There’s been a lot of conversation recently about which method NDIS Participants are choosing for Plan Management. The fastest growing option is Plan Managed, followed by Self-Managed – while the Agency Managed option continues to fall in popularity.
With this in mind, let’s compare Plan Management and Self-Management and how they affect NDIS Participants. Plus, if you’re already Self-Manage, you can elect to have a mix of these options to get the best of both worlds. Ask us how!
First, let’s refresh on what each option is:
Plan Management – Participants get a third party, such as Integra, to manage their NDIS funds and paperwork and pay their bills. This option is paid for separately out of the NDIS plan and does not affect any of your other supports.
Self-Management – Participants manage all the financial aspects of their NDIS plan, such as paying providers and keeping records of their services and invoices. They don’t receive any funding to do this.
What’s the difference?
One of the main benefits of Plan Management and Self-Management are that they both allow greater choice and control – both options enable Participants to use registered and unregistered providers. This is one of the great advantages for Participants, because they can use their NDIS plan funds to get services from Providers who may be small or mainstream and don’t have the resources to get formally registered with the NDIS. Services like cleaning and gardening, mainstream providers who sell certain aids or equipment, or even small Therapy services are often not registered with NDIS.
While both Self-Management and Plan Management provides Participants with greater control to choose providers and approve payments, Participants who Self-Manage have to do more work and are responsible for maintaining a separate bank account and managing all the paperwork and payments. People who Self-Manage need to make sure they keep good records in the event they are audited by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
With Plan Management, Participants are never out of pocket. With Self-Management, Participants can either pay the provider directly and then apply to the NDIA to be reimbursed, or can apply to the NDIA to have some of their NDIS plan funds put into a bank account to pay for certain supports. Self-Managed Participants usually have to wait 2 days to receive funds, so they can be left out of pocket and need to make sure the funding can be accounted for.
Participants who Self-Manage have to use the myplace portal, the online system used by the NDIA. Participants who Self-Manage need to log into myplace to manage providers and submit claims for payment, including loading invoices and confirming service dates, amounts and dates. Participants who Self-Manage should factor in about 1 to 2 hours a week to manage their payments and claims. However, Participants with Plan Management do not need to do this and can get their Plan Manager to do this work for them.
A lesser known benefit of Plan Management is that Participants have flexibility to move funding within their Core budgets to top up their Transport budget. They can do this by contacting their Plan Manager. This option is not available through Self-Management or Agency Management.
Participants who Self-Manage can choose to pay their Providers more than the NDIS rates. For example, if there is a local provider who demands to be paid more than what the NDIS has published in their price guide, a Self-Managed Participant can pay more. However, they need to factor in that their NDIS plan is budgeted on the NDIS pricing, so they will get less support if they choose to go down this path. With Plan Management, the Participant’s provider can be paid the maximum NDIS rate, or less if the Provider agrees.
Changing your plan to be Plan Managed
If you think using a Plan Manager for some or all of your plan is the way to go, you can request what’s called a ‘Light Touch Review. These reviews are suitable for administrative change you need such as changing from Self-Managed to Plan Managed. It can be requested over the phone and if all is in order, should take no longer than a few weeks to approve.
To request a change, you can call your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) and ask for Plan Management to be included in your plan. Or you can call the NDIS on 1800 800 110.
We’re here to help you achieve your goals.
Integra is a registered NDIS plan management provider helping Participants across Australia take control of their plans and pay their providers quickly. It’s easy to sign up with us online at myintergra.com.au/signmeup or you can call our friendly team on 1800 696 347.