They may just look like a simple piece of paper, but service agreements are so much more. A service agreement can help you get the most out of your NDIS budgets, avoid misunderstandings, and protect you if things ever go wrong – and they’re also free and easy to set up. Let’s explore service agreements and why we think you could benefits from them.
What is a service agreement?
A service agreement is a written contract between you and a service provider. It contains all the important information about the support they’ll be providing to you, including how much they’ll charge, when the service will be delivered, and any terms and conditions, including their cancellation policy.
Why should I use service agreements?
While you’re not required to set up service agreements with your providers, we highly recommended it. Here are some of the reasons why…
Budgeting: service agreements can help you manage your NDIS plan’s budgets, as they show the full amount that a provider will charge you for their services. This means you can spend your remaining budget on other supports without having to worry that you might run out of funding or be hit with unexpected invoices.
Managing expectations: service agreements are a great way to know exactly what to expect from a service provider. By listing all the important information about cancellation policies and other terms and conditions, you can make sure you follow them, so you don’t receive any surprise charges.
Protection: if you ever end up in a dispute with a service provider, having a service agreement in place can protect you. Because your service agreement is a written record of exactly how many hours of support were agreed to be delivered and at what price, you can refer back to it if your provider ever tries to do something different.
How do I set up a service agreement?
Setting up a service agreement is a simple process – in fact, most of the work is done by your service provider.
To begin, contact your provider and let them know you want to set up a service agreement. Many larger providers will have a template that they use, but if yours doesn’t, you can always make your own.
Your provider will then fill out the template, entering all the details about the service they’ll be delivering to you. When they’ve finished, they’ll send the completed service agreement back to you for approval. Take a close look at everything in it to make sure it’s all correct and, if you’re happy with it, sign it.
You now have a service agreement in place!
What should I do with my service agreement?
Once you set up a service agreement, keep a copy for your records. You may need to refer to it in the future, so keep it somewhere safe but also where you can find it easily if you need it.
If you’re a Plan Partners customer, you or your providers should send us a copy of your service agreements. Not only will we keep them on file for you, we can also use them to set aside funding to help you track your spending more accurately.
The Plan Partners Payment Guarantee
When you send us a signed service agreement, we’ll set aside the funds you need to pay for that provider. This means you don’t have to worry about running out of money in your plan and being left unable to access that service.
And if you ever need to use that budget that we’ve set aside for something else, you can! All you need to do is send us an email at [email protected] giving us permission to release the funds and they’re yours. This means you’ll always have choice and control over your own supports.
Can I get some assistance with setting up service agreements?
Most registered service providers will be familiar with service agreements and will be able to answer your questions and help you get one set up. Your Local Area Coordinator is also a good resource and can provide you with advice on service agreements.
If you have funding for support coordination, your support coordinator can provide extra assistance and even contact your providers directly.