Updated: Apr 6
Plan Management, Plan-Managed and Plan Managers
NDIS plan management is how participants choose to manage their National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding. There are three funding management options that a NDIS participants can choose from:
Agency-managed: If you are agency-managed, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will manage your bookkeeping, records and will pay support providers on your behalf. Participants will only have access to NDIS registered support providers with this option.
Self-managed: Self-management gives participants the option to manage their own finances and the ability to choose from both NDIS registered and non-registered support providers. No additional funding is provided if you self-manage.
Plan-managed: This option gives Participants the freedom of being self-managed, where they have the choice of both NDIS registered and non-registered support providers, without needing to manage the financial aspects of their plan.
If you’d like to be plan-managed, you can incorporate this into your NDIS Plan at no extra cost. This Plan Management service is offered under the Improved Life Choices category and will need to be addressed during your planning meeting. Once the support is deemed reasonable and necessary by the NDIS, you can employ a Plan Manager.
An independent Plan Manager (like First2Care) is an NDIS registered service provider that can manage the financial side of your NDIS Plan. Tasks we manage on your behalf includes:
Receiving and paying your providers for their services;
Tracking your supports and funding budgets;
Claiming funds through the NDIS portal;
Managing the financial reporting for your NDIS Plan review and audits;
Being your expert in NDIS funding matters;
Help you connect to services in your region if you are having trouble finding them; and
Record keeping sufficient to satisfy the NDIS Audit team.
Having a Plan Manager gives you the freedom to stay in control of your NDIS Plan, your provider choices and your personal goals, without having to worry about managing funding, invoices, and providers yourself.
How to deal with a mediocre Plan Manager
Deciding to incorporate a Plan Manager to help keep track of your NDIS funding is a great option for those wanting to spend more time focused on their personal goals rather than the financial side of their plan. However, choosing the right Plan Manager for you can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.
A Plan Manager needs to be a registered service provider with the NDIS. There are plenty of Plan Managers to choose from, but not all are created equal. It’s important to do your research and speak with each Plan Manager you’re considering before committing.
When you have found a Plan Manager you like, it is an excellent idea to talk with them about creating a service agreement. That way you know you’ll be on the same page.
A service agreement between yourself and your Plan Manager is a great way to open a discussion on:
What supports and services you need;
how they will be provided;
how you and your provider will handle any problems if they arise;
a service agreement review date; and
a cancellation policy.
If you already have a Plan Manager and you’re not happy with the support and services they provide, you can discuss reviewing your current service agreement, or organise to implement one if you don’t currently have an agreement in place. Alternatively seek out a new Plan Manager, one that fits better with your personal needs and goals. Each Plan Manager will have their own stipulations regarding a cancellation period if the partnership is not working. Typically, a cancellation period usually ranges from two weeks to a month.
How a great Plan Manager can benefit Support Providers and their Participants
Having a great Plan Manager does not only benefit NDIS participants, but also their support providers. The benefits of a Plan Manager for participants and support providers are:
Flexibility, choice and control around your funding and the ability to employ or offer services that are not NDIS registered (for guidance on prices of supports provided, which are in line with the NDIS Price Guide for your region).
Better time management and stress reduction when tracking expenses and invoices for both participants and support providers.
Security and peace of mind between participants, support providers and Plan Managers can ensure a successful partnership and the management of funding reports and tracking, and invoice payments.
What’s special about the First2Care Plan Management service?
At First2Care, we put the needs of participants and their support providers at the forefront of our decision making. For participants, we have created a simple to use Pre-Planning Tool to help make the process of applying for and managing NDIS funding easier. This online portal helps current and future participants to compile the information they need for their initial application and plan reviews, to formalise personal and community-based goals, connect with family, friends and carers, upload invoices and service agreements into a single platform solution, and to manage every aspect of their NDIS Plan.
At the end of 2019, we announced our FREE Provider Dashboard. The dashboard has been designed to give support providers a more streamlined invoicing experience, without delays. Across 2020, the Provider Dashboard will welcome new updates making the process more streamlined. The updates including the ability to upload a CSV File containing invoices directly into the portal, negating the need rely upon emails always getting through in order to get paid.
Support providers who would like access to the First2Care Provider Dashboard, can email their full name and an email address they want to use to access a unique portal within the First2Care platform solution.
Read more about the benefits of working with a truly independent Plan Manager like First2Care. Alternatively, register today on our FREE NDIS Plan Management platform, so we can start helping you best manage your plan.
Read more about First2Care’s Plan Management features.
Over to you
With First2Care, participants and support providers will be able to enjoy a more streamlined service. If you are a participant or a support provider and have any tips on optimising the NDIS experience with a Plan Manager and how the First2Care Pre-Planning Tool and Provider Dashboard has helped, please let us know in the comments below.