Updated: Apr 5, 2019
Learn what questions to ask to ensure you’re hiring a Plan Manager that’s right for you
Now that you’ve decided to use an NDIS Plan Manager, your next step is to find the right person to support you.
There are now many businesses offering plan management services, ranging from accounting firms to disability service providers and specialist organisations. With such a wide selection, it can be difficult to know which provider to choose.
A good Plan Manager will be able to unlock the full potential of your NDIS plan. But not everyone is going to be the right fit for you.
It’s important to spend some time researching your options.
You can check customer reviews and comments on service providers and Plan Managers. Talking with other NDIS participants or your Local Area Coordinator can also give you insight into the different styles of plan management.
This article offers some advice on how to choose an NDIS Plan Manager that’s right for you. Let’s start with some considerations to help you narrow your list.
Trust and rapport
The bonds you form with your support team are integral to your NDIS experience. Like your other service providers, your Plan Manager needs to match your values and make you feel comfortable. Call the plan management providers in your area and ask them about their approach. See how comfortable you’d feel talking with them about your plan, and what you like and don’t like.
While you can use registered and non-registered service providers under plan management, your Plan Manager needs to be registered (and state-approved) with the NDIS. Only a registered NDIS provider can submit claims on your behalf using the online myplace portal.
Disability sector knowledge
The NDIS is governed by rules, regulations and legislation that can be difficult to understand. And much of what’s written can be technical jargon. Your Plan Manager should have an intimate knowledge of the NDIS, to be able to translate information and answer any questions you have. Ask them if they specialise in NDIS plan management or if it’s one of many things they do.
Your Plan Manager will be responsible for paying your services providers and advising on what you can and can’t spend your money on. You need to find someone with the right skills for the job. Look for a Plan Manager with an accounting or bookkeeping background, like we do at First2Care and Support Management Solutions. This experience will help you achieve the best support outcomes from your budget.
While you won’t personally manage your money, it’s still important that you know how you’re money is being spent. Choose a Plan Manager that uses a NDIS management app you can log into. You should be able to see all your transactions in real time. You can also ask if they’ll provide up-to-date monthly overviews for you to track the status of your NDIS budgets.
When you’re relying on support from your service providers, you want to know that they’ll be paid on time. Delayed payments can leave providers waiting and frustrated, which can be damaging to your ongoing relationship. Before choosing a Plan Manager, find out if they have a structured invoice payment process, including turnaround times.
Ease of communication
With a Plan Manager, you should feel relaxed knowing that you have an NDIS expert by your side. You want to know that you can access their support when you need them. When choosing a Plan Manager, find out how they communicate with their clients.
Do they use email, face-to-face meetings or talk over the phone? Do they communicate clearly in words or ways you understand? Will you be able to talk to them at any time or only at your scheduled meetings? It’s important that the way they communicate works for you.
Find the right partner for your plan
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. It’s worth taking the time to make sure your Plan Manager is right for you and your situation.
At First2Care, together with Support Management Solutions, we’re committed to delivering the highest-quality plan management services in Australia. We’ve even developed our own mobile and desktop app so you can collaborate and grow your skills to self-manage.
In our next article, we provide more detail about how our plan management services can help you.
Find out how we partner with you to manage your NDIS Plan
Call 1300 837 712, send us a message or book a callback.
Over to you ...
What values would you look for in a Plan Manager? We’d love to know in the comments below.