Support Coordinators, LACs, and Planners_ what’s the difference

Support Coordinators, LACs, and Planners: what’s the difference?

In the NDIS space, many professionals play integral roles in helping participants meet their goals.

Some commonly confused roles include Support Coordinators (SCs), Local Area Coordinators (LACs), and Planners. While it might seem as though these professionals perform similar jobs, the professions are all distinct and essential for NDIS plans to run effectively.

We’re covering the core differences between the SC, LAC, and Planner to help you reach the right people when you need them and make the most of your NDIS plan.

The role of Support Coordinators

Support Coordinators are the lifeblood of NDIS plans. They help participants access the best supports for them. They ensure that an appropriate mix of supports is offered to increase capacity and help participants work towards the core goals in the plan.

SCs work with participants and their families to help them understand the plan and answer any questions that may come up. SCs also support participants as they build skills to increase their capacity and make the most of their NDIS plans.

SC’s key role includes:

  • Helping participants reach their goals

  • Helping participants access the right supports for them

  • Helping participants increase their capacity––including living more independently, being part of the community, and gaining new skills

The role of Local Area Coordinators

LACs typically help participants with NDIS planning. Through a planning meeting, LACs gather information about the participant and then they build draft plans which are passed onto the NDIS for decision making. LACs themselves do not make financial decisions on behalf of the NDIS (those decisions are made by NDIS delegates).

LACs usually reside in the local area of the participant and can be accessed when questions about plans arise.

A LAC could, for example, ensure a participant has access to a SC, write a letter of support about a particular desired support, or help a participant request a review of their plan.

LACs can also help to:

  • Offer relevant advice to participants

  • Implement an NDIS plan

  • Provide advice about the NDIS

The role of NDIS planners

NDIS planners are focused on fewer participants––typically those who require additional support. A planner may hold a planning meeting and create an NDIS plan for a participant where the cases are more challenging and complex. It’s important to keep in mind that participants don’t decide whether their plan is created by a LAC or a Planner.

Usually, NDIS planners are NDIS delegates––who have the authority to approve funding in an NDIS plan including the specific funding amounts.

NDIS planners help to:

  • Create a personalised plan for participants with complex cases

  • Advocate for participants

  • Hold NDIS plan reviews

We’re here to help

Not sure where to turn for help? Your Support Coordinator is a great first port of all. Our friendly team is also only too happy to help out.

Get in touch on 1300 60 33 89 or at [email protected].