Ensuring your NDIS funds are claimed correctly helps to ensure you get the best value from your NDIS Plan.
You may have seen some information in the media recently about an NDIS participant who had money incorrectly taken from her NDIS funds without approval.
We wanted to explain how this can happen and provide some tips for managing your plan so you can be confident that you are always in control of how your funds are spent.
The process for paying providers.
The way your providers make a request to claim and receive payment from your NDIS Plan depends on how your plan is managed:
- If you are plan managed, your plan manager takes care of the paperwork and processes provider invoices for you. You can typically work with your chosen plan manager to set up how you can best monitor and review requests to claim (invoices) and budget balances prior to payment/s being made.
- If you self manage, you look after your own NDIS budgets which means you receive, process, track and pay invoices yourself from your NDIS budget.
- If you are NDIA/Agency managed, service providers can claim from your NDIS Plan directly once service booking/s are in place. You will not usually see an invoice before a claim is made. This automatic payment process means funds can be taken from your NDIS Plan to pay providers even if they don’t show up for a scheduled service or make a mistake on your bill. Some NDIS participants and advocates believe there should be more checks and balances for people whose plans are Agency managed to reduce the chances of this occurring.)
Choice and control over your NDIS funds.
Whether you choose plan management, Agency management or to self manage will depend on:
- How much administrative help you need
- How confident you are with managing invoices and payments
- Whether you want to use unregistered providers (only available if you use plan management or self manage).
Keeping track of your NDIS budget.
Regardless of how your NDIS Plan is managed, it can be hard to keep track of your NDIS budget, especially if you have a lot of supports and support workers to manage. There are some important things you can do to protect yourself and ensure your NDIS funds are used correctly.
1. Monitor your budgets.
Regularly monitor your NDIS budgets. Do the remaining balances look correct? Do I have funds available for future purchases? That way you are more likely to notice if something doesn’t seem quite right. You can do this via the NDIS portal (My Place), or easily via the Leap in! app if you are a Leap in! member.
2. Be aware of changes.
If something changes, ensure any invoices or payments reflect those changes. This is particularly important if a service agreement ends, a new price guide is released, a provider doesn’t show up for or was unable to provide a scheduled service.
You can do this by checking your payments and balances in the NDIS portal (My Place) if you are NDIA managed, by checking your invoices before approving if you are plan managed, or by checking invoices before paying if you self manage.
3. Keep service agreements up-to-date.
Ensure your service agreements are updated if there are any changes to the services you receive or agreed costs.
4. Keep a service diary.
Keep a diary or log of services that you have received to make it easier to check invoices and/or statements. You could use the calendar on your phone or a paper diary. That way when it comes to checking your invoice or your payment history summaries, you don’t have to try to remember if you received the service.
5. Check against your service agreement.
Take the time to check that pricing on any invoices you receive reflects the prices agreed to in your service agreement.
How plan management can help.
Plan management is ideal for people who want to have control over their NDIS Plan purchases but need some help with bookkeeping and administration.
With Leap in! plan management:
- You choose for each provider how you would like to approve invoices prior to payment. Set it up how it best suits you. For example: you can pre-approve trusted regular services while checking and individually reviewing and approving other invoices before we submit as a claim on your behalf.
- Billing issues and questions are resolved for you
- We lodge claims and keep records for you, meaning less admin and paperwork
- You are supported to understand your NDIS Plan and how you can use your budgets
- You can choose any provider (registered or unregistered).
Plus you get access to the award-winning Leap in! app where you can view your budgets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You’ll also be able to set up your providers in the way you want for invoice approval, see what invoices you have paid and any invoices that are ready for review.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to speak to a member of our crew to learn more about the benefits of plan management and how you can get more from your NDIS Plan, call us on 1300 05 78 78, contact us via our website (online chat available) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.