Updated: Apr 29
Now that you’ve decided to engage an NDIS Plan Manager, your next step is to find the right Plan Manager to support you.
There are 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, or talk with other NDIS participants or your Local Area Coordinator. They can also give insight into the different Plan Management services that are available to you.
What makes a Plan Manager right for you?
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 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 a set of rules, regulations and legislations that can sometimes 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.
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. 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 your money is being spent. Choose a Plan Manager that uses a NDIS Plan Management Platform 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.
Hiring a Plan Manager? Here are some important questions to ask… and what to expect from First2Care Plan Management
1. Do they specialise in NDIS Plan Management?
First2Care is a professional, NDIS registered Plan Management company dedicated to providing Plan Management your way. We want you to dream big, plan to make it happen, and live the life you want.
2. Are they business focused or will they put you and your needs first?
At First2Care, we really do care. Which is why if you choose to engage our team of professional Plan Managers to help you manage your NDIS funding, you can be confident knowing we will put your needs first. We offer tailored, meaningful Plan Management services and will always take the time to talk with you about your plan, any concerns you may have, or goals you have achieved.
3. Is the sign-up process simple and straightforward?
The NDIS can sometimes feel a little complicated to navigate, which is why we have made our sign-up process and our First2Care FREE NDIS Plan Management Platform nice and simple. You can jump on our website and sign up with just one-click. Alternatively, you can contact our friendly team by email at email@example.com or call us on 1300 322 273.
4. Do they provide an online tool with a monthly review for you to keep track of your NDIS budget?
Our Plan Managed NDIS participants have access to the latest technology with our First2Care NDIS Plan Management Platform. On the platform, participants can view, edit, and update their profile, input their NDIS goals, load important documents such as service agreements, and submit invoices. All participants Plan Managed by First2Care will receive a monthly budget statement so they can see how they are track. And on top of that, participants wanting more regular updates can login to the platform and see all the information they need online. Easy!
5. Are the invoice and payments processes clear, including processing times?
Participants who are Plan Managed by First2Care can upload invoices themselves, email them to our accounts team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or request that service providers send invoices directly to us. Once we have the invoices, our accounts team will process them and ensure your service providers are paid within five working days. We pay on time, every time.
It can be helpful to consider your options before your first planning meeting, so you can be prepared. But if you haven’t had time to think through your options before the meeting, don’t worry. You always have the option to make a change down the track.
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.
Read more about the benefits of working with a Plan Manager. Alternatively, register on our FREE NDIS Plan Management Platform, so we can start helping you best manage your plan today.
Read more about First2Care’s Plan Management features.
Over to you
Let us know about your NDIS experience and choosing the right Plan Manager for you. What values would you look for in a Plan Manager? Do you have specific questions you like to ask? And, how do you think your life and NDIS plan will improve by engaging a Plan Manager? We’d love to know in the comments below.
Updated by Mahala Wallace, 29th April 2020