Updated: Apr 6
When applying for an NDIS Plan or preparing for your NDIS Plan Review, it’s important to think about how you would like to manage your plan funding throughout your NDIS journey. The NDIA has a certain set of rules that need to be followed when it comes to managing and accounting for funding, payments and expenses. And for some participants, this can be where headaches start. Participants wanting to have more choice and control over their plan, should consider engaging a Plan Manager. Including a Plan Manager in your NDIS Plan can help you reduce financial and administrative stress, allowing you to pursue your NDIS goals with confidence.
What are the benefits of engaging a Plan Manager?
A Plan Manager is a great option for participants who would like more choice and control over their NDIS Plan and the supports they want to engage. It can also be good for those who are considering Self-Management but are unsure about managing the financial and administrative tasks. Plan Managed participants will have access to all the benefits of Self-Management, without the stress and burden of budgeting, record keeping and paperwork.
Even if you’re willing and capable of self-managing your plan, opting for Plan Management (at least to begin with) can help you gain a better understanding of the NDIS and the rules and obligations.
NDIS Plan: What are your management options?
During your NDIS Plan meeting, you’ll be asked how you want to look after your plan funding. Try to think about the best option for you before going to the meeting, that way you can be confident in your choice. If you haven’t thought about it beforehand, and you feel like you’ve made the wrong decision or have simply changed your mind, you can always request to transition to another management option by contacting your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) representative.
When it comes to managing your funding, there are three main options NDIS Participants can choose: Agency Management, Self-Management and Plan Management.
Agency Management: is when your NDIS Plan is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Participants who prefer this option, will only have access to NDIS registered providers for their supports and services. The providers you engage will invoice the NDIA directly (rather than you like with self-management) after a service has been delivered.
Self-Management: gives you complete control over spending your NDIS funds. You can choose any providers or mainstream supports and services, whether they are NDIS registered or not. You’ll need to pay these providers directly and keep records of all invoices and receipts.
Plan Management: is an excellent option for participants seeking to have control and choice over their NDIS Plan without having to worry about managing the financial and administrative side of their plan. It’s the best of both worlds. With Plan Management, you can engage a Plan Manager at no out-of-pocket cost to you to manage all aspects of your plan funding. You can choose from registered and non-registered service providers, and your Plan Manager will coordinate the invoices, claims and payments on your behalf.
What exactly does an NDIS Plan Manager do?
Your Plan Manager will act as your personal NDIS accountant, helping you navigate the NDIS, track your goals and stay financially accountable.
A Plan Manager is responsible for:
Helping you understand your funding and how you can make the most of your plan;
Receiving invoices and paying your providers for their services;
Claiming funds from the NDIS portal;
Adhering to the NDIS Price Guide;
Keeping track of your funds;
Providing regular budget reports so you can get the best value from your plan; and
Managing financial reporting for your NDIS plan review and auditing.
One of the key benefits of using a Plan Manager is to have access to registered and non-registered service providers. Just like registered service providers, unregistered service providers deliver services that are fully funded by the NDIS. They may be sole traders and small businesses, such as a cleaner, interpreter or speech therapist, that have chosen not to go through the lengthy NDIA registration processes.
Being able to access a wider network of skilled service providers gives you greater choice in the people involved in your care. It opens opportunities to ensure your supports and services are delivered how and when you want them.
There is no out-of-pocket expense for you to include a Plan Manager in your NDIS Plan. If you would like to engage a Plan Manager, the NDIA will add extra funds to your NDIS Plan, so your service and support costs are never compromised. During your next plan meeting, let your LAC or NDIA representative know you would like to engage a Plan Manager and they can organise this for you. If you would like to be Plan Managed by First2Care, you can fill in our First2Care Referral Form or call on 1300 322 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this with our team.
How does Plan Management work and is it right for me?
If you have chosen to engage First2Care as your Plan Manager, one of our team will contact you via the phone or email to discuss your NDIS Plan and budgets. You will be set up in the First2Care system and on the First2Care NDIS Plan Management Platform, where you can track your funding and goals, and easily upload service agreements, invoices, and important documents. Your Plan Manager will take care of all your record keeping and administrative tasks, including processing and paying invoices on time.
Choosing how you manage your NDIS funding is an important decision. You should take into consideration: your lifestyle, availability, and your people, budgeting and organisational skills.
Plan management is a good choice for you if you want:
Flexibility, choice and control over your service providers;
A professional to help you track your spending and get the best value from your funds;
To develop skills and confidence to eventually Self-Manage your plan; and
To use supports from a non-registered service provider.
Your secret weapon to maximising your NDIS funding
With a dedicated NDIS Plan Manager, like First2Care, you get full control and flexibility on how you spend your budget, without having the task of doing time-consuming financial administration. You will have access to our First2Care NDIS Plan Management Platform which will enable you to manage everything from pre-planning to your scheduled planning meeting.
First2Care believe in empowering you to achieve your goals, with transparent financial assistance and training to help you better understand your NDIS Plan. Our team will partner with you to reduce the financial and administrative burden of managing an NDIS Plan, helping you get the most out of your NDIS funding.
Read more about the benefits of working with a Plan Manager. Alternatively, register today 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 ...
We hope you better understand the role of a Plan Manager and how engaging one in your NDIS Plan can benefit you long term. We would love to know about your experience being Agency, Self, or Plan Managed in managing your NDIS Plan funding.
We’d love to know in the comments below.
Updated by Mahala Wallace, 7 April 2020.