The NDIS is still in the process of expanding to cover all Australians with a disability, and one of the first decisions people make in the process of getting a plan is how their funding will be managed.
Having funding approved is just the first milestone in a long process that can be overwhelming at times. Knowing what’s best for you in terms of funding management is crucial to making the most of your allocated funding and accessing your supports with minimal stress. If it’s working correctly, an NDIS plan should be enhancing your life, helping you achieve goals and removing barriers to participation, though it can come with a lot of extra administration and time commitments.
The default option that participants are generally offered for funding management is agency management. This means that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will have responsibility for paying the people and businesses that provide you with services. When your plan is agency-managed, these service providers must come from the NDIA’s approved list of registered providers and meet the criteria for pricing. This can be inconvenient for many reasons – you may not have registered service providers local to you, you may already be working with someone you like, who knows your history, that you are comfortable with, or the providers that work best for you might not meet the price guide.
The second option available to you is self management, where you are personally responsible for paying the invoices for the services you receive under your NDIS. While this gives you more flexibility for choosing your service providers, it can be quite a large commitment in terms of the paper work, taking time and effort to manage budgets and keep invoices up to date. It can also mean paying for services up front and being reimbursed later, which can be difficult.
Plan management is the third choice available to you, and it combines the ease of being agency managed, where someone else takes care of your paperwork, pays your invoices and files them for safe-keeping, with the choice and flexibility of being self managed. As an NDIS participant, you’re entitled to funding for a plan manager to help make your life easier. Plan management works like any other service that you receive with NDIS funding, but it comes under the category of ‘Improved Life Choices’ so you can get it no cost to you and does not take away from any other area of your budget. Unlike any other funding request, you don’t have to demonstrate your need for a plan manager, you simply have to ask for it.
You also have the option of choosing a combination of agency, self and plan management that best suits your needs.
If you decide a Plan Manager is best for you, you need to get funding allocated on your plan. You can do this at your very first meeting with your planner or Local Area Coordinator. If you’ve already got your plan, but did not specifically request Plan Management, you can either wait for your review at the completion of your current plan, or call up to request a review of your plan sooner to have it included.
If you have any questions about Plan Management and how My Plan Manager can work for you, please contact us.