Navigating NDIS Plan Management
NDIS plans go a long way in giving your family the recourses it needs to thrive. But selecting an NDIS plan management option can be pretty overwhelming. Especially if you’re new to the NDIS journey. (Though seasoned pros have trouble, too!)
The bad news? There’s no one size fits all strategy. The good news? There’s no one size fits all strategy! Meaning you can customise the perfect plan for you and your family.
Different management strategies will work for different families, and you can have different portions managed differently depending on your family’s needs.
Confused? Never fear! Here’s everything you need to know about the three most popular Plan Management options: Self-Managed, Plan Managed and Agency Managed Plans.
What is it?
A Self-Managed Plan is just what it sounds like. It puts you at the helm of managing your plan and its funds.
Self-Managed Plans offer the most flexibility of all the options. We find that flexibility makes life a whole lot easier.
Not only can you access both registered and unregistered providers, you’re able to pay providers more or less than the NDIS price limits. This can really open up more diverse (and often more affordable) options. Plus, if there is a provider that you want to pay more than the NDIS maximum, you can do that too.
But with great power, comes great responsibility. Unlike Plan Management and Agency Management, you’re responsible for submitting your providers’ invoices, making sure they’re paid, and keeping all your receipts and financial records on file for 5 years in case you’re audited.
– Much more flexibility and choice
– Give families a sense of empowerment and control
– Allow you to be a role model of independence for your children
– Easier to pay your providers in a timely manner
– You get to choose the providers you use, including unregistered providers
– You’re not restricted by the price guide
– You need to be organised to take on this kind of plan, but it’s generally worth the trouble
– Where there can be more admin involved here than in other plans, you can use your plan to pay someone to help you manage the admin.
– You typically need to pay for the service first and then submit for reimbursement
– Submitting claims can be time consuming, but it’s just been made a whole lot easier with the new NDIS app
Self-management has been made even easier with the Self Manager Hub https://www.selfmanagerhub.org.au/ and the NDIS Guide to self-management https://www.ndis.gov.au/participants/using-your-plan/self-management
What is it?
While we prefer Self-Managed Plans, Plan Managed Plans are a close second. Plan Management puts the management of your NDIS funding in the hands of an independent expert. This can be a great starting point for families who are feeling nervous about self-management.
Your plan manager will take care of the admin that comes with your NDIS plan, like ensuring your service providers are paid and keeping all your invoices on file.
Having the right plan manager can make all the difference. Do your homework and find someone you can work with to get the most out of your plan. You an even have a portion of your plan Plan Managed and try Self-Management for another portion. It’s really up to you.
– Your plan manager takes care of a lot of the admin, claims and payments
– A real time saver for busy families or newbies
– It’s just easier, especially with more than one child
– If you ask for Plan Management, you will receive funding in your plan to pay for it
– If you find a good plan manager, they can work with you to get the most out of your plan
– Less flexible than Self-Managed Plans
– You are stuck with the NDIS-determined price guide for support and services
– If you and your plan manager don’t see eye to eye, they can become a barrier to utilising your plan
What is it?
This option puts the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in charge of your NDIS funding. The NDIA handles all the admin of your plan, paying service providers and managing invoices.
One positive thing about Agency Managed Plans is that there is less stress to front up the funds for support, services and equipment yourself before you claim. Which might be attractive to families on a budget.
However, we still strongly discourage Agency Managed Plans as there are just too many limitations. Unlike Self-Managed Plans or Plan Managed Plans, you can only access providers that are registered with the NDIS.
We see this as a major dealbreaker. For some it will mean not being able to use a therapist you want. For others it will mean not being buy your child’s nappies at the supermarket. Less flexibility, choice and control is not ideal in most circumstances, especially for rural and remote families that have less options.
– No upfront costs mean this type of plan can be good for big ticket items
– No record-keeping required
– This plan is far more restrictive than the other two options
– You can only use registered providers
– You have far less control, choice and flexibility
Learn more from the NDIS about ways to manage your child’s NDIS plan.