maitland and Hunter Valley area, check out our job vacancies for all current openings.

What kind of qualities do you need to be a Great Mates team member?

We are people supporting people. Our team members are friendly, caring and compassionate individuals with industry-leading training and experience supporting many different abilities. If this sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you.

Are you hiring right now?

We’re always on the lookout for like-minded people to help us empower people with different abilities to live fulfilling lives. You can check out our current vacancies here.

More questions?

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