Managing your NDIS funds: What are the options?
At the end of each NDIS Plan meeting, you will decide on how to look after the money in your NDIS Plan.
There are several options for managing your plan and its budgets. It’s important to understand these so that you can make an informed decision at your NDIS Plan or Plan Review meeting.
Today, we’ll take a look at the choices and what they mean for you.
Options for managing your NDIS funds.
There are three main ways to manage your NDIS Plan and its budgets.
1. NDIA managed.
Also known as Agency managed, with this option your NDIS Plan is managed by the NDIA (the National Disability Insurance Agency) and you can only use NDIS registered providers. See ‘About registered and unregistered providers’ below for more information.
Invoices from service providers are submitted direct to the NDIS by providers after the service has been delivered and then the NDIS pays providers directly.
Being Agency managed offers the least amount of choice and control. However, it could be for you if don’t require much flexibility and want to use only registered providers.
2. Self managed.
This is the hands-on option, where you look after the claiming and payment of your invoices and can use both registered and unregistered providers. From a financial perspective, you are required to open a separate bank account for managing your NDIS funds.
When you self manage, you have control of your funds but will need to manage all your own records including paying invoices and managing your NDIS budget. You may also have to pay some providers from your own money and wait to be reimbursed.
This option suits people who are good with finances and budgeting, who have the time to action book-keeping components and are confident in their understanding of the NDIS and how the price guide and line items work.
3. Plan management.
Plan managers help you to manage your NDIS budget and bills, a bit like a personal book-keeper with a support team. When you have a plan manager, you can use both registered and unregistered service providers.
Additionally, plan managers like Leap in! help you to make the most of your NDIS plan and to use your funding in the best way possible.
Having a plan manager means you get all the good bits of being self managed, without having to worry about budgeting, record keeping and audits. No separate bank account is required and there are no up front costs. Best of all, you don’t need to understand price guides and correct invoicing from your providers: your plan manager takes care of all of that for you, while you still remain in control of your budgets.
The other useful thing to know is that plan management is included under the NDIS Act, which means that if you ask for a plan manager, then your NDIS Planner or LAC must include it in your NDIS Plan.
Choose one or a combination.
You can select one option for managing all of your NDIS funding or choose a combination of different approaches, depending on what you want to achieve with each category budget.
For example, you may choose to self-manage your Capital supports budget and use a plan manager for your Core supports and Capacity Building budgets.
If choosing plan management, be sure to check that ‘Improved Life Choices’ is included in your NDIS Plan so the NDIS can put extra funds in your plan.
About registered and unregistered service providers.
Becoming an NDIS registered service provider can take time and money which is why many small providers are not registered, even though they provide services to people with a disability. This is especially the case for many allied health professionals and regional providers.
Why is being able to choose your own providers a good thing?
- It means you can use support workers you know and like and if you already use them, there’s no need to change when you receive your NDIS Plan and funding
- There’s no need to wait until an NDIS registered provider has a vacancy
- You get access to a broader range of services than those offered by NDIS registered providers.
Being able to use both registered and unregistered providers gives you the highest level of choice and control.
Changing how your plan is managed.
Want to change how your plan is managed? No problems! This can be done by asking the NDIS for a Plan Review meeting.
We can help.
With pros and cons for each option, choosing how to manage NDIS funds may ultimately be about whether you would like to the freedom to select your own providers, and how much support you need to manage the administration and financial aspects of your funding.
Leap in! is here to help. If you would like to talk about whether plan management is right for you, give us a call on 1300 05 78 78 or sign up to Leap in! plan management today.