Success stories

Scott and Daniel’s story

Scott and Daniel Harry are pioneers when it comes to using their NDIS funding innovatively to help build the life they want. Check out the video to see how they're taking control of the services in their lives and making their funding work for them.

Scott and Daniel’s story

More Stories

Sally’s story

Sally became a client of Plan Navigators a couple of years ago and through support and positive role modelling from her Mentor, her life changed dramatically.

Sally now lives in her own home, is able to manage her household bills, works part-time, is learning to save for holidays (as she loves going on them), socialises with her friends and is learning new skills like cooking healthy meals and planning dinner parties. This is just a taste of what a good working relationship can achieve.

Over the last couple of years, Sally has been supported by Plan Navigators to learn the skills to take on more responsibility for managing her own funding and employing her Mentor Dawn directly. Sally started with Plan Navigators by asking us to employ a person with whom she already had a trusted relationship. Sally did not want to recruit a stranger, but a familiar face who could support her journey. Our Shared Managed Model provided the flexibility for Sally to learn how to coordinate and direct her own day-to-day support and staff. Plan Navigators were engaged to be the employer of Sally’s chosen staff.

“It is good being able to have my own life, make my own choices, and have my own staff whom I know, trust and have fun with. They support me in whatever I do and guide me to do what is safe or not to do.” – Sally, Plan Navigators Client

After a couple of years, Sally started to need a more flexible staffing arrangement. Some of the issues faced by Plan Navigators being the employer of Sally’s staff were the conditions set out in the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award. We started to discuss with Sally the opportunity to take on being the employer of her staff and the support available to help implement this.

Most people’s concerns are about dealing with the ATO, super, contracts, industrial relation laws and insurances, staff checks and balances, and employer obligations. To help overcome these concerns, we built a service around Sally that included linking her with a Book Keeper, a payroll tool and having a Service Support Coordinator whom Sally could contact to help troubleshoot issues and answer queries to help understand what it means to be a good employer. By Plan Navigators providing people living with a disability with the right support and tools, we help enable them to have more control of their lives.

Sally has grown in confidence and thrived in all aspects of her life, knowing she is believed in and trusted with such a big responsibility. We can’t wait to see what goals Sally will tick off next!

Adam’s story

Adam was living in his own home previously and was subject to multiple accounts of abuse and neglect by agency staff and barriers placed by multiple disability organisations.

Because Adam sometimes struggles to articulate himself, this went on for some time before his sister Sophie realised something was wrong and investigated it.

Sophie brought Adam home to live with herself and her partner and she stopped working in order to provide care for him. Adam had ongoing trauma related depression and anxiety and was afraid of doing many things outside of Sophie’s home.

In early 2019, Sophie asked Plan Navigators to assist her in setting up a shared management arrangement so that she could put together a team to support Adam in her home so she could go back to work. Since then, we have worked together with Sophie to find some excellent staff who have got to know Adam and understand his needs and wants. Sophie reports the following:

Adam’s team text each other and keep in touch on where his needs are at every day. It’s beautiful to watch their same passion as myself for Adam. If he is having a bad day they are all in contact with each other and work amongst themselves to figure out how to improve the outcome for Adam. I have given them the tools of understanding Adam’s moods, characteristics and they have taken it all in and work daily to redirect him into a better head space and the results have been so beneficial for him.  Adam’s trauma from previous experience does pop up here and there but they have the tools now to know the signs and quickly step in with approaches and redirection to get him to a better head space. It has been a long hard journey for Adam but he is doing so well with the activities he is attending. Members at the Men’s Shed have even remarked that he is so different now compared to when they saw him with previous supports. Adam’s gym days have him developing a steadier pace when he walks on the days when his is in a good head space. Adam’s mentoring at home has given him the feeling of ‘it’s my business’ – he wants to help more and more around the house. With patience and placing Adam correctly in the right place around the kitchen/bedroom/laundry he can help with the tasks appropriate to his capabilities. I express congratulations at the great achievement when tasks are completed. Adam’s excitement is contagious. It has been a challenging few months for me to get here but for the end result it is worth it. Adam has good days and bad days but the team are programmed now with information given to know the signs and they respond straight away and get Adam to his cheeky happy self which reduces the deep trauma effects.

Adam’s whole personality/affect has changed back to the happy, joking and carefree guy he was before. Sophie has now returned to work and is very happy with the team they now have and that Adam knows he’s “The Boss”.

Sophie would also like to say something to people who have vulnerable people that they care about:

If you think something is not right, investigate it, act on your feelings and don’t let the excuses of organisations or support staff deter you. You have the right to step in, don’t be afraid to rock the boat, keep people accountable because your loved one may not be able to stand up for themselves. This story shows that Adam now has a voice but it took a lot of fighting – it’s so worth it in the end to see Adam’s happiness now.

This story is why we love it when people take more control of their supports and their funding. Amazing people like Sophie and Adam who fight for choice and control and have high expectations of supports.

Please note that names have been changed to protect privacy.

Liz’s Story

Liz’s transition to becoming a Self-Manager was an easy one. She was frustrated with her NDIS agency-managed plan as she was only allowed to use NDIS-registered service providers. This limited her in really being able to access the right supports and services. She required flexibility and responsive service delivery to achieve her goals.

Liz was supported by Plan Navigators to request from the NDIS that her next plan be part self-managed and part agency-managed. Liz begun self-managing her core funds. She worked with her Support Coordinator at Plan Navigators to learn how to use the NDIS MyPlace portal, make claims and pay her own invoices.

After self-managing part of her plan, Liz soon realised she lacked real choice and control in other parts that were still agency managed, like her Improved Daily Living budget. She was frustrated by how little control she had over how the therapy provider was using her funds. So when it came time for her NDIS plan review, Liz opted to self-manage her whole plan.

Liz found it made a big difference to be in control of her budget and keep track of where and on what her funding is spent. Self-managing allowed Liz to access different therapy services that met her specific needs. She found it empowering to be able to keep her chosen providers accountable for how her funds were being used. They couldn’t just bill against her funding for providing a service without her approval.

Liz discovered that having the right support to learn how to take on some of the responsibilities makes it much easier to transition from an agency-managed plan to a self-managed one. Liz’s next goal is to take the brave step towards directly engaging her own support staff.





Emmanuel’s story

Emmanuel started working with Inclusion WA a number of years ago and brought his own staff with him to the organisation.

When Plan Navigators was formed, he begun a Shared Management arrangement with us that suits his needs. For Emmanuel, what this looks like is his sister assisting him to coordinate his staff and then us paying them.

This Shared Management arrangement means;

–  The staff who are highly experienced and trained can be paid at a wage that reflects this

–  Emmanuel can be supported by people who know him well, communicate effectively with his sister and are proactive in understanding his needs and wants

Simon’s story

Simon requires support in all aspects of his life. When he turned 18 his family bought him a home close to theirs and organised for him to be supported by an organisation. They had trouble getting an organisation to listen, but finally settled on one which seemed to listen to them about Simon’s needs.

Things went well for a couple of years but Simon’s family started noticing he was unhappy and expressing this through his behaviour. After some investigation, they found he wasn’t being treated well by one of the staff. Simon’s family complained to the organisation but they said there was no proof and would need to go through a performance management process in order to move the staff member on.

After ongoing frustrations, Simon’s family approached Plan Navigators and we came to an arrangement where we help the family find staff, but ultimately they choose them. Simon now has some great support staff that know him, have a joke and a laugh with him and know when he is unhappy.

Emelie’s story

Emelie lives independently and requires support for a few things, such as; attending hospital appointments, reading and understanding documents and to articulate her wishes. Her previous service provider kept changing her staff, meaning strangers were coming into her home regularly – some of whom she didn’t get along with. She decided to do Shared Management with Plan Navigators and has now hired people she likes and trusts, who advocate for her when needed.

Emelie’s Shared Management arrangement works as follows;

– She finds people she would like to hire and puts them in touch with us

-We do all the checking of things like police clearances and first aid certificates and collect all necessary paperwork

-We do mandatory inductions with staff and take care of processes such as payroll, tax reporting, superannuation payments and reporting to the NDIS

-Emilie tells her staff when she would like to be supported and how

-Emilie negotiates pay rates directly with her staff

Fatima’s story

Fatima had tried several agencies and not found the right support staff to fit her needs.

After meeting Jill through her peer-to-peer network, Fatima decided she would like to hire her. Having previously used agencies to find staff, Fatima was unsure what her responsibilities would be if she started self managing her funding.

She asked Plan Navigators to help her out by explaining her responsibilities, walking her through the process and building her capacity to employ her own staff.

Rebecca’s story

Rebecca opted to plan manage her NDIS plan. She asked for this option at her NDIS meeting. This allowed Rebecca to use her plan more flexibly. Rebecca was able to use a mix of supports to assist her.

She used some of her funding to engage a service provider to assist with her employment goals. With another part of her funding, she could hire her own support workers to assist with community access and in-home care.

Rebecca was able to use services found in her local community and decided to hire a local gardener and cleaner who have ABN’s. These supports assisted her with tasks around the home she was unable to do herself.

Having a flexible plan meant Rebecca was able to choose a mix of different therapy providers. She used her local physiotherapist to assist with mobility goals. For Occupational Therapy, Rebecca chose an NDIS-registered provider who could assist with the Functional Assessment Report she needed for her plan review meeting.

Being plan managed, Rebecca found it really empowering to be able to check over the invoices she now receives from her service providers. It allows her to query the invoice directly with the provider, or seek support from her Plan Manager at Plan Navigators when she requires some extra help.

Sarah’s story

With support from her family, Sarah was Self-Managing the state funding she received from Disability Services. Under this funding model they had private support workers who they paid cash. Sarah and her family were not made aware of their responsibilities regarding withholding tax.

When Sarah became eligible to transfer to the NDIS, she opted for her NDIS plan to be plan managed. Sarah wanted to continue with her current support workers, but her support workers did not want to get an ABN. This meant Sarah had to become an Employer.

Sarah (with support from her family) contacted Plan Navigators to discuss their situation. We supported Sarah and her family to understand the process of becoming an Employer and the tasks they would be responsible for.

Plan Navigators Payroll Support provided;

-Support to understand how to register for a Workers Payer Number (WPN)

-Different options for the payroll tool that best suits their needs

-Support for Sarah and her family on how to use their chosen payroll system

-Support to learn how to enter time-sheets and process staff wage information

-Support to understand suitable worker’s compensation policy

-Support to find a suitable BAS agent who is able to act on their behalf to the ATO and help make superannuation payments to staff

-Support as their Plan Manager to claim the wage information from Sarah’s funding and pay staff on her behalf

-Support to understand staff contracts and help Sarah and her family provide contracts to staff

Sarah and her family have found that with the right support and information, becoming an Employer has not been too scary.

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