So you’ve been approved for an NDIS plan, and now you’re ready to choose your NDIS providers and gather a support network around you. The next big question is, how will you manage your funding? Through self management, or plan management? To help you make an informed decision, here’s a rundown of how each option works, and the advantages they each offer.
What is NDIS plan management and self management?
Self-managing your funding means that you will receive funding from the NDIA, and be responsible for paying the NDIS providers that help you meet your goals (or your child’s goals). Under this option you pay your NDIS service provider directly, and keep track of your spending to make sure it aligns with your NDIS plan.
With plan management, a dedicated person or organisation helps you manage your NDIS funds. They handle tasks like paying invoices and keeping records of your spending. You still have the choice of services and supports, but plan management takes care of the financial and administrative side of things. It’s worth noting that funding for plan management is separate from other services and supports in your budget.
A third option is agency managed, which is when the NDIA directly manages your funds. When your plan is agency-managed, the NDIS pays service providers on your behalf. You can choose from a range of NDIS registered providers, and they can claim payment directly from your funding plan. You can keep track of your account on the myplace portal.
In each of these options, you are supported to make genuine choices about the services and supports you need to achieve your NDIS goals.
The advantages of self-managed vs plan-managed
Managing your NDIS plan and using an NDIS plan manager offers different advantages. Which option is best for you depends on your circumstances, your capacity, and how involved you’d like to be in managing your funding. Here are some of the advantages for either option.
Pros of self-managing your NDIS plan
- Increased control – when you manage your own funding, you have full control over how your NDIS funding is allocated and you can make direct decisions that best suit your needs and goals. You can also think creatively about how you can use your funds.
- More flexibility – you can choose from a wider range of NDIS service providers, including those who may not be registered with the NDIS (e.g. you can hire your neighbour to provide support). You can also communicate directly with service providers, creating a more responsive support network.
- Financial oversight – you have a clear view of your funding, expenses, and can directly track and control where your money is going, giving you full oversight over your budget.
- Cost savings – in some cases, you may be able to negotiate better prices for services and supports, potentially stretching your NDIS funding further.
The downside is that self-management can be time consuming, as you need to handle record keeping, do paperwork, and pay invoices promptly yourself. It can also be a complex task, especially if you are managing more than one NDIS provider.
Pros of plan-managing your NDIS plan:
- Reduced admin burden – a plan manager takes care of all the paperwork, invoices, and financial management, reducing your admin load.
- Choose your own providers – you can still choose from a wide range of NDIS services (including unregistered providers), while your plan manager ensures they are paid promptly.
- Financial accountability – a plan manager helps ensure that your funds are spent in line with your NDIS plan, providing financial oversight and accountability.
- Peace of mind – with a plan manager handling the financial aspects, you can focus more on achieving your NDIS plan goals and participating in your chosen supports and services.
The downside can be less control over the financial aspects of your NDIS plan, and being reliant on having a good plan manager who can pay providers on time and handle your funds effectively. Some plan managers charge fees for their services, which could reduce the overall amount of funding available for your supports.
How do I choose?
Choosing between self-managed and plan-managed NDIS plan management depends on your individual circumstances and preferences, and your needs might change over time. When making a decision, some questions to ask yourself are:
- How much control and responsibility do I want over the financial aspects of my NDIS plan?
- Am I comfortable with directly communicating with service providers about my plan?
- Do I want to take on administration and budgeting responsibilities, or would I prefer to have a bit more support in these tasks?
- Am I able to financially manage my NDIS plan? Would I find dealing with paperwork and payments stressful?
- Am I okay with having potentially less direct control over payments and negotiations with service providers?
- Do I know where to hire a good plan manager who can help me make the most of my finding?
It’s a personal choice, so it’s worth taking the time to make the right decision for you.
Home Caring provides personalised, high quality support services for people living with a disability. As an NDIS registered provider, we’ll help you with a wide range of tasks, so you can be independent and stay connected to your local community. For more information, please get in touch.