What is the best NDIS plan management option?
Because everyone is different with unique goals, it can be difficult to know which NDIS funding management option is best for you. What might work for your friend or family member may not necessarily be the best option for you.
When we talk about the best NDIS plan management option, we are talking about the four options you have to choose between when deciding how you’d like to handle the administration of your NDIS funding. If you aren’t familiar with the options, they are:
- Self-managed – You can choose to take care of all the administration yourself, including managing your funding, paying for supports and service providers, keeping records for auditing purposing and budgeting to ensure your funds lasts until your next plan.
- Agency-managed (also known as NDIA-managed) – The NDIA manages your NDIS funding and bookkeeping for you. Your providers will be able make a claim for their fee directly from the NDIA, so you won’t need to pay for anything or keep records yourself.
- Plan-managed – You have complete choice and control over the registered plan management agency NDIS that you decide to work with! Their job is to handle all of the difficult administration of your plan funds including paying suppliers, budgeting to ensure you maximise your funding and providing recommendations based on your funds and goals. A plan manager is independent from the NDIS and therefore will always have your best interests at heart.
- Mixed (a combination) – You can also choose to combine any two of the above methods – for example, you may choose to have one component of the budget managed by a Plan Manager, but self-manage the rest until you feel confident enough to do it on your own (if that is your preference).
Generally, when you first enter the NDIS, the default option for funding management that you may be assigned is to be agency-managed by the NDIA. This option comes with some restrictions such as only being able to receive supports from the NDIA’s list of registered providers. Not only does this mean their pricing is set and can’t be changed, but it could also mean that if you already have a service provider who you like but they aren’t NDIA approved, you won’t be able to continue working with them using your NDIS funding.
Everybody is entitled to access any of the above mentioned plan management options, however, to access a plan manager through a plan management agency, such as Disability Plan Services, you need to request funding for this at your plan review. For assistance requesting funding for plan management, get in contact with our team.
Choosing the right option for you
The best option for you comes down to what works best for your circumstances. There are many things to consider when deciding how you’d like to manage your funds. If you like the idea of taking control of your own NDIS plan and want to self-manage your funds but your disability means this isn’t an option for you then choosing the plan-managed model can be a great alternative!
Knowing how to pick the most suitable option goes hand-in-hand with knowing what your goals are and how you would like to achieve them. Each option comes with its own benefits and advantages that you need to weigh up against each other to decide which one will satisfy your requirements.
For example, choosing to use a plan manager might be the best NDIS plan management option for you if you:
- Want the ability to work with service providers who aren’t registered with the NDIS. You have access to registered and non-registered providers through a plan manager
- Require more one-on-one assistance to better understand your plan.
- Would like the ability to negotiate the price you pay for supports. Plan managers can do this for you
- Don’t want to handle all of the administration yourself but you still want complete visibility and control over your plan funds
If you decide that working with a plan manager might be the best option for you, and you obtain funding within your plan, the next step is to find a plan manager that is also the right fit. We recommend finding someone local if possible so you so that you can easily meet with them in person. It’s also important that you feel respected and understood by your plan manager, so feel free to ask them plenty of questions and get to know them too!
At Disability Plan Services, our experienced team provides NDIS plan management services based out of our South East Queensland offices in Toowoomba and Capalaba. For more information or to get in touch, complete the contact form below.