Difference Between NDIS Plan Management + Support Coordinator

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NDIS Plan Managers + Support Coordinator

Written by: Edwina Wilkens l Marketing + Business Development Manager for Canny Plan Management


There are many different and important people within your support network when it comes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme who plays many different and also important roles.  These people are your network that shares a common goal that is to help you reach and achieve the goals that you set out in your NDIS plan.  From Support Coordinators to Local Area Coordinators (LAC) and everything in between, sometimes you can be left feeling a little unsure what the difference is between the people that play these important roles.  We are often asked what the difference is between us, NDIS Plan Managers and if you have one, your Support Coordinator.  NDIS Plan Management and NDIS Support Coordinators are both services that help you, as NDIS Participants put their NDIS Plan into action, but both do so in very different ways.

There are some big differences between the roles that are carried out as an NDIS Plan Manager and a Support Coordinator and it is important to know the differences between these two services as well as what to expect from your NDIS Plan Management team and your Support Coordinator.  Both parties play a fundamental role in being instrumental in helping you to manage your NDIS Plan successfully.

At Canny Plan Management, we like to work alongside your Support Coordinator, if you have one, to make sure that your supports and your providers are working with you to help you reach and achieve your goals.  We have regular check in’s and sometimes are often on speed dial with your Support Coordinator as we want to ensure that you are getting the most out of every day and ensuring that your providers are working towards the same goals.

What’s the Difference between NDIS Plan Management + Support Coordination?

So, to put it nicely, the key difference between an NDIS Plan Manager and Support Coordinator is that your NDIS Plan Manager is there to help you with the financial side of your NDIS Plan while your Support Coordinator is there to help you manage and choose your supports as well as your providers.

When it comes to finding the right supports to help you reach and achieve the goals that you set out in your NDIS Plan, your Support Coordinator is there to assist you with the supports that might be beneficial for you to reach those goals.  The types of supports that are funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme for participants include:

  • Daily Personal Activities
  • Transport to enable a participant to successfully get or keep employment in the open or support labour market
  • Therapeutic supports including behavioural support
  • Help with household tasks to allow the participant to maintain their home environment
  • Help to a participant by skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment, set up and training
  • Home modification design and construction
  • Mobility equipment, and
  • Vehicle modification

Depending on how your NDIS Plan is managed, will depend on the providers that will be available for you as an NDIS Participant.  There are many different and fantastic providers that are available to all participants but depending on if you choose your NDIS Plan to be Agency Managed, Self-Managed or Plan Managed (or a combination of both) will depend on the providers that you will have available to choose from, which is also where your Support Coordinator comes in handy as they can run you through lists of providers for you to choose from.

NDIS Plan Managers + Help To Manage Your Plan

NDIS Plan Management is one of the four options you can choose from to use and assist you to help manage and keep track of your NDIS funding.

The four options you have as an NDIS Participant are;

  1. Agency Managed, also commonly known and referred to as NDIA Managed
  2. Self-Managed
  3. Plan Managed
  4. Combination of; Agency, Self and Plan Managed

It is extremely important to understand all of your options as an NDIS Participant and to make sure that you are choosing the right option for you and your needs, which is something you can also discuss with your Support Coordinator if you are not sure which will be best suited for you.

Think of your NDIS Plan Management team as your personal NDIS Plan Accountant – for our Canny Plan Management clients, we pride ourselves on providing and delivering independent financial scrutiny, checks and balances, creating and monitoring budget breakdowns, processing payments as well as record keeping – but that’s just the start!

Having an NDIS Plan Manager will allow you to have the flexibility of self-managing your plan with the best thing of all – no stress of paying invoices and managing your budgets.  There’s nothing worse when you’ve been out, enjoying your activities for the day then you finish dinner, jump into bed and remember that you haven’t paid your provider’s invoices that were sent to you during the day.  That’s where your NDIS Plan Manager comes in to play, they take the stress (and annoyance) of paying invoices and they manage your budgets for you!  Better yet, NDIS Plan Management is available for all NDIS Participants with no cost to them or taking money away from their funding.  The option to have your NDIS Plan, Plan Managed by a registered NDIS Plan Manager is fully funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme and can be accessed by simply requesting to include a Plan Manager in your NDIS Plan.  Once approved, the payment for the NDIS Plan Management service is added in addition to the approved amount of funding in its own section, of your NDIS Plan.

As your NDIS Plan Manager, Canny Plan Management will:

  • Meet with your to discuss and prepare a budget that is based on the supports identified in your NDIS Plan
  • Process and pay your provider invoices within three business days of receipt
  • Provide you with options for invoice approval
  • Resolve any payment issues quickly
  • Provide you with monthly budget statements
  • Take care of the financial reporting
  • Check-in with you at three and six months to discuss your plan utilisation and how your funding is tracking
  • Meet with your prior to your plan expiring to help you prepare for your Plan Review, including a proposed budget to help you get the plan you need
  • Provide you with a Welcome Pack in your preferred format
  • Deliver a participant centred best practice model service

Support Coordinators

Your Support Coordinator will support you to understand and implement the funded supports that are outlined and approved in your NDIS Plan as well as link you to services such as your community, mainstream and other government services.  The main focus of a Support Coordinator is to focus on supporting you to build skills and assistance in directing your life as well as connect you to providers.

As well, your Support Coordinator will aid in assisting you to negotiate with your chosen providers about the kinds of supports they will offer you as well as how much it will cost and affect the budgets that have been allowed to you, in your NDIS Plan.  The will help you to build your overall ability to exercise your choice and control, help you to coordinate your supports and also to access your local community all while helping you to optimise your NDIS Plan to ensure that you, as the NDIS Participant are getting the most out of your funded supports.

Support Coordination is usually available for participants who:

  • Have high support needs
  • Need to change their accommodation or housing arrangements
  • Have limited information supports (such as those provided by family and friends)

Whether you’re Plan Managed, Self-Managed,  Agency Managed or a combination, you can access a Support Coordinator if it is deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’ by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Support Coordination has a different purpose and is determined by eligibility and is only available to NDIS Participants where the support is considered “reasonable and necessary” so not everyone will be able to get Support Coordination approved in their requested NDIS Plan.

While an NDIS Plan Manager can provide access to both NDIS registered and non-registered service providers, and help you choose the right provider/s for you, the role of a Support Coordinator is to manage the supports and providers you choose to work with to reach and achieve your goals.  Your Support Coordinator will also work with your service providers to complete service bookings and set up your Service Agreements.

There are three levels of Support Coordination that can be included in your NDIS Plan:

1. Support Connection

Support Connection is the support that is there to help build your ability to connect with your informal, community and funded supports which enable you to get the most out of your NDIS Plan and pursue your goals.

2. Support Coordination

Support Coordination is your coordination of supports: this support is there to assist you to build the skills that you need to understand, implement and use your NDIS Plan.  A Support Coordinator will work with you to ensure there are a mix of supports used to aim to increase your capacity to maintain relationships, manage service delivery tasks, be included in your community as well as being able to live more independently.

3. Specialist Support Coordination

Specialist Support Coordination is a higher level of Support Coordination.  Specialist Support Coordination is for people whose situations are much more complex and for those who need specialist support.  A Specialist Support Coordinator will assist you to manage the challenges you may face in your support environment and help to ensure there is a consistent delivery of the services you need.

NDIS Plan Management, Support Coordination + Canny Plan Management

To include NDIS Plan Management or Support Coordination or both, in your NDIS Plan you have the choice and control to request these services at your planning meeting.  Both your NDIS Plan Management team, together with your Support Coordinator can lease with each other regarding your supports and providers when it is needed.

Get in touch today to find out how Canny Plan Management can work with your Support Coordinator, if you have one, to make sure that your supports and providers are all working together to help you reach and achieve your goals.

Picture of Edwina Wilkens, Marketing and Business Development Manager in the centre of the picture with her hands on her hips leaning forward and smiling wearing a striped purple and yellow shirt

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