What’s the difference between an NDIS Local Area Coordinator and a Support Coordinator

14th July, 2022

Last updated, Jan 2024

NDIS Supports and Services Coordinator

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 be confusing is the difference between an NDIS Local Area Coordinator and a Support Coordinator. Both of these roles will support you to identify and connect with supports and services, but they work in different ways.

An NDIS Local Area Coordinator or a LAC (pronounced L. A. C.) is a NDIS partner in the community who helps you to understand and access the NDIS.  A LAC is involved in the planning, building, implementation, and review of your NDIS Plan. The LAC will help you understand your Plan and assist you to identify service providers.  A LAC may also be your NDIS contact person and you can discuss with them any questions you have about your NDIS Plan. A LAC provides these services for free; there is no NDIS funding needed or allocated for the Support Connection services they provide.

A Support Coordinator is a NDIS-funded support for Participants who have approved ‘Support Coordination’ stated in their NDIS Plan. This could be because your support needs are more complex and you require more assistance to get what you need. A Support Coordinator will coordinate the services you receive from a range of suppliers or providers, address service delivery issues and assist to develop the capacity and resilience of your support network.

If you do not have ‘Support Coordination’ available in your current Plan, you may be able to have this approved if your circumstances change or it is deemed you need extra help implementing your plan. Support Coordinator:

  • helps you to identify and connect with informal, community, mainstream and NDIS funded supports and services;
  • assists you to understand and implement your NDIS Plan;
  • supports your capacity, understanding and skills to navigate the NDIS, manage your own Plan if you choose to and make your own decisions;
  • assists you to establish supports and services in line with your goals and Plan budget;
  • supports you to work towards achieving your identified goals;
  • helps you to monitor your NDIS Plan budgets and support effectiveness.

Support Coordination – The Barkuma Difference

Barkuma is a registered NDIS provider of Support Coordination based in Adelaide, South Australia. Our difference is our experience; we have spent over 54 years empowering South Australians living with disability to be valued members of the community. Barkuma works extensively with people living with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder and also offers support to NDIS Participants diagnosed with other disabilities. We service the Greater Adelaide region but have been servicing Northern Adelaide for decades. We have developed positive long-term relationships with many mainstream, community and NDIS service providers and organisations to help people work towards achieving their goals.

Our team of Support Coordinators have both professional and lived disability experience.  Working with Barkuma for over 30 years collectively, this staff commitment ensures consistency, knowledge, trust, and a long-term relationship with you. Barkuma Support Coordinators work flexibly to maximise your NDIS budget, for example meeting with you online to save travel time and costs, but we are always available to meet in person if that works best for you.

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.

If you are interested in our Support Coordination services, please call (08) 8414 7100 or email barkuma@barkuma.com.au for more information.