How to Manage NDIS funding 😊
Updated: May 25, 2020
When you apply for NDIS funding from your Local Area Coordinators (LAC) there are 3 options of how to manage your funding once its approved. Some will have more benefits than others. Lets discuss what the three options are and why you might prefer one over the other. It's extremely important to consider how your funds will be managed as this could limit your future choices.
There are three options that you will be offered when your funding is allocated. The options are:
Agency managed by an NDIS provider
Plan managed by a Plan Manager
What do these three options mean?
When you choose your funding to be managed by the NDIA, this essentially means that the NDIA/NDIS takes over your money. They will manage and keep a track of the finances and they will pay providers on your behalf. You need to use the portal to keep them informed of what you funds you are requesting.
The catch with choosing agency managed funding is that you are tied to choosing only NDIS registered providers. That means that if you want to see a particular Speech Pathology provider, you won't be able to choose them unless they are also registered with the NDIS.
The registration process for a small provider to be registered with the NDIS is lengthy, time consuming and expensive. For this reason, many of the good, small, personalised providers may choose not to register with the NDIS. So if you choose to manage your funding via an NDIA agency, you will lessen the amount of opportunities you have to choose the right therapist or services, for yourself or your loved one.
The other thing to consider when choosing to have your funding NDIA managed, is that all your equipment must come through NDIS providers. That means that for smaller low cost items such as shower comodes, even though they may cost less with one supplier - you may find that you are forced to obtain the equipment from an NDIS provider at a higher price - meaning you may pay extra for the equipment. Some NDIS providers have been known to have extremely high prices, so choosing this way of managing your funding should be carefully considered.
One of the core principals of the NDIS is to provide choice for the disability community. It's ironic then, that choosing to be agency managed limits your choices for both therapeutic and equipment services.
Plan Managed funding means that your funds are managed by a Plan Manager. In a nutshell, the job of a Plan Manager is to help you pay invoices from your NDIS funding. For example, you choose the service you want to employ i.e. Speech Pathology, the Speech Pathology service than sends the invoice to your Plan Manager, and the Plan Managers are responsible for claiming the funds and paying the Speech Pathology service.
When planning how to spend your NDIS funding (at your planning meeting), if you choose to be plan managed for your funding, you will get allocated funds to help pay for this.
Whilst this may sound scary, it is not. If you choose Plan-managed funding, you can also ask to choose someone called a Support Co-ordinator. A Support Co-ordinator is there to help you connect with the services you want. They can help you find the services you need and they can liase with the service provider about how many hours might be needed to achieve your goals. Your only job is to then contact the provider and make your booking.
What are the benefits of choosing to be Plan-Managed?
One of the main benefits of choosing to be Plan-Managed is that you get to choose from both registered and non-registered providers. That means that if your favourite Speech Pathologist is not NDIS registered, you can still choose to be treated by them, providing they have an ABN.
It also means that you are not limited to buying equipment from NDIS registered providers. Essentially, you may be able to get the items you want at current market prices, rather than paying an inflated NDIS price.
Self Managed funding is where you manage your own funds. NDIS funds are paid into your account and you get to plan and choose the best services to meet your needs. You are responsible for paying the services directly yourself.
It means that you can choose your own services and suppliers of those services. You can choose different businesses or use self-employed contractors to help you achieve your NDIS goals. They don't have to be NDIS registered. Many gardeners, cleaners and tradespeople are self-employed. As with Plan Managed funding options, this means you can choose any Speech Pathologist, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist you want, and this means you have a large range of providers to choose from.
Carers Australia has a good checklist on how to determine if you are suitable or capable/ready to manage your own NDIS funds. The NDIS states that Support Coordinators are still available to you if you choose to seek these whilst you are self-managing your NDIS funds.
Enable Speech Pathology is not an NDIS registered provider. This means that we can only accept requests to see individuals who are either Plan Managed or Agency Managed. For more information on how to choose a Speech Pathologist, see our resources page.
Wishing you guys the best of journey's with your NDIS funding 💕 If you are having difficulties finding the support you need, call us and we may be able to point you in the right direction. Best wishes.