Previously our National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) masterclass discussed how to prepare for your planning meeting. At your planning meeting, your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) will ask you how you prefer your funds to be managed. However, with many different options to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. A vital step on your NDIS journey is to decide on your NDIS plan management, as it is an opportunity for you to tailor and personalise your plan to suit your preferences.
There are three main options to choose from:
• Plan management
You can also choose a combination of all three options, for example your Core Supports funding can be managed by the NDIA (e.g. social/community participation) and your Capacity Building Supports can be self-managed (e.g. Improved Daily Living, Improved Relationships). Talk with your LAC about how you would like your NDIS funds managed and they will help you find the best solution to suit your circumstances.
It is important to note that no matter how you decide to manage your funds, you still have choice and control over your services. Therefore, we suggest you regularly check the NDIS portal to ensure your budget is on track.
All NDIS participants are eligible for plan management and you can request this in your planning meeting. Through this service you will work with an independent Plan Manager to budget your NDIS funds.
Plan management will allow you to:
- Maintain choice and control over your service providers
- Use NDIS registered providers, such as Achieve Australia
- Use non-registered providers in conjunction with an NDIS registered Plan Manager
- Negotiate service prices to reduce your overall costs
- View your plan on the NDIS myplace portal to keep track of your spending
NDIA-managed (or Agency-managed)
When your plan is managed by the NDIA, sometimes referred to as Agency-managed, you do not have to worry about receipts, invoices, or finding providers. However, while NDIA-management may remove some of the administrative tasks of plan management, However, while NDIA-management may remove some of the administrative tasks of plan management, it can limit the number of providers you are able to access.
By choosing an NDIA-managed plan, you:
- Have the option to choose from a variety of NDIS registered providers
- Your providers can claim payments electronically from your funding
- You cannot use unregistered providers
- You have access to the NDIS myplace portal, which helps to monitor your budget
- The NDIS myplace portal also lets you view any claims providers are making against your NDIS funding
- The NDIA will record your spending for you, so you know where your money has gone
For many NDIS participants, self-management can be daunting, and it may be difficult to know where to start. Self-management is when you manage your own NDIS funding, and you have the flexibility to choose the type of supports you access to meet your plan goals. It is a good solution for individuals who want to maintain full control over the management of their NDIS funds.
Some of the benefits of self-management include:
- The choice to decide what supports you purchase, who provides these supports, and how they are delivered
- The flexibility to choose providers that best suit your needs and who will help achieve your goals
- The capability to personally employ or contract support staff
- The ability to negotiate support costs
- The financial responsibility over your NDIS funding
However, unlike plan and agency-management, there are added responsibilities to consider when you self-manage your funds. Some additional responsibilities of self-managed funds may include, but are not limited to:
- Choosing and purchasing supports that link to the goals in your NDIS plan
- Making clear agreements with your providers about the supports you will receive, including how they will be provided and paid for
- Handling your funds so the cost of your supports can be met within your budget
- Paying for supports by making payment requests and paying for your supports on time
- Keeping invoices and receipts as proof of payment for your use of NDIS funding
- If you choose to employ staff directly, you will need to meet your responsibilities as an employer
- Showing how you used your funding to reach your plan goals
- Advising the NDIA of any significant changes in your circumstances that may result in you being unable to meet your responsibilities as a self-manager
If you are interested in self-management, the NDIA has put together a guide which can be accessed here.
If you have further questions in regard to how you can manage your NDIS funds call us on 1300 22 44 38.
In the final part of our NDIS masterclass series we will cover some of the different types of support services that you can access through the NDIS.