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Top tips for getting your NDIS provider invoices paid quickly

A person creating invoices at their desk.

At My Plan Manager, we work with a lot of providers, and we process thousands of invoices from across Australia every week. That means we see what works – and what causes delays – when it comes to invoicing for services and supports funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Want to get paid as quickly as possible? To help you comply with the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) requirements and get paid swiftly, we’ve pulled together a list of our top tips for invoicing.

Here are some things you can do to get money in your bank faster. Let’s go!

#1. Understand what’s funded in your client’s NDIS plan

As a provider, you’re reliant on your client being transparent about their NDIS funding, so you know it will cover the services and supports you provide. That’s why it’s good to confirm what’s funded in their plan early in the picture, to reduce the likelihood of non-payment.

Having a funding discussion also allows you to talk with your client about the NDIA’s reasonable and necessary criteria, and whether the Scheme will pay for the services and supports you provide.

We explain more about what’s considered to be reasonable and necessary here.

#2. Send us a signed service agreement

A service agreement sets out in writing what a client can expect from you and what you can expect from them. It includes the type, quantity and cost of the services you’ll provide.

By putting the terms of your relationship in writing, you can help your client to avoid stress from an unexpected charge and reduce the risk of disputes arising after a service has been delivered.

You can outline additional fees and charges – such as travel costs and cancellation fees – so everything you and your client agree to is recorded.

No one likes hidden costs, so if you plan to charge your client for the cost of travel when you accompany them out in the community, travel to them, or incur travel costs (like parking and tolls) when visiting them, let them know up front.

The same goes for cancellation fees. A cancellation policy can provide security to your business in the event your client cancels their appointment or is a ‘no show’. But if you don’t communicate your policy up front, and you later apply a fee, your client may feel upset by the unexpected (and unwanted) charge.

Service agreements that include all planned and potential fees and charges also allow plan managers like us to set aside funding from a client’s plan to cover the costs – and they’re a great tool to help you to lock in repeat business and manage your cashflow.

As Australia’s largest (and leading!) plan management provider, we support our clients to proactively budget and ensure they have funding available for the duration of their plans. We also offer tips for using funding flexibly, which means if they run out of funding in a particular budget category, they may be able to claim from another area of their plan.

At the end of the day, we don’t have complete control over client spending, and there may be times when participants run out of NDIS funding and we can’t pay an invoice on their behalf. That’s where a service agreement really helps. While they aren’t compulsory, they do help to reduce the risk of payment delays caused by insufficient funding, so we definitely recommend them.

If you have a service agreement in place with a mutual client, you can send it to us at [email protected]. Make sure the agreement has been signed by our client before you send it in.

Here are some tips about what to include in a service agreement.

#3. Use the right line item codes in your invoices

Including the right line item codes in invoices can push claims through faster – and with change being a constant feature of the Scheme, it always pays to check the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits first to make sure the code you’re using is the right one.

The NDIA has rules around invoicing, and if you don’t adhere to them, it’s likely your claim will be delayed or declined.

For more information, read through our little black book of line items.

#4. Be sure the hourly rate you charge is within the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits

Undercharging and overcharging for services is more common than you may think and its what providers do next that can delay the time it takes to process their claim.

As a plan manager, we must adhere to the NDIA’s requirements when processing invoices and we have to make sure charges don’t exceed the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits – even if you’re an unregistered provider.

If the hourly rate you invoice exceeds the limits, we’ll ask you to amend it and resubmit your invoice. If you charge GST, the total price plus GST must fall within the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits too.

#5. Include clear information in your invoice

A clear invoice includes a new line item for each service or support, the relevant unit price, and the quantity of services or supports delivered.

If the supports you’re providing are a little more complex, you can leave a short description to make it clear how the participant received them.

#6. Make sure your invoices meet Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requirements

The ATO has requirements around invoicing – and specific advice for NDIS providers – and it’s important to make sure your invoices comply with them. The best way to do this is to use our invoice template.

Invoices should include:

  • a unique invoice number
  • the participant’s full legal name and NDIS number
  • the date/s of service/s provided
  • a detailed description of each service provided, including the line item code and quantity of support/hours delivered
  • the price or hourly rate charged
  • your contact information – email address, street address and phone number
  • your ABN
  • your bank details (account name, BSB and account number)

Often, when a payment delay occurs, it’s because critical information has been left off the invoice. Using our invoice template makes the process simpler.

All you need to do is fill the template out and submit it to us via the My Plan Manager provider portal. The portal sends your invoices straight to our payment processing team, and you can also use it to track your payments and view your invoice history.

If you’re not a provider portal user, but you’re keen to sign up, click here.

Alternatively, you can email invoices to us (as a PDF attachment) via [email protected]. If you ever need to follow up an unpaid invoice, you can use the same email address or call us on 1800 861 272 from 8am-6pm (SA time), Monday to Friday. You’ll need to include the below information in your email or have it on hand when you speak to us:

  • the reference number you received from us when you submitted the invoice
  • the invoice number
  • the name of the client the invoice relates to

#7. If a client wants to see their invoice before it’s paid, send it to them before you send it to us

If your client likes to see and approve invoices before they’re paid, or if they sometimes have queries about invoices and what they mean, you can build a relationship of trust by sending your invoices to them first.

That way, any queries can be addressed before the invoice comes to us for processing – and that means we can get the ball rolling towards payment much faster once we receive the claim.

#8. Don’t invoice in advance

Prepayment is generally not permitted for supports or services funded by the NDIS and claims should only be submitted after services have been provided. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as where the NDIA gives you prior written approval (including conditions), or where higher cost supports are involved.

It’s best to check with the NDIA first and you can also call us for advice. You can also consult the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits (search ‘prepayment’).

#9. Send us invoices, not statements

NDIA rules mean we can’t process statements to settle charges for services and supports you’ve provided. If you send us a statement, we need to contact you to send us an invoice instead, and that means there’s an extra step to take before you get paid.

So remember – send us invoices, not statements!

#10. Send invoices within 90 days of providing supports

We often receive invoices more than 90 days after a plan has ended, which means they’re coming in after the NDIS service booking has closed. When this happens, the claim needs to be manually processed by the NDIA in a national queue, and a manual claim can take several months.

As financial intermediaries, plan managers need to wait for funds to come through from the NDIA before payments can be made, which puts a real strain on both clients and providers.

The best way to avoid this is to send us your invoices as soon as possible – within 14 days is ideal.

We’re here to help

If you have questions about invoicing, you can email us at [email protected] or call us on 1800 861 272 from 8am-6pm (SA time), Monday to Friday.

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My Plan Manager acknowledges the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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