The NDIS can feel overwhelming at times, whether you’re new to the scheme or not. One of the most significant decisions you make is choosing an NDIS plan manager.
So, how does NDIS plan management work? What does a plan manager do? And what are the factors to consider when choosing your plan manager?
What is NDIS plan management?
There are 3 different ways to manage your NDIS funds:
- Ask the National Disability Insurance Agency to manage them on your behalf (known as NDIA managed)
- Manage the money yourself (known as self-managed)
- Appoint a provider known as a plan manager (known as plan managed).
If you want your funds to be plan managed, then you need to tell your NDIS contact and they will include funding in your plan for this service. It’s additional money separate to the supports and services in your Plan.
What is an NDIS plan manager?
An NDIS plan manager is a person you appoint to manage your NDIS budget if you’ve chosen to have your NDIS funding plan managed.
There are numerous NDIS plan managers out there, each with their own particular style and skillset. You’re able to choose the provider you like best. And, if you’re not happy, you can swap to a different provider.
What does an NDIS plan manager do?
A good NDIS plan manager makes life easier for you by taking care of all the paperwork that comes with being an NDIS Participant.
Your plan manager takes care of tasks like:
- Managing your funding
- Keeping track of your funds
- Paying your providers on time
- Preparing the required financial reports.
That means you can benefit from the skills of your service providers without the burden of keeping track of funds and payment.
Getting the funding for plan management
There are only a few steps involved in getting a plan manager:
- Tell NDIS staff that you would like a plan manager when you have your planning meeting
- The NDIS will include funding in your plan to pay for your plan manager
- You choose a plan manager when your Plan comes through.
It’s important to note that the funds for plan management are separate from your other services and supports in your budget. Plan management fees are standard. They are included as additional funding in your plan when it is set up as plan managed – there is no extra cost to you.
How to choose a plan manager
You’re approved for plan management. Now comes the tricky part – choosing a plan manager that is right for you.
This can sometimes feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the important things to look for when choosing a plan manager.
Empathy and understanding
You are an individual, with unique needs, and your plan manager should recognise this. You should feel listened to and supported throughout your NDIS journey. The NDIS can be overwhelming at times, but it’s important to have someone who understands this, and understands you.
Your plan manager should have expert knowledge of the NDIS and disability sector. They should also share their knowledge, helping you understand important information about your plan and supports. They should empower you with knowledge, to help build confidence and independence with managing your plan.
Your plan manager should be easy to contact and talk with, providing avenues of communication that suit you. If you prefer to speak to someone on the phone, make sure they take the time to chat. Or if you prefer online or email communication, make sure they respond in a timely manner. It’s important to have someone on the other end of the phone/email that knows what you are asking about and can give clear decisive answers.
Visibility of plan and budgets
An important part of managing your NDIS plan is being aware of your support spending. Does your plan manager let you see your budget? You want to be able to easily access and review your plan invoices and budget, ensuring you stay on top of your budget for the duration of your plan.
Trust and reliability
You want to be able to rely on your plan manager. They should help you feel relaxed, at ease, and comfortable with the process. It helps to get recommendations from others, or explore reviews online to hear others’ experiences.
Fast and efficient process
Make sure to check your plan manager’s payment terms. You want to know they are reliable on payments and that your service providers will be paid on time. A good benchmark is to have payments processed within 3 business days.
Instacare Plan Management
At Instacare, our Plan Management seeks to maximise your choice and control over your NDIS plan and supports while freeing you from the time-consuming details of managing your budget and paying your invoices.
Our plan managed participants’ most favourite benefits are our:
- Friendly, responsive and supportive team
- Fast, reliable payments – we pay your providers within 3 business days
- Fast reimbursements – we will reimburse you within 2 business days
- Online portal and mobile app which is the most convenient way to track your NDIS funding and supports
- Regular communications – we keep you well-informed with periodic reporting and notifications when invoices are processed.
Like to know more?
If you don’t know where to begin with managing your NDIS plan and supports, or are ready to get started with our team at Instacare, we’d love to assist you. Get in touch at [email protected], give us a call 1300 002 221 or complete our online sign up form.
All information is general in nature.