When it comes to managing funds in your NDIS plan, there is no 'right' way. But you will need to think about the options available to you and how they fit with your lifestyle and situation.
Some people like to be involved in every aspect of their plan from directly employing staff and negotiating the costs for their supports. While others like to choose their providers, but also get a helping-hand navigating through the complexities of the NDIS so that they can spend time on the things that are most important to them.
Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons, so depending on your needs, it’s a good idea to get a thorough understanding of what's going to be of benefit to you.
When you meet with your planner you can discuss the following ways to manage your NDIS funds:
Use a registered Plan Manager
Working with a professional Plan Management provider, like Integra, gives you increased choice and control of your plan without the hassle of managing the financial paperwork.
- Pay service providers and claim from the NDIS.
- Keep track of your spending.
- Maintain accurate, auditable financial records.
There are some great benefits to using a Plan Manager. For example, you:
- Can choose supports from registered and non-NDIS registered providers such as a gardener, cleaner or organisations and therapists who have chosen not to register.
- Don’t have to use the NDIS Portal or talk to the NDIS call centre – which some people find complex and time consuming.
- Have a trusted partner helping you to navigate the NDIS and ensure you get the most out of your plan.
- Have most of the choice and control of Self-Management without the administrative burden of paying and claiming invoices.
- Don’t have to pay for plan management from your core budgets. Plan Management is funded separately in your plan. It’s not subject to the reasonable and necessary test.
A Plan Manager can’t pay more than the NDIA set price limit for specific supports.
Let the NDIA manage your funds
This means the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages your funds. It’s sometimes referred to as Agency-managed.
You can keep track of your budget on the NDIS myplace portal and see what claims providers are making against your funds.
You will only be able to choose from NDIS registered providers who will claim their payments directly from your funding. You cannot pay more than the NDIA set price limits.
Manage the funds yourself
This option is called Self-management. It gives you plenty of choice and control, such as:
Having complete flexibility over how you use your funds to best suit your needs.
Choosing any provider to deliver the supports in line with your plan, including employing staff directly or have someone employ staff for you.
The ability to negotiate costs and use savings to buy more or better-quality supports.
With great power, comes great responsibility. You will be need to:
- Claim and make payments to your providers directly.
- Make service agreements.
- Keep records of invoices and receipts to show how you’ve used your funds and demonstrate how it’s been used towards achieving your goals in your plan.
- Meet your obligations if you choose to employ staff directly.
- Participate in any payment audit requirements.
Some people can find this option difficult because of the time and effort require to invest in self-managing their funds.
A combination of the above three options.
Mix and match for different parts of your plan – it's completely up to you.
How do I know what’s best for me?
Think about the time and effort for each option, plus the benefits and how these might help you to achieve the goals of your plan. Do you only use NDIS registered providers? How complex is your plan? Do you want flexibility to use non-registered providers? Do you think you'll need some help? Considering all these questions can help guide you in the right direction. You can also talk to your planner or local area coordinator.
Many people like the idea of using a Plan Manager because it gives you most of the flexibility of self-management but with the support of a professional who can help you stay on top of things.
Benefits of choosing Integra as your Plan Manager.
Integra are an NDIS registered, independent service provider – which means we are here to provide you with expert, unbiased support that keeps your and your interests top of mind.
With our online portal, you can keep track and have full control over your budget. Plus, you will benefit from having a trusted partner help you to navigate NDIS, provide expert advice, and resolve issues that can arise.
If you’d like to discuss your options with our friendly team, get in touch today on 1800 696 347.