Carer Impact Statement
What is a Carer Impact Statement?
A Carer Impact Statement can also be known as a ‘Carer Statement’.
It is a letter written by you, as the carer of a person with disability that provides a more in-depth picture of how caring for a child with a disability is impacting your life as an individual and the lives of those around you.
It should provide a clear picture of how the ongoing care provided to your child by YOU affects YOU physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and financially.
There is no right way or wrong way to write a carer statement, but you should describe your worst day so that you communicate the maximum amount of support that is required.
It is normally sent to the NDIA for plan reviews and may be used by the NDIA to verify how much care and support an individual may need. 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 participants NDIS plan. The NDIA can use a written statement to help verify how much care and support is needed, which could affect the level of funding received.
What are benefits of providing a Carer Impact Statement?
The most important benefit of providing an Impact Statement is to give a more true and holisitc view of a participants’ disability and the care that is needed to assist with it. Often informal supports, like carers, can provide much needed insight into the reasoning certain paid supports or therapies are required, as well as the support they provide to the participant on a day-to-day basis. It is vital the NDIS understands what this caring role entails so that the NDIS plan allocated to the participant cared for will meet their needs, as well as support an ongoing caring role.
Having an Carer Impact Statement can also be of use for carers who:
- Want to ensure all the information provided is detailed;
- Find it difficult to verbalise the details of support needs;
- Where English is not the first language; and
- Feel they may get too emotional when discussing the details of their care and the impact of the participants’ disability has had on the participants’ life and theirs.
An impact statement can also be provided by any person, family member (including an older sibling) or provider that supports and cares for a person with a disability. Their input may be beneficial in communicating to the NDIS the level of support needed.
How to write a Carer Impact Statement
The NDIS does not specify any formal guideline or template to develop a Carer’s Statement. It could be an informal letter or a structured statement. It can be whatever you choose.
When writing an Impact Statement, it’s important to address each of the eight categories detailed within the NDIS with an explanation of the supports provided, length of time of the support provided, how often, the cost involved, any resources used (such as materials, computer, phone, transport etc.), and in some cases the emotional impact that can occur.
It is also important to describe the care you are providing & if applicable, to note in brackets that it is ‘above & beyond’ typical parental responsibilities.
Please remember, when writing about the supports requested in the Carer Impact Statement or requested in general within a child’s NDIS plan, you MUST also have written professional evidence to back-up & justify the NDIS requests for supports &/or services.
The eight categories are:
- Daily Living: This covers assistance with daily living and personal activities, such as assistance getting the participant in and out of bed, showering or bathing, and other daily life tasks.
- Home: This covers assistance with household tasks, such as tidying the kitchen and other household spaces, and washing, drying, and ironing laundry items.
- Health & Wellbeing: This covers ‘Improved Health and Wellbeing’ under the NDIS Capacity Supports category, such as personal care, assistance with dietary and cooking needs, cleaning, increasing or maintaining physical mobility as directed by a GP or specialist, medication (if required), and mental and other wellbeing practices.
- Skill Development & Learning: This covers ‘Improved Learning’ under the NDIS Capacity Supports category, and the assistance provided towards learning and education development undertaken by the participant or eligible participant.
- Employment: This cover ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’ under the NDIS Capacity Supports category, and the activities undertaken by a carer to encourage or assist in the participant or eligible participant finding and maintaining employment.
- Social & Community Participation: This covers ‘Increased Social and Community Participation’ under the NDIS Capacity Support category, such as social activities, classes and camps.
- Relationships: This covers ‘Improved Relationships’ under the NDIS Capacity Supports category, with carers assisting in the relationship needs of the participant or eligible participant, including what is needed to start, develop, and maintain lasting and positive relationships; and
- Life Choices & Control: This covers ‘Improved Life Choices’ under the NDIS, by assisting with the participants’ or eligible participants’ choice and control, especially around planning and planning management (for example, engaging a Plan Manager to assist with the financial aspects of a NDIS Plan). Consider what kind of control, as given by the participant, that you have regarding things like, accommodation, finances, activities, and social and practical engagements.
You can also choose to include in your Impact Statement:
- How the role affects you;
- Your ability and willingness to keep caring for the participant in the same way in the future;
- The impact your caring role has on your own personal needs and goals, such as work, study, travel, social life and activities; and
- If you are the primary carer, you can include other informal supports, such as family or friends.
Examples of Carer Impact Statement
From Carers Australia – Carers Australia Sample Carer Statement (1)
From Carers Australia – Carers Australia Sample Carer Statement (2)
From Reimagine – ReImagine Sample Carer Statement
Carers Australia has created a Carer Checklist which could be useful in helping you prepare for a planning meeting.
This is a checklist for people who provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a disability who is a participant in the NDIS or who is eligible to be a participant.
It can help you to think about the type of care and support you currently provide for the person you care for and may help you consider all aspects of the person with disability’s needs.
We would like to extend our thanks to Helen Johnson for putting together and presenting the information for Kindred at the Carer Impact Statement Workshop.
Helen Johnson has worked in the disability sector for over 24 years and volunteered in the ‘Carer’ sector for decades.Helen, her husband Peter and their 2 sons, Jayden and Ben, live in regional Victoria. Their youngest son Ben, now 28yo, was born with an extremely rare syndrome causing multiple, severe and profound disabilities.