If you have a new NDIS plan, or are looking to get one, there’s a lot of ‘lingo’ and terms involved that you may not be familiar with. Some of the most commonly asked questions we get are about ‘registered’ and ‘unregistered’ providers and just what the differences are. Service providers, or just ‘providers’ as we generally call them, are businesses or individuals who provide you with a service that relates to your NDIS plan goals. They may be cleaners, physiotherapists, psychologists, carers or more – the term is applicable to businesses as varied as individuals’ plans are.
For a provider to be registered with the NDIA, they have to go through a lengthy and somewhat costly process. This is often too big of a hurdle for smaller businesses, so they choose to stay unregistered, even though they have all the necessary skills and drive to provide a high quality service that suits their clients perfectly and is still fully covered by the NDIS. In that way, the differences to you, as a participant, are minimal.
Having to choose from the predetermined NDIA registered providers list can be prohibitive to participants in a few ways: There may be no appropriate registered supports in your area, for example, if you need a speech therapist but none in your local area have completed the registration, you may have to travel, or not be able to access a Speech Therapist at all. If you do have appropriate registered providers in your area, they may be at capacity and not currently able to take on new clients. Or, you may also simply not have a great personal relationship with the registered provider/s in your area. These are all common reasons we see for under-spending in budgets – the hurdles to actually engaging providers.
If you are agency managed, your provider options are limited exclusively to registered providers, so you must choose to access the services from their list, however, choosing to have your NDIS funding plan managed (by requesting ‘Improved Life Choices’ during your planning meeting) means that you have access to the broader network of unregistered providers. Through engaging a plan manager like My Plan Manager, we are able to claim invoice payment for any provider with an ABN that meets your reasonable and necessary goals.
If you have any more questions about service providers or the NDIS, our friendly enquiries team members are happy to chat and help take the stress out of the NDIS.