What is NDIS Plan Management & Why Choose It? | Leap in!

What is plan management?

Plan management is one of the options you have for managing the money in your NDIS Plan. Plan management gives you choice and control over how you use your NDIS budget but with the support of a “plan manager” who helps manage your funds and pays your bills.

Anyone can choose to have plan management added to their NDIS Plan and there are no out of pocket expenses. There are 3 main ways to manage your plan and its budgets. Or, you can choose a combination of options.

When you have plan management, the NDIA pays someone you choose to help you manage your money and pay your bills… think of it like your own NDIS-funded bookkeeper or accountant with a support team.

What it looks like:

  • All of the good bits of being self managed without having to worry about budgeting, record keeping and paperwork
  • The NDIS adds extra funds in your plan to cover the cost of your plan manager
  • Your invoices can go direct to your plan manager who coordinates claiming and payment direct with the NDIS and your providers.

Pros:

  • You have complete control of funds
  • You can choose any provider to help you meet your goals (registered or not)
  • You have the power to approve each payment from your plan to providers
  • Billing issues and questions are resolved for you
  • No bookkeeping or financial tracking
  • No upfront costs
  • No separate bank account required
  • No audits.

Cons:

  • You can’t have services with prices set above the NDIS Price Guide.

The hands-on option where you look after all your own invoices and keep all your own records.

What it looks like:

  • You can use your funds for any providers or mainstream supports and services (they don’t have to be NDIS registered providers or even disability specific providers)
  • You’ll need to open a new bank account just for the NDIS
  • You’ll need to use a computer or fill in forms to get the money paid back to your bank account for your supports
  • You need to keep full records of all invoices and receipts.

Pros:

  • You have complete control of funds
  • You have the power to approve each payment from your plan to providers
  • You can choose any provider to help you meet your goals
  • You can pay higher rates for valued staff or negotiate lower prices for some things.

Cons:

  • You need to be good with finances and budgeting
  • You may have to pay upfront at times and wait to be reimbursed
  • You need to be organised and keep good records
  • You can be audited.

When you’re Agency managed, the NDIA manages your plan for you and your registered service providers are paid directly after the services are provided.

What it looks like:

  • You can only use NDIS registered providers for supports and services with your NDIS funds. Invoices are submitted direct to the NDIS after the service has been delivered and then the NDIS pays them directly.
  • You can check in on the MyPlace NDIS web portal to see how you’re tracking with your funds, see what has been spent and what is remaining
  • Being Agency managed offers the least amount of choice and control, however is a good option for people who don’t require much flexibility and want to only use registered providers.

Pros:

  • No bookkeeping or financial tracking
  • No upfront costs
  • No separate bank account required
  • No audits.

Cons:

  • No option to choose disability or mainstream providers who aren’t NDIS registered
  • Less control and choice for how to spend your funds
  • Can be inflexible (registered support worker agencies may have less flexibility than non-registered ones).
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Is plan management right for me?

Answer yes to these three questions and plan management is for you:

  • Do you want to buy supports from non-NDIS registered providers (like a lawn moving service, local cleaner, therapists or individual support workers who have not registered or community organisations)?
  • Would you like to have the choice and control of being self managed without the administrative obligations?
  • Would you like someone to assist you to find supports, set up service agreements, track goals and you make the most of your plan?
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How do I know I have chosen the right plan manager?

  • Do they have fast turnaround of my invoices so my providers can be paid quickly?
  • Do they have a digital platform where I can review my claims, payments and service agreements 24/7?
  • Do they have an extensive network of providers?
  • Can they help to connect with supports in my local area if I don’t have access to a support coordinator?
  • Can they provide ideas on type of goals I can request and then help me to achieve them when I have my NDIS Plan?
  • Do they provide me with a support team that can help me get the  most out of my budgets?

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