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3 ways to manage your NDIS plan

Are you confused about how to manage your NDIS Plan? 

 

It's good to research these options and make a choice on how you want your plan managed before your initial planning meeting. You will be asked at that meeting what you would like to do. 

 

 

There are 3 ways to manage your NDIS plan

 

1. Self management

2. Plan management

3. NDIA managaement

 

The NDIS released this images on their facebook page 20/4/18 to help explain.

 

 

1. You can choose to "self manage" your NDIS plan

  • This means you can choose to work with provider who are / are not registered with the NDIS. (We at Splash Physiotherapy are registered as at 21/4/18). 

  • You need to budget, and track your spending. 

  • You will be treated like a private client, in that you will be given invoices to pay.

  • You are responsible for entering details into the portal.

  • Your provider makes no service bookings

  • A service agreement is not required but 'highly recommended' by the NDIA. We at Splash prefer to have a service agreement for each family to clarify expectations.

  • Some people use spreadsheets to keep track. 

  • Some people use apps, such as My Plan Tracker (we don't have experience with this app, and it is now a paid service) 

 

2. You can choose to have your NDIS plan be "Plan Managed"

  • This means you are given funds in your NDIS plan to pay for a plan manager / financial intermediary. 

  • That means your providers send invoices to them to be paid. Many of the plan managers require your approval before paying invoices, so you need to be timely with that to avoid delays in your provider being paid. 

  • This means you can choose to work with provider who are / are not registered with the NDIS. (We at Splash Physiotherapy are registered as at 21/4/18). 

  • The NDIS guidelines say they manage your budget. However in our experience some plan managers do not do this, so it is best if you keep track of where you are allocating your funding to be sure that providers don't do work for you that you don't have the funds to pay for. This would also be a conversation worthwhile having with your plan manager. 

  • We at Splash need to know you have signed a service agreement and started working with your Plan Manager before we provide service. (We have had instances where families have taken a month or longer to get started with a Plan Manager, which has meant our payment has been delayed a couple of months, so we have learned to check first). 

  • Your plan manager pays all invoices

  • They are responsible for entering details into the portal.

  • Your provider makes no service bookings, this is done by the Plan Manager for your total amount of funds.

  • A service agreement is not required but 'highly recommended' by the NDIA. We at Splash prefer to have a service agreement for each family to clarify expectations. This is your private document. You can choose to share or not share it with your Plan Manager. It is best to at least share the Schedule of Supports so they know how you wish to allocate your funds, so they can track your budget for you.

 

3. You can choose to have your NDIS plan be "agency managed"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • This means you can choose which registered providers you wish to work with. (We at Splash Physiotherapy are registered as at 21/4/18). You cannot work with un- registered providers.

    • A service agreement is required by the NDIA. We at Splash prefer to have a service agreement for each family to clarify expectations regardless of how their plan is managed. This is your private document. You can choose to share or not share it with anyone else. We may be required to share it with the NDIA in some instances. 

    • Your provider then makes a service booking for the amount of hours you have agreed to in your service agreement. You will then be able to see that in My Portal

    • If you wish to make changes to the service agreement, you and your provider can do that together. 

    • In theory, this sets aside that amount of funding for that provider. In theory, you then don't need to worry about futher budgeting. 

    • The difficulty we at Splash have found is that the NDIA can then change the dates of the service bookings, or change the amounts of the service bookings, without notice. 

    • This can lead participants to accepting services from providers that we cannot then claim for. It is then a lengthy process for all parties involved to try to recoup costs and it is a stressful experience for the provider and the participants. (The ABC reported 28/2/18 that the NDIA owes $330 million to providers across Australia, and we have not met a small or large provider without a large debt owed. A new payment team was introduced this year however we have received no responses from them either). 

    • While issues with the portal exist, due to these negative experiences, we do recommend against NDIA managed plans. 

     

    Now it's up to you to make a choice! 

     

    Hopefully that is helpful in explaining the differences. Many participants we meet do not understand how their plan is managed. Remember that you have choice and control over which providers you choose to work with, as well as how your plan is managed. It is a bit difficult to change how your plan is managed without a review, so it's best to decide in advance of your first meeting, and also to think ahead when planning your review meeting. 

     

    The money side is the boring side of the NDIS! The fun side is playing towards your goals and seeing the difference that makes to participants' lives. So choose the management system that creates least hassle for you, so minimise the admin side of the NDIS. 

     

    Best of luck! 

     

    Shayna Gavin is a physiotherapist who is passionate about helping babies, children and young people learn functional skills so they can participate in life at home, school and in their community. Recognising that children do best in their own environments,  she visits homes, schools, and leisure activities from football fields to ballet classes. She also has daily aquatic physiotherapy sessions available at two private swimming schools in Moonee Ponds and Greensborough, Melbourne. She combines principles of paediatric physiotherapy, Neuro Developmental Treatment / Bobath, motor learning, Sensory Integration and swimming teaching to address the individual needs of each child and their family. She loves providing professional development to physiotherapists, allied health and education professionals, allied health assistants and swimming teachers. 

     

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