With the COVID-19 outbreak affecting some services, many NDIS participants are seeking greater flexibility in their NDIS Plans.
A combination plan can offer that flexibility. Today, we take a look at how a combination plan works and how it can offer more options, particularly in times of uncertainty.
First, a recap on the options for how your NDIS Plan is managed:
1. Plan management
2. Self manage
3. NDIA managed
4. A combination of the above.
Check out Managing your NDIS funds: What are the options? for more details.
Combination NDIS Plans.
A combination plan is when you choose more than one option for managing your NDIS Plan.
For example, you may have part of your plan NDIA managed and use plan management for the rest.
It all depends on how involved you want to be with managing each area of your plan.
- Plan management offers flexibility to choose your own providers (whether they are registered with the NDIS or not) and you also get support with administration and bookkeeping. There are no out of pocket expenses. Capped pricing means some supports are cheaper under plan management than self management.
- Self manage offers more flexibility but more responsibilities. You may need to open a separate bank account. You will need to take care of your own budgets and invoice claims and payments to your providers. Prices are not capped so you can choose a support which costs more than the NDIA Price Guide.
- NDIA managed offers the least amount of choice and control. You can only use NDIS registered providers. The NDIA manages your budgets and pays invoices on your behalf.
With plan management and self manage options, you can use any provider you want (like your local cleaner, gardener or JB-HiFi). They do not have to be registered with the NDIS.
Why choose a combination plan?
- You want more control over a specific budget area such as transport
- There is a shortage of registered providers in your area
- You want the freedom to choose your own providers
- To purchase items that are difficult to obtain through a registered provider (for example assistive technology such as an iPad)
- You’re unsure about whether plan management or self management is right for you so you shift a small portion of your budget to see how it goes.
The great thing about combination plans is you can choose to have each part of your NDIS budget managed in a way that suits your needs.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Elton: Wants to choose his support worker
Elton has found a support worker he really likes who is not NDIS registered. His NDIS Plan is NDIA managed so he is unable to use his NDIS funding to pay for the support worker.
Solution: Elton switches the Assistance with Daily Living portion of his NDIS Plan from NDIA managed to plan management so he can choose his own support worker.
Lisa: Wants to have some modifications to her home
Lisa is NDIA managed and needs to have a ramp installed at her home however, she lives in a remote area. There are no NDIS registered builders where she lives.
Solution: Lisa obtains a quote from a builder recommended by a friend. She opts to use plan management for her home modifications funding so she can use the builder of her choice.
Jasmine: Needs more time with her children
Jasmine is self managing her two young children’s NDIS Plans. She really likes the flexibility of being able to choose her own providers to suit her children’s changing needs. She has a support worker with an hourly rate higher than the NDIS Price Guide. She’d like to free up the time it takes to do the paperwork and payments so she can spend more time with her children.
Solution: Jasmine changes her children’s plan to include plan management but keeps the Assistance with Daily Living budget as self managed so she can continue to have her favourite support worker who is paid above the NDIS Price Guide.
Making the switch.
The NDIS has recognised the need for greater flexibility in the way NDIS Plans are managed during COVID-19.
That’s great news for participants! It is now possible to temporarily change the way all or part of your plan is managed without needing a new plan. Call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 for assistance.
If you’re not happy with the new combination after you’ve tried it out, you can always switch back.
How to try plan management.
If you’re interested in giving plan management a try as part of a combination plan, give the Leap in! Crew a call on 1300 05 78 78 or chat to us online. We’re here to answer your questions.