NDIS invoices can be tricky for both our customers and their service providers. Our team of plan specialists are the people behind trying to make the invoicing process as easy and stress-free as possible, so our customers can get the support they need using their NDIS budgets. Today, we join Alex to see what the average day looks like for a plan specialist.
“Knowing that this work helps service providers to better understand how the NDIS works and that NDIS participants get the support they need makes it satisfying and really drives our team to do our best work” - Alex, Plan Specialist
8:00AM - Morning
I’m not much of a morning person, but I find even a little bit of exercise really helps my brain to switch on. Because we’re working from home at the moment, I go for a morning stroll around my neighbourhood, which gets the blood flowing and prepares me for whatever the day will bring!
9:00AM - Urgent invoices
The first thing I do when I get to my desk is take care of the 'urgents'. These are invoices for the previous day that need a bit of expert knowledge and extra problem solving before they’re ready to go to the NDIS. These are mostly reimbursements, so I try to get them processed as quickly as possible to ensure our customers aren’t left out of pocket for any longer than necessary.
10:00AM - Batch
10am is an important time for the plan specialist team. This is when all the invoices we’ve been working on for the last 24 hours are sent to the NDIS for processing and payment. Every morning feels a bit like a race to get everything done before the deadline, but it’s very rewarding when we make it because you know you're helping so many people receive valuable supports with their NDIS funding.
10:30AM - Team meeting
Once we get all the invoices off to the NDIS, we have a team meeting to discuss some of the latest changes to the NDIS price guide. Not only are these meetings always informative, they’re also a nice opportunity to catch up with the rest of the plan specialist team – something that’s so important now we’re not in the same office.
11:00AM - Service Agreements
The rest of the morning can change from day to day depending on what the most pressing priority is for our team. Today we have a lot of our customers’ service agreements to process, so we’ll focus on these.
Service agreements can be really helpful, as they state exactly what services will be delivered for what price. We recommend all our customers have one in place with their service providers and send them through to us. With a service agreement we can essentially put a customer’s funding aside, so they’ll always have enough to pay for the services they receive.
1:00PM - Lunch
During my lunch break I always try to leave my desk and go for another walk. Getting out and about really clears the head and gets me ready to tackle the afternoon’s activities.
2:00PM - Invalid invoices
Feeling refreshed after lunch, I turn my attention to the invoices we have received from service providers that are invalid. We always say that behind every invoice is a person, so an invalid invoice can mean that valuable support is not delivered or has costly delays – that’s why we always try to fix them as quickly as we can.
There are many reasons why an invoice can be invalid. Some of the most common ones we see are providers charging more than the NDIS price guide allows, or a customer being in between NDIS plans, not having the relevant funding category included in their plan, or simply having run out of funding. Each one requires a different approach to get the issue rectified. Sometimes we need to contact to service provider, and sometimes the customer to figure out a solution. I really enjoy it when it takes a bit of creative thinking and collaboration with colleagues to come up with a solution.
3:30PM - Creative solutions
Today one of the invoices is 7 pages long and is for a lot of different supports worth more than $20,000 in total. Unfortunately the customer doesn’t have enough funding left to be able to pay for it all out of their NDIS plan. Trying to find a creative solution, I first reach out to my team member Jyothi and see what she thinks could be a good solution. Together, we go through the customer’s NDIS plan and explore what options are available and how we can work to get the issue resolved.
It can be challenging sometimes, but knowing that this work helps service providers to better understand how the NDIS works and that NDIS participants get the support they need makes it satisfying and really drives our team to do our best work. It’s also great to know that my team has my back and are there to help whenever I need it.
5:00PM - Finishing touches
Before I switch off my computer, I process some invoices for assistive technology that have come in throughout the day to prepare for tomorrow morning and ensure these customers get the equipment they need promptly.
5:30PM - Home time
Another rewarding day done and it’s time to head home (or leave my desk if I’m working from home). What will tomorrow have in store? Who knows – but that’s just one of the joys of being a plan specialist.