Quick points about Registered NDIS Plan Managers

  • Registered NDIS Plan Managers oversee your NDIS invoices and finances
  • If you require a plan manager, you need to request a plan manager at your planning meeting
  • The NDIS can fund the costs of a plan manager at no extra charge to you
  • You can change plan managers at any time
  • They work for you, not the NDIS
  • They can help you become more financially savvy
  • They ensure you remain NDIS compliant

What is an NDIS plan manager?

A National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan manager is a person or representative of an organization that acts as a financial intermediary and guide for NDIS participants. They can manage your invoices, claim funds via the NDIA portal to pay supports, and negotiate with service providers to receive the best price.  Essentially, having a plan manager ensures that your finances are managed and organized. You will have a more efficient financial support service, and they will allow you to become more active in your care and focus on reaching your goals. You’ll receive monthly spending statements on how your NDIS funds are being allocated and whether or not you are getting the best price for the services you are receiving. A plan manager will take away the stress and worry of paying your NDIS supports and remaining compliant. Because NDIS participants employ plan managers, they always work with your best interests in mind.  Plan managers are funded through the NDIS if requested, which means that an NDIS participant can use a plan manager without affecting their support budgets.  Plan managers are generally registered through the NDIA to ensure that all services provided by plan managers are in good order and adhere to professional guidelines.

Why use registered NDIS plan manager?

Using a plan manager can bring a range of benefits to NDIS participants. People often choose to have their NDIS funds plan managed because they would rather a trained financial professional oversee their NDIS budgets, and they aren’t ready/capable of doing it themselves.

Other reasons you might want to engage an NDIS plan manager could be: 

  • Ensure all your invoices are paid on time
  • Accurate record-keeping of all financial transactions
  • They have experience negotiating or assessing service provider costs
  • Remain NDIS compliant with your spending limits/budget categories
  • Your fund manager understands your needs, is highly knowledgeable, and always acts in your best interests.
  • NDIS Plan manager understand funding categories and the category code
  • Are experienced in working with people with a disability and in the disability sector
  • Ability to easily oversee your finances via the internet in real-time
  • Plan managers can help you gain financial literacy skills
  • Track spending and notify participants of unusual spending patterns
Why is plan management important?

Effective plan management is essential when it comes to the NDIS. Keeping accurate records, paying invoices on time and not misusing your NDIS budget are all vital practices. Failure to maintain your NDIS plan funds may affect your future funding options, alienate service providers, and even result in rejected funding applications.

What does an NDIS plan manager do?

An NDIS plan manager is one of the three types of plan management an NDIS participant can choose. Simply put, a plan manager is a financial intermediary (a middleman) between you (the NDIS participant), your service providers (funded NDIS supports such as carers) and the NDIA. An NDIS Plan manager is responsible for ensuring that your NDIS funding is spent where it’s allocated, service providers invoices are paid on time and that you don’t over or understand your budgets.  There are other services a plan manager can provide, but the level of service depends on the NDIS plan management options you choose and can be highly personalised. For instance, a plan manager may provide increased financial reporting to a participant to gain better insights into their spending. Or perhaps an NDIS participant wants to renegotiate service costs with a provider; a plan manager may help with that. 

Think of a plan manager as a financial assistant whose goal is to help you get the most out of the NDIS whilst following all the rules. 

How to request for registered NDIS plan manager?

You can choose to have an NDIS plan manager mage your funds at any time during your plan cycle. However, the most common and appropriate time to request a plan manager is during your planning meeting or annual plan review. Talk to your local area coordinator or primary carer about switching to a plan manager if you are in a planning cycle and contact the NDIS to talk about how you can change to a plan manager. 

How to find a registered NDIS plan manager?

The NDIS is all about giving people choice and control over their lives, and with so many services and service providers out there, it can be hard to find the right one. Here are a few tips to help you find a plan manager and things you might want to consider when deciding to make contact. 

 

  • Talk to your local area coordinator about finding a plan manager and ask for a choice of providers
  • ask around your network (community or family) if they have experience with a good plan manager 
  • Search online and through the NDIS portal for plan managers
  • Check reviews of businesses online
  • Is their website easy to navigate and understand? 

How to choose a registered NDIS plan manager?

The beauty of the NDIS is that participants have broader choice and control over their service providers, and when it comes to plan managers, it’s no different. You can choose whichever plan manager you see as a good fit for you. But what makes a plan manager the right fit for you? You might want to think about what qualities you want in a plan manager, and here are a few points to get you started. 

 

  • Are they experienced within the NDIS? 
  • How easy are they to communicate with? 
  • Do you require monthly or quarterly face-to-face meetings? 
  • If they are part of a service provider organisation, will they remain impartial? i.e. not pressure you to use services only within their organisation 
  • Are they genuinely interested in you and your circumstances? 
  • Will they be able to maintain confidentiality? 
  • Have they had any disciplinary actions taken against them? 
  • Can they help you with your budgeting needs and ensure invoices are paid on time? 
  • Are they NDIS compliant, and can they provide the reports that you need on demand?
  • Are you able to communicate via text, email or telephone

You don’t have to commit to the first plan manager you speak to or meet, and it’s pretty common to talk to a few before deciding which is suitable for you. 

How do I change my plan manager?

If you are unhappy with the service that a plan manager is providing or you feel that there is a better option available to you, it is easy to switch plan managers. You can make the change at any time during your NDIS plan, but it’s important to consult with the NDIA and your new plan manager before making the switch.  When you’ve contacted the NDIA and got the all-clear from your new plan manager, contact your current plan manager and inform them you wish to cancel their service. You don’t need to explain, and you can cancel at any time. 

Why plan management is the best way to manage your NDIS funding?

As an NDIS participant, you have other options to manage how your funding is spent. You can self-manage your funds where you are responsible for making all payments and meeting all obligations. 

You can also have your funds managed by the NDIA, who will take responsibility for your funding but often limit which supports you can employ. 

Plan management is the most effective solution because it offers participants the greatest freedom to choose their supports whilst remaining NDIS compliant and still involved in funding decisions.

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Plan Management is also: 

  • Transparent – you’ll receive monthly reports on where your spending goes
  • Trustworthy – a plan manager should always work in your best interests
  • Compliant – All records are kept, and all funding is spent where it has been allocated
  • Freedom – Take the stress out of paperwork and free yourself to focus on your goals
  • No extra cost – The NDIS provides funding for plan managers, meaning you don’t pay any extra out of your support funding
  • Value for money – let your plan manager assess whether your providers are charging fair prices that are within the NDIS price limits
  • Peace of mind – you’ll always have a professional looking over all your NDIS financial aspects 

What to discuss in Your First Meeting with NDIS Plan Manager?

If you’ve found a plan manager that you think is a good fit, you can schedule a meeting with them to discuss your circumstances and get a feel for how they communicate and operate. When sitting down with a plan manager, you both must get to know each other. Talk about your goals and ask them how they can assist you on your NDIS journey.  If you decide to move ahead with the plan manager, you can draft a service agreement. A service agreement is an essential document between you and your plan manager and will outline your responsibilities to each other. 

 

A service agreement will outline

  • The duration a plan manager will work with you
  • The responsibilities you (the participant) have to the plan manager
  • The responsibilities they (the plan manager) have to you
  • The costs associated with a plan manager’s services
  • How your service providers will be paid
  • The extent of the services a plan manager will provide
  • Clauses for cancellations of the agreement

You must take the time to understand the service agreement and make sure you are aware of your responsibilities. 

FAQ

  • It’s standard practice for a plan manager to begin the process of validating an invoice and making a request to the NDIA for payment within 3-5 business days of receiving the invoice
  • After funds are received, it’s expected that the payment is made to the service provider no later than two business days 
  • Yes, part of a plan managers job is to ensure that you don’t under or overspend and identify any scenarios that may lead you to do so
  • No, your plan manager works for you and should notify you first to allow the chance to remedy the situation before you fall out of compliance
  • The role of the plan manager is to help make sure your plan is paid for as intended, not to determine what kind of supports you receive 
  • Plan managers don’t have access to your funds. They only can claim funds from the NDIS once they have submitted invoices for the services that have been delivered as part of your plan

 

Yes. All invoices from service providers should include their ABN

  • With a plan manager, this scenario should never happen if your plan is being delivered correctly. If it looks like your funds are running low, your plan manager will contact you to try and remedy the situation. You can contact the NDIS if a change in circumstances has affected your service delivery and require extra funding.
  • Fraud and misuse of NDIS funding is a serious matter and can bring heavy fines or imprisonment. Your plan manager may be liable to repay any missed funds if they are found to be in dereliction of duty
  • If you are using a plan manager, you can not pay providers over the limit. 
  • A support coordinator is responsible for helping you develop your NDIS plan and allocating supports and services together with the help of a local area coordinator or early childhood services
  • A plan manager helps manage your NDIS funds by paying supports, keeping records and providing reports on your funding levels
  • Your new plan manager will become responsible for all invoices that you have received from your previous plan manager
  • In some cases, plan managers can claim support or services that are not delivered face-to-face such as travel expenses

 

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