What is plan management and how can it work with your NDIS plan?

Disability, Industry January 31, 2019

With an NDIS plan, you have three core options of how you can manage your funding, however it may take some time to find the option that is right for you.

To help you make an informed, positive decision about the management of your NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) plan, the Mable Team have created this guide to help you learn, discover, and research plan management.

Your NDIS management options

When learning about different NDIS management options, it’s important to remember that every individual is different. This means that every person with an NDIS plan will have unique support preferences and different lifestyles.

If you know other people with an NDIS plan, it may be helpful for you to discuss with them which management type suits them. However, it can also be useful to create your own path by seeking professional advice and doing your own research. It may be helpful to map out  your aspirations, life goals, support needs and how much effort you are willing to provide to manage your NDIS funds.

With an NDIS plan, you can adopt one of these three core management options, or mix and match them to suit your needs.

Agency managed
Agency managed plans are plans that are managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The NDIA will work directly with your chosen NDIS registered provider to seek out disability support for you. The NDIA will maintain all your NDIS funds.

Plan managed
A plan managed NDIS plan means a financial intermediary – such as a plan management organisation like Plan Partners or My Plan Manager – maintains the financial aspects of your NDIS plan. A Plan Manager is likely to receive and pay invoices and make claims from the NDIS portal on behalf of you. When you choose a plan manager, the NDIS will add extra funds to pay your plan manager.

Self-managed
A self-managed NDIS plan allows NDIS participants to self-manage their funds and directly receive your NDIS funding. With a self-managed plan, you could experience complete control of your funds and you may not need to adhere to NDIS cap rates.

To learn more about NDIS management types and how they work with Mable, click here.


What is plan management?

Plan management occurs when a plan manager is responsible for a number of aspects of an NDIS plan. Plan management allows you to:

  • choose and engage with support providers who suit you (registered and non-registered),
  • negotiate pricing to suit your budget,
  • and experience better choice and control while having someone else complete administrative matters.

“Plan management provides assistance with managing your funding, while you maintain the control over how your support looks so that it is right for you,” says one of Mable’s Community Engagement Managers, Jodie.

“For those who may be nervous about managing their own payments or knowing how you can and can’t spend your NDIS budget, plan management may be a great solution.”

Plan management means you aren’t restricted to receiving support via only NDIS registered providers – you can also use non-registered services such as Mable.

“When your funding is plan managed, you can not only choose from registered and non-registered services and supports, but you have someone paying the bills on your behalf. You’ve also got advice available to you about the NDIS,” says Jodie of plan managers.

A key benefit of plan management is that it won’t cost you more to have a plan manager. “Plan management offers all the advantages of self-management without some of the disadvantages: you’re funded to have someone else do your paperwork and manage your funding while retaining full choice and control,” says Luke, Mable’s Community Engagement Manager in Sydney.

What does a plan manager do?

Generally, a plan manager will:

  • pay your support providers (such as Mable) on your behalf,
  • help you keep track of your funds and spending,
  • manage your service agreements,
  • provide you with updates on your spending,
  • monitor your bills and invoices,
  • and give you access to a list of providers in your area.

Having access to the right plan manager could dramatically improve your NDIS plan’s effectiveness and help create strong, beneficial relationships with experienced professionals.

“A plan manager will take care of the payments on your behalf while you have the flexibility to choose from both registered and non-registered providers. Not all plan managers are the same, so it’s important to choose a plan manager who works well with you,” says Jodie.

If you’re unsure where or how to find a plan manager, Jodie suggests asking other NDIS participants and their families for recommendations. Or, the Mable Team can help refer you to a plan management organisation during your onboarding process when you sign up as a client.

“When choosing a plan manager, don’t be afraid to ask them how quickly they pay invoices – you need a plan manager who can pay your bills promptly. Slow payments may negatively impact your relationships with services and supports.”

“Plan managers, especially independent and innovative plan management providers, are creating really efficient and transparent solutions that keep participants informed on their NDIS spending.”

How to make the switch to plan management

Every NDIS participant has the right to choose which management option suits them. If you don’t currently have a plan manager, you can switch to plan management by requesting it in your annual planning meeting. According to Jodie, participants can also request a “light touch review” if they want to change their NDIS management option. These reviews can only be requested for minor administrative matters.

Before you request a meeting to switch your management options, you should spend valuable time researching plan managers in your region. Our Community Engagement Manager, Luke, suggests doing this via the NDIS website, which contains an extensive list of registered plan managers in your region.

You may then wish to get in touch with a number of providers and ask for some key information, such as:

  • the size of their team,
  • their average time for paying bills and invoices,
  • whether they are able to answer any of your queries,
  • and whether they have an online portal or informational resources.

To learn a little more about plan management from our Community Engagement Managers, you can chat with them at any of our upcoming events.

Is your NDIS funding plan managed? You can use Mable to experience more independence and better control of your supports. The Mable Team can refer you to a range of plan management options – get in touch with us today to get started.

Ready to get more from your NDIS plan? With Mable, you can connect to independent support workers who can provide disability support that fits your lifestyle. Head to Mable to learn more.