So you know that plan management is one of the four options available to NDIS participants for managing their funding (the others are self, agency and combination), and you know the extra benefits of being plan managed, including having access to more providers, but do you know exactly what you should expect from your plan manager?
The most basic definition of plan management calls it a ‘financial intermediary’ support. This means that all plan managers are a connection between an NDIS participant, providers and the NDIA. Plan management is about having a third party to communicate with service providers and pay invoices on your behalf. At the minimum, a plan manager is expected to receive and pay invoices, either directly from providers, or passed on from a participant. This is done by claiming money from relevant budget categories on the NDIA portal. They are also required to send monthly reports at a client’s request, including the current budget totals remaining and where money has been spent.
At My Plan Manager we also offer our clients an online client portal and mobile app where you can track your budget and invoices in real time. We have heaps of other free tools for our clients including a virtual credit card system to pay for services on the spot using the app.
Some plan managers may choose to go above the minimum expectations, helping a participant by offering templates and advice on establishing service agreements with providers, offering advice about budgets, providers and services you can access with your funding, even building participant skills for self management or teaching a better understanding of NDIS budgets and processes.
Should you want to be plan managed every year of your plan, you need only ask for it in your NDIS planning meeting.
A good plan manager will be impartial, meaning they don’t influence you to choose certain providers, and especially not steer you to using their company for other services they offer. Lots of providers offer multiple services, like in home care and support as well as plan management but this is a conflict of interest, so be sure that you are choosing a plan manager that you believe has your best interests as their priority.
My Plan Manager is completely independent and plan management is all we do. We work with heaps of providers around Australia and don’t recommend any services but can assist our clients to have as much choice and control in selecting the right provider for them.
If you have any questions about plan management, or My Plan Manager, please don’t hesitate to contact us.