What’s the difference between a local area coordinator and a support coordinator

28th May, 2018

There’s a lot of information out there about the NDIS and sometimes it’s hard to know what all the different terms mean. One area that can cause confusion is the difference between a Local Area Coordinator and a Support Coordinator. Both people will support you to get what you need, but they work in different ways.

What are the different levels of support to implement my NDIS Plan?

There are three types of coordination that Local Area Coordinators and Support Coordinators can deliver to support your NDIS plan:

Support Connection
This type aims to connect you with the supports you need and want. Your service provider will work alongside you to:

  • Identify and investigate your options
  • Understand the funding and your plan
  • Reach decisions
  • Reach agreement with providers
  • Start your receiving NDIS supports

Coordination of Supports
This type is similar to Support Connection and follows the same process, but has a greater focus on:

  • Addressing issues faced with participation and service providers
  • Regular management of the plan to meet your changing needs
  • Management of services from different suppliers
  • Regular monitoring and outcome reporting for the participant/NDIA

Specialist Support Coordination
This type provides the same process as Support Coordination, but focuses on when specialists are needed to provide a support.

What is a Local Area Coordinator?

A Local Area Coordinator or a LAC (pronounced L. A. C.) is someone from the NDIS or an NDIS partnered organisation who helps you to implement your plan. The NDIS has partnered with three community organisations in South Australia to deliver Local Area Coordination:

  • Feros Care in the Northern Adelaide and Barossa, Light & Lower North Service Areas.
  • BaptCare in the Western Adelaide, Eastern Adelaide and, Yorke and Mid North Service Areas.
  • Mission Australia in the Limestone Coast, Murray and Mallee, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island, Southern Adelaide and, Eyre Western and Far North Service Areas.

Once you have your NDIS plan approved, you will be contacted by your local LAC to have a meeting either over the phone or in person. The LAC will help you understand your plan and help you choose and connect with service providers. The LAC is also your NDIS contact person to discuss any questions about your plan. The support provided by an LAC is generally at a Support Connection level. Please note the LAC does not approve NDIS plans or provide case management support.

What is a Support Coordinator?

Support Coordination is an NDIS funded support for people who need extra help implementing their plan. This could be because your plan is more complex and you require a bit more support to get what you need. A Support Coordinator works in a similar way to a Local Area Coordinator and will coordinate services from a range of suppliers or providers, address service delivery issues and develop the capacity and resilience of your support network. A Support Coordinator can also provide case management support if required. Support Coordinators generally work at a coordination of supports or specialist support coordination level.

Barkuma can help

Barkuma is a registered NDIS provider for support connection, coordination of supports and specialist support coordination. Currently, we support people where a package of funding can be identified. This could be through an NDIS plan, funding from a Government department or organisation or private funding.
If you are interested in our NDIS plan support call (08) 8414 7100, email barkuma@barkuma.com.au or fill out the contact us form.