Easy Guide to Plan-Managed vs Self-Managed Funding

Easy Guide to Plan-Managed vs Self-Managed Funding

Self-managed and plan-managed are two different options for managing funds under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia. Here's a quick breakdown of the key differences.  

Self-Managed NDIS Participants

1. Choice and Control: Self-managed participants have the highest level of choice and control over their NDIS funding. They have the flexibility to select and directly engage with service providers of their choice at a negotiated price that is not subject to the price limits in the NDIS Price Guide.

2. Service Provider Selection: Self-managed participants can access both registered and non-registered providers, giving them freedom and flexibility in choosing supports. Support workers can be employed or contracted directly or have someone employ staff on your behalf. 

3. Specialist support: Self-managed participants must only use registered NDIS providers for the following supports or services:

- specialist disability accommodation
- supports or services during which there is or is likely to be a need to use a regulated restrictive practice
- specialist behaviour supports that involve undertaking behaviour support assessment of the participant or developing a behaviour support plan for the participant

4. Budgeting: The participant is responsible for budgeting all of the funding. The participant can use a budget spreadsheet similar to this one: NDIS Funding & Budget Tracker or use the NDIS MyPlace portal. To access the portal, you can log in via My Gov or via the NDIS website (top right corner is the Portal Sign In link). Note that you will need to log into MyGov and link the NDIS to your MyGov, just as you do for Centrelink, Medicare, etc

5. Financial Responsibility: The participant is responsible for managing and paying their service providers. Providers invoice the participant directly. The participant is then responsible for claiming the funds from the NDIS, which are deposited into their bank account so the participant can pay the provider.

6. Administration: Participants need to maintain records, invoices, receipts, and financial statements to demonstrate their funding usage to the NDIA during audits or reviews. Participants may use part of their budget to hire assistance in managing funds and supports, such as a bookkeeper.

7. Guide: For more information, see this extensive Guide to Self-Management on the NDIS website.

 

Plan-Managed NDIS Participants

1. Financial Intermediary: Plan-managed participants engage a plan manager as a financial intermediary. The plan manager handles the financial transactions and administrative tasks related to paying service providers. Service providers will invoice the plan manager and are then paid by the plan manager.

2. Administrative help: The plan manager provides all budgetary support, including breakdowns of how much funding is used in each category and how much is left. Participants can also access NDIS MyPortal (log in is top right corner) to see funds usage.

3. Service Provider Selection: Participants can access both registered and non-registered NDIS providers for most types of support.

4. Specialist support: Plan-managed participants must only use registered NDIS providers for the following supports or services:

- specialist disability accommodation
- supports or services during which there is or is likely to be a need to use a regulated restrictive practice
- specialist behaviour supports that involve undertaking behaviour support assessment of the participant or developing a behaviour support plan for the participant

5. Financial Responsibility: All service providers engaged including independent support workers are subject to price limits in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits. The participant can however negotiate hourly rates with Independent Support Workers. For example if the price limit for dayshift is $62.17/hour, a $45/hour invoicing rate can be settled upon. Funds saved by this method can be used to hire more support worker hours. Larger service providers such as therapists and support agencies will charge the price limit and generally do not negotiate.

6. Accountability: The plan manager ensures the participant's funding is spent according to the NDIS rules and guidelines. As long as the participant sticks to the budget, support worker shifts and therapy appointments can be moved around. For example if the participant is not able to attend an appointment one week with a speech therapist, the participant can organise for two appointments the next week. Or if a support worker misses a day, that day can be worked at another time.

It's worth noting that regardless of whether participants are self-managed or plan-managed, they can access the same NDIS supports and services. The difference lies in the level of time, involvement and responsibility participants have in managing their funds and engaging with service providers.

If you have questions that are difficult to answer, go straight to your support coordinator or local area coordinator.  Alternatively, there are some great Facebook pages out there where supports and participants connect and discuss the intricacies of the NDIS. Find one in your local region.

  

 

 

 

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