If you’re an NDIS participant, you will understand the importance of having as much documentation as possible to support your initial NDIS application and for future planning meetings. One very useful document you may choose to include is a Carer or Impact Statement. Your carer will often know and understand you and your unique needs far better than your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) representative. If you have a primary carer, you may wish to ask them to write a Carer/Impact Statement.
What is a Carer Statement?
A Carer Statement is written by someone who provides care or is involved in caring for a family member or friend living with a disability. A carer is considered an informal, unpaid support, like a parent or guardian. The statement is designed to inform the LAC or NDIA representative of the nature of care that is given and details how their disability is impacting their life and the lives of those around them.
Why do I need a Carer Statement?
Although it is not compulsory to include this in your NDIS application or to provide it at your planning meeting, a written (or verbal) statement can be a great benefit to a participant’s NDIS plan. It is used by the NDIA to demonstrate the everyday difficulties experienced by the individual and their family and to verify how much care and support an individual may need. It can affect the level of funding received as it will provide a more accurate picture of the supports that are needed.
How do I write a Carer Statement?
The NDIS does not set our nor expect any formal format when writing a Carer Statement. It should however include key information about the person you care for, including:
- their disability and how it impacts their day-to-day life
- what they need support with, and what their carer does to support them
- your own needs and goals as a carer and how the role affects you
- whether you can keep caring for them in the same way into the future
- what other informal supports they have, such as family or friends
- any other important information for the NDIA to know when assessing which supports they might require.
Another way to prepare a statement is to speak to each of the 8 NDIS support categories and explain:
- what supports are provided;
- how often they are provided;
- the cost to provide these supports; and
- the emotional impact of being a carer.
Again, while there is no template to write this statement, it may be helpful to think about your worst-case scenario, so you accurately communicate the maximum amount of support required.
When will I use it?
The most important benefit is to give a comprehensive view of a participants’ disability and the care that is required to effectively support this. It is vital the NDIS understands the role of their carer to ensure their NDIS plan is adequately funded to meet their needs and support the carer’s ongoing needs.
Other instances where having a Carer Statement can be useful is when the carer:
- Is seeking a way to ensure the details of their role is documented;
- May be unable to communicate the details of support the participant is receiving;
- Speaks English as a second language; or,
- Feels they may be too emotional when discussing the details of their care and the impact of the participants’ disability has had on the participants’ life and theirs.