National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants now have the option for extending their plans beyond 12-months. The improvement to the scheme applies to participants who have stable, longer-term disability related needs.

Since the start of the scheme participant plans have had a standard duration of 12 months, however eligible participants with stable support needs are being encouraged to consider plans up to 24 months before their scheduled review, Assistant Minister for Social Services, Sarah Henderson said.

“By promoting the timeframe for NDIS plans of up to two years, we are giving participants who are ready to develop longer term goals the opportunity to do so,” she said. “Importantly, if a participant would like to ensure their plan is reviewed more frequently, the standard 12 month duration is still available, and plans can be reviewed at any time if a participants circumstances change.”

To ensure the length of a participant’s plan is best suited to their needs, a number of factors are considered, including the stability of the participant’s support needs, key life transition points such as leaving school, and involvement with other government services.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has undertaken a number of activities and operational improvements to encourage longer-term plans including internal workshops and a review of tools and resources for Local Area Coordinators and planners.

The government has worked with the NDIA to improve participant experiences with the NDIS, including face to-face planning (where preferred), easier to read plans and improved training for agency staff.