Plan Managers and the NDIS

There are a few pieces of the NDIS puzzle that we know you need to get right to get the best possible outcome. In this article we look at Plan Management in the NDIS, and what options you have when it comes to managing your plan. Each plan management option has a different way of working and some plan management types give you more flexibility and choice and control than others.

What is Plan Management and what is it supposed to do?

Under the NDIS, Plan Management is about the financial management of your plan.

The Local Area Coordinator or Planner will ask you at your Planning meeting how you would prefer your funding in your NDIS plan to be managed. You do not have to decide straight away exactly who manages your plan, but you should be clear about whether you want someone else to manage your plan, or if you want to do it yourself or your nominee to do it for you.

Plan Management is included in your NDIS Plan in addition to other supports.

We’ll talk more about the different options later, but first let’s discuss what exactly is Plan Management.

Plan Management involves:

  • Receiving and paying invoices:
  • Making claims for reimbursement or for payment using the NDIS myplace portal
  • Producing monthly statements which include summaries of expenditure and estimating remaining funds within each of the funded support categories

Some Plan Managers may also engage act as a go-between with services as well as a skills builder, supporting you to:

  • Establish service agreements with providers
  • Explore different budgeting options or scenarios
  • Build your financial literacy and help develop you to self manage your plan at some stage in the future.

Participants typically receive around $1,400 for Plan Management in their NDIS plan (a higher rate is paid for people living in remote areas) which is comprised of:

  • 12 monthly processing fee at $98.12 per month
  • A set up fee of $218.27 (only paid in the first plan)

A small number of NDIS participants are also funded additionally to build capacity to manage their own plan.

Different types of Plan Management

There are four ways of Plan Management:

1. Self-managed

The most direct approach – Self-management provides you with the greatest level of flexibility, choice and control. It is also the option with the most responsibility and can be time-consuming. Self-management means you are managing your affairs, or you can use a nominee (usually a parent or carer).

What’s involved?

  • You choose and organise your supports, including the staff and services and items you purchase as part of your plan
  • You pay the invoices for your supports
  • It’s not compulsory, but you might want to open a bank account to manage the NDIS funding
  • You keep appropriate records and receipts for the supports you receive
  • You report to the agency through the myplace portal on your NDIS plan funds you spend on self-managed items
  • You can request to self-manage all or some of the support budgets in your NDIS Plan. You may also choose to self-manage just one part of your NDIS plan, and if you choose this option, you will have two support budgets in your plan with the same name, and each budget will have a different description about how the supports will be paid. For example, if you have funded supports for ‘assistance with daily life’ you may manage your personal supports, and get the NDIA to manage your household assistance or vice versa.
Benefits Drawbacks
Flexibility – Freedom to choose any provider, including providers who are not registered

Choice – you know exactly who you are paying

Control – you know exactly what you are paying for

Time – takes time

Responsibility – Comes with responsibility

Pay upfront – Need to pay costs upfront and wait for reimbursement

Build your skills – Might need to build skills in certain areas

2. NDIS (Agency) management

NDIA managed suits people who are happy to use registered NDIS providers only, and want someone else to manage the finances. This category of management is falling in popularity as people choose to exercise more choice and control.

What’s involved

  • You choose and arrange your own supports, including your own support workers. They must be registered NDIS providers if you choose to have an agency managed plan.
  • NDIA manages the invoices and payments for your supports.
  • NDIA asks for the receipts and keeps records of your supports.
 BenefitsDrawbacks
Relatively Easy – because you don’t really do anything

Save time – the NDIA organises payments with the providers who work with you

Less accountability – the NDIA is accountable for the payments.

Limited choice – You can only work with NDIS registered providers

Less control – you have limited control

Less flexibility – the budget you have is less flexible.

3. Enlist the help of a Plan Manager

A Plan Manager is an organisation that provides plan management services (they must be registered specially for Plan Management). The Plan Manager is paid a fixed monthly rate for organising the financial side of your plan.

What’s involved

  • You meet with your chosen plan manager and discuss your NDIS plan.
  • Your Plan Manager organises and manages the financial parts your NDIS plan.
  • You choose and organise your own supports, including your own support workers.
BenefitsDrawbacks
Flexibility – Freedom to choose provider, including providers who are not registered

Choice – you can choose the supports provided they are within the guidelines

Funded – NDIA provide funding for the Plan Manager in your Plan

Time – more meetings! There will be another person you need to meet with regularly, for example every month

Build your skills – Might need to build skills in certain areas

4. A combination of the above management options

You may be able to choose a mix of self-management and NDIS management. This means that when it comes to your NDIS finances, you can choose who manages what.

This option suits people who are happy for the NDIS to manage parts of their budget, but want control over certain services. This is especially handy when you want to enlist a support service that is not registered with the NDIS. Remember however, you lose flexibility and control when you hand over to NDIA!

What’s involved

  • You choose and arrange your own supports, including your own support workers.
  • You ensure relevant invoices for supports you choose to self-manage are paid on time.
  • You keep appropriate records and receipts for the supports that you choose to self-manage, both claimed and paid.
  • You report to the NDIA on the amount used and funds spent on the self-managed items of your NDIS plan.
  • NDIA will manage the parts of the budget that you allocate to them.
BenefitsDrawbacks
Flexibility – Freedom to choose any provider, including providers who are not registered

Choice – you know exactly who you are paying

Control – you know exactly what you are paying for

Time – takes time

Pay upfront – Need to pay costs upfront and wait for reimbursement

Build your skills – Might need to build skills in certain areas

How can CareAbout help you choose a Plan Manager?

CareAbout

Quality Care At CareAbout, we only work with providers who are customer focussed and have robust processes in place

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Certified Providers with Availability All providers we work with are NDIS certified and have immediate availability.

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Your happiness is our success If the relationship between you and the provider doesn’t last, we don’t get paid. So we make sure we only recommend providers who will do a good job.