Updated: Apr 20
Throughout your NDIS journey you’ll interact with a number of people working in various supporting roles like Local Area Coordinators, NDIA Planners, Support Coordinators and Plan Managers. Each of these offer different types of support to help you manage your NDIS plan. Knowing what their roles and responsibilities are can help you to maximise your support network, ensure your NDIS plan is being implemented as intended and ultimately help you work towards your goals.
Local Area Coordinators and NDIA Planners
Local Area Coordinators (LAC’s) and NDIA Planners have a similar role. Both your LAC and NDIA Planner can help you to:
Access and understand the NDIS
Create and implement your plan
Review your plan if there are any changes to be made or when you’re in need of a new plan at the end of your planning period
Connect with support services and your community
It’s important to understand that the main difference between a LAC and NDIA Planner is that an LAC will need to make their recommendations to the NDIA regarding a participant’s NDIS plan and cannot approve a plan themselves, whereas NDIA Planners are employed directly by the NDIA and have the ability to approve participant plans.
Remember that your LAC and NDIA Planners are available to answer questions you may have throughout your plan.
Support Coordinators can help you to implement your supports and build your capacity and skills. If you receive NDIS funding for Support Coordination, you can choose the Support Coordinator you would like to work with.
At the start of your plan, a Support Coordinator will usually assist you a few hours per week to help set up your supports. The contact support hours you will have with a Support Coordinator will likely reduce when your supports are set up and you have the capacity to manage this on your own.
A Support Coordinator will:
Explain how your NDIS plan works
Help you build your capacity and skills so that you understand your plan and how to use it to achieve your goals
Help you connect with, select and engage the right supports and service providers for you
Help you to negotiate with providers about the supports they will offer, the cost and arranging a service agreement
Assist you to prepare for your plan review meeting
Talk with your Plan Manager to allocate funding
If you think Support Coordination will be of benefit you, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your LAC or NDIA Planner during your initial Planning Meeting or Plan Review Meeting. That way, they can consider your support needs and determine whether funding for Support Coordination should be included in your NDIS plan.
Plan management is one of the three NDIS plan management options you can choose from to manage the financial side of your NDIS plan. Think of Plan Managers as your personal accountants. They manage the daily financial and administrative tasks associated with your NDIS plan and can help you to make informed decisions about your plan funding.
Plan Managers will:
Process and pay invoices on your behalf
Help you to keep track of you funding and budgets
Manage your financial reporting
Store invoices and information for you
Like Support Coordinators, Plan Managers are separate from the NDIA. This means you are able to choose the right Plan Manager for you.
With a Plan Manager you can have more flexibility, choice and control over your plan, as well as access to both registered and unregistered service providers who can help you with your support needs and goals. Plan management comes at no extra cost to you. So, if plan management is right for you, be sure to discuss this in your initial planning meeting, your plan review meeting or at any time with your LAC.
Plan Management with First2Care
We are a truly independent Plan Manager, which means that our only focus is you. We provide tailored support services to all our plan managed participants to ensure that you always maintain choice and control over your plan.
To ensure that we provide the very best service, we have a team of Case Managers who work closely with participants and their families, nominee or representative.
Our Case Managers:
Help explain NDIS funding and budgets
Ensure budgets are on track
Provide advice and strategies to manage overspending or underspending on budgets
Connect participants with Support Coordinators if funding has been allocated for this
Answer questions about reasonable and necessary and assisting Participants to make informed decisions
Our goal is to do plan management your way.
Having a better knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of LAC’s, NDIA Planners, Support Coordinators and Plan Managers can help you to understand what your support needs are, who can provide the assistance you need, and how they can help you to manage your NDIS plan and achieve your goals.
Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.