The benefits and outcomes of working with a plan manager
With an NDIS plan, participants like you now have greater choice and control over your supports and service providers. But having a plan is just the beginning.
The NDIS also provides options for how you want your NDIS plan funding to be managed. You’re able to choose who is responsible for tracking your budget and paying your service providers.
Every payment made using your NDIS funding has to abide by a set of rules, and be regularly tracked and accounted for.
And for many people, this can be where headaches start.
You may have a plan, but now what? How will you best manage your money to live your best life?
If you're new to the scheme, you may be feeling unsure about what management option will work best for you. This article looks at what plan management is, and how it can reduce financial and administrative stress, allowing you to pursue your NDIS goals with confidence.
What is NDIS Plan Management? The options available to you
At the end of your NDIS plan meeting, you’ll be asked how you want to look after the money in your plan.
There are three main ways to manage your plan and budgets—self-managed, agency managed or plan managed. You can also choose a combination of options for better choice, control and flexibility.
Self-management gives you complete control over spending your NDIS funds. You can choose any providers or mainstream supports and services, whether they are NDIS registered or not. You’ll pay these providers directly and keep records of all invoices and receipts.
When you're agency managed, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages your funding for you. You can only access NDIS-registered providers for your supports and services. These providers will invoice the NDIA directly after a service has been delivered.
With plan management, you engage a Plan Manager to manage your funding on your behalf. You can choose any providers (registered or not) and your Plan Manager will coordinate the invoices, claims and payments.
What are the benefits of using a Plan Manager?
Using a Plan Manager gives you all the benefits of self-managing your funds, without the stress and burden of budgeting, record keeping and paperwork.
Even if you’re willing and capable of self-managing your plan, opting for plan management (at least to begin with) will help you gain a better understanding of the NDIS and the rules and obligations.
So, what does an NDIS Plan Manager do?
Your Plan Manager will act as your personal NDIS accountant, helping you navigate the NDIS, track your goals and stay financially accountable. They’ll be responsible for:
receiving invoices and paying your providers for their services
claiming funds from the NDIS portal
adhering to the NDIS Price Guide
keeping track of your funds
managing financial reporting for your NDIS plan review and auditing
helping you choose your providers if needed.
And there are no out-of-pocket expenses. To cover the cost of your Plan Manager, the NDIS will add extra funds to your plan, so your service and support costs are never compromised.
One of the key benefits of using a Plan Manager is being able to use registered and unregistered providers.
Just like registered providers, unregistered providers deliver services that are fully funded by the NDIS. They may be sole traders and small businesses, such as a cleaner, interpreter or speech therapist, that have chosen not to go through the lengthy NDIA registration processes.
Being able to access a wider network of skilled providers gives you greater choice in the people involved in your care. It opens up opportunities to ensure your supports and services are delivered how and when you want them.
How does plan management work?
You meet with your chosen Plan Manager and discuss your plan and budgets.
You choose and schedule the service providers that best suit your needs.
Your Plan Manager takes care of all your invoices, payments and claims.
Is plan management right for me?
Choosing how you manage your NDIS money is an important decision. It should consider your lifestyle, availability, and your people, budgeting and organisational skills.
Plan management is a good choice for you if you:
want flexibility, choice and control over your service providers
want a partner to help you track your spending and get the best value from your funds
want to develop skills and confidence to eventually self-manage your plan
want to use supports from a non-NDIS registered provider
don’t want to be personally accountable for your NDIS finances
don’t want to meet the administrative obligations of self-managing
Your secret weapon to maximising your NDIS funding
With a dedicated NDIS Plan Manager, you get full control and flexibility on how you want to spend your budget. All without getting involved in time-consuming financial administration.
Together, First2Care and Support Management Solutions believe in empowering you to achieve your goals, with transparent financial help and training to help you understand your plan. Our team partner with you to reduce your financial and administrative burden, helping you get the most from your NDIS funding.
Still not sure what to do next? In our next article, we offer advice on how to choose the right Plan Manager for you.
Want to discuss how we can help you manage your NDIS Plan?
Call 1300 837 721, send us a message or book a callback.
Over to you ...
Have you had any experience using a Plan Manager? What are some of the things you wish you’d known before choosing to self manage your plan?
We’d love to know in the comments below.