What are the differences between self management and plan management when it comes to managing your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding? More importantly, which option is best for you? While both give you flexibility and control over your NDIS funds, there are some big differences – particularly around your responsibilities and what's required of you.
What is NDIS self management?
When you self manage your NDIS funds, everything is up to you, including all the admin associated with your NDIS plan.
You are responsible for submitting your provider invoices to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), making sure they’re paid accurately and on time, and keeping all your receipts on file in case you’re audited. The admin associated with managing your NDIS funds can generate anywhere from 5 to 25 hours a week of your time.
What are the benefits of self management?
Self management gives you flexibility around how you use your funding, as you’re able to access both registered and unregistered providers . Your providers are also able to charge you more than the maximum amount set in the NDIS price guide, which can open up a wider range of options. Self managing your NDIS funds can feel a bit like running your own small business, and some NDIS participants or plan nominees enjoy being so involved and hands-on.
How does NDIS plan management work?
Plan management puts the management of your NDIS funds in the hands of a professional funding expert (like us). This independent service provider, called a plan manager, takes care of all the admin associated with your plan and makes sure your providers are paid accurately and on time.
A good plan manager will also support you to keep track of your spending and get more out of your funds.
Through plan management, you can also access both NDIS registered and unregistered providers. The benefit here is that we make sure their prices keep within the NDIS price guide, so you don’t get overcharged for services.
With Plan Partners, we don't just look after your admin. We give you support, info and tools, so you can confidently manage your funds to get the supports you need.
You also get access to our Dashboard, a handy online tool that makes it easy to track your spending, approve invoices and submit reimbursements.
We have years of experience working in the disability sector and with the NDIS to help you understand your plan and what it covers, so you can navigate the NDIS with confidence and get the most out of your funds.
Do you have to pay for plan management?
Plan management is fully funded by the NDIS, which means you won’t have any out-of-pocket costs.
If you self manage your funding, you’re able to use your funds to hire someone to assist with the financial admin of your plan. But unlike plan management, you don’t get additional funding and it comes out of your Core budget, which can limit other supports you’re able to access. Be careful about hiring an admin support person who may not know the ins and outs of NDIS funding.
Paying providers yourself
Some providers charge extra fees for dealing with the NDIS. This is why you may prefer to pay a provider up front using your own money and then get the NDIA to pay you back using your funding - what we call a reimbursement.
Fortunately, you can do this with both plan management and self management. Even better, with Plan Partners, you can submit through your Dashboard and get your money back the very next business day – that’s quicker than the NDIA!
What's better for you - self management or plan management?
This depends on your situation, personality and how much time you have.
Both options let you access all service providers, regardless of whether they’re NDIS registered or not, so it really comes down to your level of confidence and how hands on you want to be.
If you enjoy taking a very active role in managing your finances and keeping detailed records, then self management might be for you. If you’d prefer to have the support and guidance of a professional, then plan management is the way to go.
The best of both worlds - self management and plan management
Another thing to consider is that don’t need to have just one management option for all your support categories. For example, you might want to self manage your Core funding but plan manage your Capacity Building funding, so you don’t have to pay your large expenses up front. Also, you can switch options mid plan without having to go through a full plan review.