NDIS Plan Management vs Self Management

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NDIS Plan Management vs NDIS Self Management

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

How are you managing your NDIS Plan?  Are you self-managing your NDIS Plan?  Did you know that you can use a registered NDIS Plan Manager too, and get the best of both worlds?

According to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) data, approximately 30% of NDIS Participants are partly or fully self-managing their NDIS Plans.  The best way to manage your NDIS funding is a topic that generates a lot of discussion between NDIS Participants, their families and also their support network – especially regarding the use of NDIS Plan Management and NDIS Self Management.

Many participants are self-managing their NDIS Plans, and that is wonderful as one of the main reasons we are finding they are doing it this way is that they get the extra control over the way they purchase their supports.  Not to mention that they can also have greater flexibility in who they can engage and purchase those supports from.

When it comes to managing your NDIS Plan, there is no right or wrong answer to the question that is asked so many times; “do I self-manage my NDIS Plan or do I use a registered NDIS Plan Manager?”  Some participants and their families prefer self-management and some prefer to use a registered NDIS Plan Management provider, like our team at Canny Plan Management.

Finding the right way to manage your NDIS Plan is a very personal choice and it comes down to how comfortable and happy you are to have your NDIS Funding managed – better yet, the choice is completely yours!

Ways to Manage Your NDIS Funds

Every NDIS Participant has a choice in how they manage their NDIS Funding, there is no eligibility checks or applications that you have to fill out and complete, depending on how you would like the funds to be managed.

During the NDIS Planning meeting, you’ll be asked by the NDIS Planner to nominate if you would prefer to manage your NDIS funding yourself, enlist a registered NDIS Plan Manager, have the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manage it, or if you would like to use a combination of all three.

NDIA Management does not allow you to use the service providers who are not registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  Many providers, particularly those that operate as sole traders and as independent support workers but are not registered with the NDIS.  This is very common, but what this means, in a nutshell, is that if you choose to have your NDIS Plan managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency you will not be able to use providers that you may have previously engaged with and would like to re-engage with again unless they are registered with the NDIS.

On the flip side, you are allowed to use unregistered providers when you choose NDIS Self Management or NDIS Plan Management.  If you are an NDIS Participant and are trying to figure out which is best for you, for many it comes down to the choice between NDIS Self Management and NDIS Plan Management for how your NDIS Funding is going to be managed.  So let’s compare the pair…

NDIS Self-Management… What is it?

By definition of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS);

Self Management is when you manage your NDIS funding.  It gives you the flexibility and choice to decide what supports you buy to meet your plan goals.

As an NDIS Participant, you have the choice and control to choose to have your NDIS Funding self managed.  If you choose self-management, you are responsible for managing all of your allocated NDIS finances, yourself.  What this means is that you or someone who is part of your support network is responsible for paying the invoices received from your service providers for the supports that they have provided to you, then claiming those funds back from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) portal.

In a nutshell; self-management means as well as paying the invoices of your service providers (then claiming the funds back to be reimbursed from the NDIA) you also need to be keeping receipts or a record of all your previous invoices in case you are audited, and also keeping track of how much of each of your allocated budgets have been spent so that you don’t run out of or go over your allocated budget.

If you are self-managing your NDIS Plan, make sure that you have understood and considered the below;

  • Purchasing supports that link to the goals in your NDIS Plan.
  • Making clear agreements with your chosen providers about the supports that they will provide and you will receive including how they will be provided and paid for.
  • Managing your funding so the costs of the supports you receive give you the best value for money, and can be met within your allocated NDIS budget.
  • Claiming and paying for supports by logging on and making payment requests and paying for your supports on time.
  • Keeping invoices and receipts so that you have records and can show you have paid for your supports using your allocated NDIS funding.
  • Meeting your obligations as an employer if you choose to employ staff directly.
  • Showing how you have used your self-managed funding towards pursuing your goals that you have set out to achieve and are outlined in your NDIS Plan at your Plan Review Meeting.
  • Advising the NDIA of any changes that are significant to your circumstances that potentially could result in you not being able to meet your responsibilities as a self-manager.
  • Participating in any payment auditing where you will need to provide invoices, receipts as well as any other evidence that is available to show how you have spent your NDIS funding, in line with your NDIS Plan.

NDIS Plan Management… what is it?

By definition of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS);

Plan Management is where a provider supports you to manage funding in your NDIS Plan.  These providers are known as plan managers.

Plan Management is different to having the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manage funding in your NDIS Plan, or choosing to self-manage your plan.

NDIS Plan Management essentially hands the management of your NDIS funds over to a professional who has to be registered with the NDIS.  Think of it in the way that you would go to our Accounting Team as your accountant to get your tax return completed – yes, you can and you have the option of doing it yourself, but you can also engage in an accountant to do this on your behalf, only in this case it’s fully funded by the NDIS.  This is because if you ask for Plan Management in your NDIS Plan and it is approved, the funding to pay your chosen NDIS Plan Manager, like Canny Plan Management will be included in your NDIS Plan – on top of all of the other budgets and funding that has been approved.  There is absolutely no cost to you and it doesn’t affect your funding.

Your NDIS Plan Management team will pay your providers when they issue their invoices for the services they have provided.  They help to keep you on track for your budgets and will give you monthly updates or if preferred, weekly or as requested updates.  They also keep records of all of your invoices, payments, not to mention if you have a team like Canny Plan Management working with you – they are available for you, to help with any NDIS questions that you may have or that arise over the course of your NDIS Plan.

To find out more about what Canny Plan Management offer, check out this blog post on Fool Proof NDIS Plan Management!

We have a wealth of knowledge about all areas of NDIS Plan Management and the NDIS, including Help To Manage Your NDIS Plan, NDIS Dictionary, How To Prepare For Your NDIS Plan Review and so much more.

Which NDIS Management Is Right For You?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question and that’s not a bad thing!  The answer to this question will depend on your situation, personality as well as how much time and commitment you have available.

Ask yourself these questions…

  1. Do you enjoy being in control?
  2. Do you have the time to be very hands-on and active with the finances of an NDIS Plan?
  3. Do you have the ability to keep extremely detailed records?

If you answered YES, then NDIS Self Management is definitely an option for you to consider and that you should look into.  It’s important to have a conversation around this option with your Support Worker, Support Co-Ordinator (if you have one) and/or your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to speak about the possibility of bringing this up in your next Plan Review.

It’s important, to be honest, and upfront when making the decision on how your NDIS Plan should be managed.  It’s not uncommon for a lot of people to feel they do not have the time, the skills or even the patience to manage their own NDIS funding or that of a loved one and would prefer and feel more comfortable engaging in the services of a registered NDIS Plan Management team to do it for them and support them through this.

Canny Plan Management + Your NDIS Plan

The focus of this article isn’t to say that Self Management is better than Plan Management (or vice versa) it is simply to show both sides and that it is entirely down to personal preference.  It is important to remember that there is no eligibility criteria as we previously mentioned for having NDIS Plan Management included in your NDIS Plan.  It can be a great conversation to have with your Support Coordinator (if you have one) as well as your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) if and when the time comes.

It can also be very helpful to talk to our team at Canny Plan Management, regardless of how your plan is being managed currently or if you are with a different NDIS Plan Manager.  We take the time to listen and understand where you are at with your plan, your goals and how we can assist you and help you to reach those goals.

Want to know more?  Check out what we do and how we are different and if you would like to get in touch to find out more about Canny Plan Management and to see if we can help you manage your NDIS Plan if you are looking for a reliable, honest and person-centred NDIS Plan Management team.

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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