Updated: Apr 6, 2020
You’ve checked your eligibility, compiled your documents and evidence, and submitted your application for your NDIS plan. After that, you wait. If you’re approved, you’ll need to consider how you’d like to manage your plan. Sometimes this process can feel a little overwhelming, and you may not have thought thoroughly enough before deciding the best NDIS plan management option for you. No matter which stage you are at in your NDIS plan, you can always change your preferred management option by speaking with your LAC or NDIA representative.
How does Plan Management fit into your NDIS Plan?
There are certain factors that must be included in a participants’ NDIS plan, such as who will manage the financial aspects and what goals you have.
An NDIS plan must include:
A statement of goals, objectives and aspirations
The environmental and personal living arrangements, informal community supports, other community supports, and social and economic participation
A statement of supports, which need to be approved by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
A review date (usually in 12 months after the commencement of your plan)
A plan management option
There are three options for managing your plan – Agency (NDIA) Managed, Self-Managed or Plan Managed. In some cases, you can choose a combination.
Agency Managed, Self-Managed & Plan Managed
It’s important to know the difference between the ways you can manage your NDIS plan effectively, and what might be the best option for you.
Agency Managed – This is where the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages your funding for you. The NDIA will hold and pay your Service Providers through the NDIS Portal. You will be restricted to using NDIS registered services only.
Self-Managed – Choosing to manage your plan funding yourself, gives you more Service Provider options, both registered and unregistered. You will be responsible for managing your funding, paying invoices, liaising with Service Providers and the NDIA, ensuring you keep detailed records for plan reviews and that all your expenditures are eligible and correctly assigned to the correct funding buckets.
Plan Managed – This option is one that provides you with the freedom of accessing registered and unregistered Service Providers (like with self-management) but without having to manage the funding. A Plan Manager will act as your personal bookkeeper and record holder, overseeing payments, invoices, ensuring you aren’t over or underspending, provide you with necessary financial statements in the lead up to your plan review and advise you on whether the expenditure is allowed and correctly allocated against your funding budget.
Why you should consider being Plan Managed
Being Plan Managed gives you greater freedom, choice and control over your NDIS plan. It gives you the very best elements of being Agency Managed – such as having someone manage your finances - and Self-Managed – such as having more choice on the supports and service providers you engage.
A Plan Manager will act as your personal NDIS adviser and bookkeeper. They can help you navigate the NDIS and track your goals and finances. A Plan Manager will:
Provide access to NDIS registered and non-registered service providers
Help you choose the right support provider(s) for your needs (if requested)
Receive invoices and pay your providers for their services
Track your supports and funding budgets
Claim funds through the NDIS portal
Adhere to the NDIS Price Guide
Manage financial reporting for your NDIS plan reviews and audits
Be your expert in NDIS funding matters
And best of all, this service comes at no extra cost to you. If you wish to engage a Plan Manager, this can be incorporated into your NDIS plan but you must request funding for it in your discussions with your plan writer.
Switching to Plan Management after your NDIS plan has started
If you decide to transition from Agency-or-Self-Management to Plan Management, you’ll need to make a ‘plan management request’. This request should not only indicate your preference to now be Plan Managed, but who you would like to manage your NDIS funding. There are numerous Plan Managers you can choose from, and it is important that you select a Plan Manager that suites your personal needs and offers dedicated professional financial services and has the right systems and processes in place to maintain good communications with you at all times.
When you have selected a Plan Manager, you can request a meeting with your LAC or NDIA representative. In the meeting, you can discuss with them the reasons you would like to make this change to your NDIS plan and how this change will benefit you in the short and long-term to achieve your goals.
The benefits of Plan Management with First2Care
At First2Care, we believe in providing Plan Management your way, through providing an engaged, transparent, and professional financial service. Working with First2Care means you can let go of any financial stress you may have regarding your NDIS financial management obligations, and focus on your goals, objectives and aspirations.
NDIS participants can access First2Care’s NDIS Plan Management platform, which is aimed at supporting you and your needs. We have created a simple to use Pre-Planning Tool. The tool is designed to help make the process of applying for and managing NDIS funding more streamlined. Participants can store all their information for their application and plan reviews in one place, as well as access monthly budgets, reports and list their goals. The platform benefits Service Providers and Support Coordinators, who, through dedicated portal can view the status of invoice processing and reconciliations, or how your budget is tracking.
Read more about the benefits of working with a Plan Manager. Alternatively, register with 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
Transitioning from one management option to another can feel like a daunting task. If making the transition is the right option for you, and will help you to achieve both your short and long-term goals, speak to your LAC or NDIA representative today. We hope this blog helps you understand the transition process and how you might benefit from being Plan Managed. Let us know in the comments below if you have made this transition and what your experience was.