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Explaining informal supports and the NDIS

You’ve probably heard a lot about formal supports, especially if you're going through the process of setting up your first NDIS plans.


Formal supports refer to any supports you require that are funded in your NDIS plan, for example, your support worker and assistive technology are formal supports.


Formal supports fill the gap of your informal support network. Your informal support network is reviewed when creating your NDIS plan.


We dive into some common questions about informal supports and the NDIS below!



NDIS Plans



Who provides informal supports?


Informal supports refer to the assistance provided by family, carers and the community and are unpaid. They are the general helping hand people give to each other every day. Everyone has an informal support network, not just people living with a disability.



Why are informal supports important?


Informal supports are so important as they create connection and community. Everybody benefits from interacting with others, hanging out with friends and having someone help them out around the house.


Having a strong peer network of informal supports promotes individual wellbeing and quality of life.



Can I pay a family member to provide support?


As informal supports are not considered to be disability specific, the NDIS does not fund them. Even if your regular formal support is unavailable, your family or friend who steps in to cover cannot be paid.


There are some exceptions to this rule, so if you feel like your informal support should be considered a formal support, contact the NDIS to explain your situation.


The NDIA knows that informal supports are crucial to the success of the NDIS, and their operational guidelines outline how they endeavour to ensure a participant’s informal supports are sustainable.


Still have questions about the NDIS and informal supports you may have? We’re here to help - reach out to the Bright Plan Management team for a chat.


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