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What Sets a Local Area Coordinator Apart from a Support Coordinator?

What Sets a Local Area Coordinator Apart from a Support Coordinator?

There are too many details to read and comprehend about coordination and support, whether you are an NDIS professional or participant. The NDIS does offer information on the subject, but it might not be sufficient to cover all the complicated aspects. The functions of local area coordinators and support coordinators, for instance, are clear, but it can be difficult to distinguish between the two groups. In order to distinguish their duties and comprehend where they fit in an NDIS strategy, we have carefully assembled all of this information. Find out what makes local area coordinators different from support coordinators and how they do it.

What is a Local Area Coordinator?

Together with other planners hired by the NDIA, an NDIS local area coordinator (LAC) manages planning sessions in a particular geographic area. Their primary responsibility is to connect NDIS participants to local mainstream and community resources as well as the NDIS. The NDIA also pays LACs directly; neither your plan nor your own funds will be used for this purpose.

What are the Responsibilities of a Local Area Coordinator?

  • Helping NDIS participants access the NDIS through group workshops or one-on-one conversations.

  • Creating NDIS management plans – The respective LAC in your region will talk to you about your current situation, support you need and goals to achieve, which guides the development of an elaborate plan. However, it is essential to note that local area coordinators cannot approve any NDIS plans because an NDIA representative must do it.

  • NDIS plan implementation- The NDIS website states that NDIS local area coordinators should help participants and start receiving services included in the NDIS plan. They should also help throughout the plan if you have any concerns.

  • Reviewing your plan – The LAC works collaboratively to make changes to your plan through plan reviews when they expire. It takes place after 12 months or when you consider an unscheduled review.

  • Informing participants about the available support within the local community.

  • Explaining how the NDIS partners with other government services to support health, education, and transport. The LAC will provide an email or telephone number to reach them if you have any questions.

Who is a Support Coordinator (SC)?

For applicants whose NDIS plans are approved for "support coordination," an NDIS support coordinator provides subsidised assistance. Because certain needs are complicated and may call for more help than is offered, some supports are included. Your care will be coordinated by a support coordinator who works with a variety of suppliers and providers.

As long as they are privately owned companies that receive funds from your plan, participants may choose any support coordinator within the NDIS to work with. The planning meeting with the LACs should also take into account various degrees of support coordination.

What are the Responsibilities of a Support Coordinator?

  • Helping NDIS participants build the necessary skills to understand and use the NDIS plan. In addition, they communicate about the plan and advise on the usage of funding to reach long-term goals.

  • Works with people with disability to ensure they receive a combination of supports that will increase their capacity to maintain relationships, live independently and actively participate in the community.

  • Explaining to participants what the items in their plan mean, to empower them and help them feel the connection and support. Doing this ensures confident spending of funds in appropriate ways.

  • Connecting NDIS members to providers they want to include in their plans.

  • Helping approved NDIS participants to negotiate with providers about their offers and how much they will have to pay from the plan.

  • The support coordinator ensures the service agreements and service bookings are complete.

  • Ensuring the services the participant engages in are relevant to their goals. Any services that are considered unhelpful to the participant will not be part of the plan to allow focus on essential activities.

  • Helps participants prepare for plan reviews as soon as they are due.

Differences between a Support Coordinator and a Local Area Coordinator

  • An NDIS local area coordinator holds plan meetings with eligible participants to collect information that the NDIA will use to create new plans. Meanwhile, a support coordinator receives funding from the NDIA in an NDIS plan after approval. They must assist members in planning how to achieve their goals and live independently.

  • An LAC can work and assist all participants in implementing and understanding their NDIS plans, including those not receiving support coordination funding. However, Support coordinators are only available to NDIS participants with support coordination in their plans.

  • LACs within a geographical region are supposed to inform participants about the available support in their communities. However, unlike local area coordinators, support coordinators in NDIS connect participants to providers within their areas and help them negotiate service prices in their support. Local area coordinators rarely assist participants in finding and managing support compared to support coordinators. However, support coordinators offer various levels of support, including specialist support coordination to assist people with more complex life situations to help them manage the challenges in the support environment.


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