What is NDIS plan management?

18 December 2018

NDIS plan management is the way the funding in your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan is managed. There are several kinds of plan management so making the right choice is important.

Whenever you access a service or a piece of equipment using your NDIS plan, a financial transaction is made. Every transaction made using the funds in your plan has to follow the rules of the NDIS and be tracked and accounted for. Plan management is the choice you make about who is responsible for tracking your budgets and paying your service providers.

Let’s break down what each kind of plan management is:

Agency-managed

Agency-managed plans are managed directly by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The majority of NDIS plans are managed this way.

If your plan is agency managed, the NDIA is responsible for paying providers for any equipment or services you book with them. Service providers can invoice the NDIS directly or, if you have support coordination funding in your plan, you can receive help from a support coordinator employed by the NDIA or a local area coordinator employed by a third party.

The main benefit of this is you do not have to track spending and manage the finances of your plan and can instead focus on organising and receiving services.

The main downside of this option is it is less flexible. You are limited to booking services from NDIS registered providers, and you will have to seek approval from the NDIA for all purchases, including small purchases made under your consumables budget.

Self-managed

If you want to take complete control of your plan you might want to self-manage. This may be the route to take if you feel confident in organising your own services, managing money and completing complex paper work.

When you self-manage you are directly responsible for the funding in your plan and will need to manage receipts, invoices and service bookings yourself.  

Some advantages of this approach are:

  • You can directly access certain parts of your plan. For example you can purchase items which fall under your consumables budget, and then claim payment from the NDIA for them.
  • You can book services with providers who aren’t registered with the NDIS.

Some disadvantages of this approach are:

  • You are responsible for managing costs, keeping records and ensuring that you  use the funding in your plan correctly.
  • You may need to organise service agreements with your providers.

VA client grant sits with a VA employee and another man at a table

Plan managed

The third option is to have a third party manage your plan on your behalf as a “plan manager”. This could be an accountant or one of the many plan managment organisations that have started up since the NDIS began.

As opposed to an agency-managed plan, where you meet with your support coordinator or local area coordinator to discuss services, you instead meet with a plan manager.

The plan managed option provides many advantages of the self-managed option, while reducing the administrative burden on you. However you are still partially responsible for ensuring funding is spent correctly.

You will have to pay a fee to your plan manager for their services, however it is possible to receive funding in your plan for plan management.

A combination

Maybe you want to be able to self-manage your consumables budget but leave service booking and payment to someone else? In that case you can elect to have different parts of your plan managed in different ways.

You can always change your mind

No matter which option you start off with, you can always change the way your plan is managed.

Vision Australia and the NDIS

Vision Australia is a registered NDIS provider and leading provider of services to people who are blind or have low vision. Contact us to find out how we can support you to meet your NDIS goals.