Career Instacare

What’s the difference between self-managed NDIS and plan-managed NDIS?

There are three different ways to manage the funds in your NDIS plan. You can choose:

  • NDIA managed 
  • Plan-managed
  • Self-managed


So, which option is right for you? It depends on how much choice and control you want over your funds and on how much time you want to spend dealing with paperwork and paying invoices. 

Let’s explore the key differences and the pros and cons of each choice. 

Agency managed

In this option, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages your funds on your behalf. That means the NDIA manages your book-keeping, records your spending and pays your providers. 

It gives you the least amount of work but it does mean you can only use NDIS registered providers. 

If you’re not sure what that means, then read our blog on The difference between registered and non-registered NDIS providers.  


At the other end of the spectrum is the option to manage your own funds. This gives you the most control, independence and flexibility in arranging and paying for your supports. 

You can think creatively and logically about how the funding can best be used to meet your requirements. With this option, you can choose both registered and unregistered providers. You can choose the providers you want and negotiate costs. 

Self-management does involve a lot of responsibilities, though. You have to: 

  • Purchase supports that help you achieve the goals in your NDIS plan 
  • Make clear agreements with your chosen providers, such as the type of service, when and where it’s provided and how much it will cost   
  • Manage your funding so you stay within your budget and get value for money 
  • Pay your providers on time
  • Keep invoices and receipts  
  • Meet your obligations as an employer (if you choose to employ staff directly).
  • Be able to demonstrate how you’ve used your funds to work towards your goals at your next NDIS plan review  
  • Advise the NDIA of any significant changes in your circumstances that may affect your ability to manage your funds yourself
  • Provide invoices, receipts or other evidence to show you have spent your funds in-line with your NDIS plan if you’re audited.

If you want more control and independence then you may enjoy managing your NDIS funds yourself, choosing your supports, negotiating costs and using any savings. 


Plan management is the middle ground. Here, you’re given additional money in your NDIS plan to pay for a plan manager, a registered NDIS provider who supports you in managing your funding. 

Your plan manager will: 

  • Keep track of your spending against your budget
  • Deal with the paperwork
  • Receive invoices and pay your providers on your behalf
  • Look after all your financial reporting requirements. 

If you use a plan manager, you can choose either registered or non-registered NDIS providers to deliver your supports and services. 

A good plan manager doesn’t take over. Their role is to work alongside you to help you understand the funds available in your plan and advise you on how best to use this money to achieve your goals. Your plan manager is an ally who helps you navigate the complexities of the NDIS so that you can get the most out of it. 

Which option is right for you? 

Ultimately, deciding between a self-managed and plan-managed NDIS comes down to your individual needs and requirements.

Plan management at Instacare

Instacare is a leading NDIS plan manager here to support you along your NDIS journey. We partner with you to help get the best out of your plan and supports, and help you reach your goals. We provide personal, responsive service and we make it easy for you to keep track of your NDIS funds with our InstaApp. 

Ready to find out more? Please get in touch today. 


All information is general in nature.