Understanding Combination Plans

Most participants know that their NDIS plan can be self-managed, plan managed, or NDIA managed. While these are the three main options for managing your NDIS plan, another option that is not often talked about is combination management.


Woman with a note book on the desk holding a pen and her phone looking pensive.
Woman with a note book on the desk holding a pen and her phone looking pensive.

NDIS Plan Management Options


Having choice and control over your supports and how your plan is managed is one of the key elements that make up the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Some participants may want to manage their funding entirely on their own, while others might prefer that the daily administration and paperwork be taken care of by a dedicated plan manager.


The four ways to manage and NDIS plan are:

  1. Self-management

  2. Plan management

  3. NDIA management

  4. Combination management

Although the first three management options are the most common, you can also choose a combination that best suits your needs.


What is a Combination Plan?


A combination style of management allows you to use a different management option for different budget categories. Choosing combination management depends on how involved you wish to be in the day-to-day running of your plan, your capacity, and how much admin you want to do.


For example, you may wish to self-manage your NDIS plan, however as it can be a lot of work, especially if you are new to the NDIS. In this case, having specific budget categories self-managed, and the rest of the budget categories managed by the NDIA, or a plan manager could be the right choice for your needs.


What are the benefits?


The main benefit of a combination plan is that you can manage each of your NDIS budgets in a way that works best for you. Other benefits include:

  • Flexibility

  • More choice and control

  • Freedom to choose registered and unregistered providers

  • Less administrative work than if you were to self-manage only

Why choose a combination plan?


There are many reasons why someone may wish to choose a combination plan, including:

  • Having more choice and control over your plan and supports

  • Reducing the administrative work (if you currently self-manage)

  • You need support to manage finances, process invoices and navigate the NDIS

  • You want to engage certain providers (like therapists) and need to pay above the NDIS Pricing Arrangements set rate

  • To choose which budget categories you want more control and flexibility over

  • To try different plan management styles to see what is the best fit for your needs

Plan Management & Self-Management Combination


Having a combination between plan management and self-management can be a great option.


Plan management offers flexibility to choose from registered and unregistered providers while also providing support with administrative tasks and invoice processing, claiming, and paying. There is no out of pocket expense for plan management as this is included in your NDIS plan funding. Capped pricing mean that some supports might be cheaper under plan management than they would be under self-management.


Self-management also provides greater flexibility, choice, and control, however there are more responsibilities. Typically, a separate bank account is needed to manage funding, budgets, invoice claims and payments will need to be managed by yourself. Pricing is not capped which means that you could end up paying more for supports than the amount outlined in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements.


Combining the two options could be the best of both depending on your needs.


If you would like to be fully self-managed but are not ready to take on the daily tasks associated with self-management yet, starting with a plan management and self-management combination can be helpful to gain a better understanding of what is involved in managing a NDIS plan. You can also discuss this goal with your plan manager and they may be able to help you to build your capacity to self-manage in the future.


If you try a combination plan and decide you prefer to be solely plan managed, you can speak with our First2Care support team or your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) about making the change from combination to plan management.


Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or support@first2care.com.au.