Plan Management or Self Management – which is right for you?
The best way to manage your NDIS funds is a topic that generates a lot of discussion among NDIS participants and their families, especially regarding Plan Management and Self Management. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but some people prefer Plan Management and others Self Management. In this blog we’ll be examining the main differences between Plan Management and Self Management to help you make an informed decision about which is right for you.
Ways to manage your NDIS funding
Every NDIS participant gets a choice in how they manage their funding. During your planning meeting you’ll be asked to nominate if you’d prefer to manage your NDIS funding yourself, enlist a Plan Manager, have the NDIA manage it, or use a combination of all three.
NDIA Management does not allow you to use service providers who are not registered with the NDIS. Many providers, particularly sole traders and independent support workers, are not registered with the NDIS, so they won't be able to support you. This blog won’t look in detail at NDIA management, but you can find more on that option here.
However, you are allowed to use unregistered providers when you choose Self Management or Plan Management. So for many people, it comes down to choosing between these two options.
What is Self Management?
If you choose Self Management, you are responsible for managing all your NDIS finances yourself. That means paying your service providers and then claiming those funds back using the NDIA portal (PRODA), keeping receipts or a record of all your previous invoices in case you are audited, and keeping track of how much of each budget you’ve spent so you don’t run out or go over budget.
Both Self Management and Plan Management allow you to access unregistered providers with your NDIS funds, however Plan Management providers must follow the NDIS price guide, while Self Management means your service providers can charge as much as they want.
What is Plan Management?
Plan Management essentially hands the management of your NDIS funds over to a professional. Think of it a bit like getting an accountant to help you with your taxes, only in this case its fully funded by the NDIS – if you ask for it, funding for Plan Management will be included in your NDIS plan, on top of all other budgets. Plan Management providers will pay your service provider’s invoices, help you track your budgets and give you a monthly update, keep a record of all your invoices, and also be on hand to help you with your NDIS questions. Learn more about Plan Management.
If you'd like to have a Plan Manager to support you, just ask for Plan Management in your planning meeting – it is your legal right to have it included in your plan. To make it easy, take this Request for Plan Management form with you to your planning meeting.
Which is right for you?
This will depend on your situation, personality and how much time you have. If you enjoy being very hands-on with your finances and don’t mind keeping detailed records, then you might find Self Management to be for you. Many people feel they don't have the time, the patience or the skills to manage their own NDIS finances and would rather get a professional Plan Management provider such as Plan Partners to support them.
The point is that neither option is better than the other – it’s entirely down to personal preference. Some people consider Plan Management as a stepping stone or a capacity-building support to Self Management, but Plan Management is open to everyone no matter what stage of their NDIS journey they’re at. There’s no eligibility criteria for getting it included in your plan, so if you want support with your finances, you’re entitled to it – always!
Make the most of your NDIS funding with Plan Partners
We’ve touched on how Plan Management can help you track your budgets by providing you with a monthly update, however Plan Partners’ online Dashboard takes that to the next level. The Dashboard gives all our customers a visual breakdown of how much money is left in each category’s budget and what the status of the payment of your invoices is. The Dashboard is accessible 24/7 through our secure website.
The Dashboard not only allows you to monitor whether you might be overspending and having to pay for supports out of your own pocket, it also helps to avoid 'underspending' and ensures you’re using all your budgets and getting the full support you’re entitled to. Read more on the little-known dangers of underspending.
Plan Management with Plan Partners offers many other benefits, including access to our friendly expert team who are ready to help you any time with questions about your NDIS funding. Read more about the benefits of Plan Management with Plan Partners.
Get in touch with our team
Whether you want to go it alone and self-manage, or would like a helping hand and get a Plan Manager, the NDIS gives you the freedom to make that choice. Remember, no two people’s experiences are the same and no funding option will be right for everyone, so if you have any questions be sure to contact our helpful team on 1300 333 700 or leave your details here and we will contact you.
- All NDIS participants must choose how to manage their funding. Plan Management and Self Management have the benefit that you can use unregistered providers.
- A Plan Manager is a professional who takes on the financial administration that comes with an NDIS plan, while Self Management leaves that with the participant.
- There is no criteria for having Plan Management included in your plan, so if you want some support with managing your NDIS funding and invoices, let them know in your planning meeting. Plan Management does not affect any of your other budgets and there are no restrictions on how many times you can receive funding for Plan Management – it’s entirely up to you.
- If you Self Manage your NDIS funding be sure to keep all your invoices, as you can be audited by the NDIS.
- Plan Management providers help you track your budgets, so if you decide to self-manage be sure to track these in a spreadsheet – if you go over budget you will have to pay out of your own pocket.
- Your Plan Partners’ Dashboard also helps you use all your budgets and get the full amount of support you’re entitled to.