Managing Your NDIS Plan: 3 Different Routes You Can Take

Manage NDIS plans

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an insurance scheme that was introduced in Australia in 2013. The scheme has two prongs: one for early childhood intervention for NDIS participants under the age of 7, and one for older NDIS participants, aged 7 to 65, with the assistance of NDIS local area coordination partners. The goal of the scheme is to invest in better life outcomes for Australians living with significant or permanent disability, and it is implemented by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) with a strong focus on fostering freedom, independence, empowerment, and good quality of life for its participants.

If you have recently enrolled in the NDIS and have received an approved plan for either yourself or an eligible loved one, one of the things that you’ll need to figure out is how you are going to manage your NDIS plan. You’ll discover that you have a lot of flexibility in the implementation of your plan, like in your choice of service providers for home care, transport and other services. This is very much in line with the freedom and control advocated by NDIA for the overall program. But at the same time, NDIS may be a tricky system to navigate on your own—especially if you already have a lot of commitments and little time or energy to deal with bureaucracy and red tape.

The best approach for managing your NDIS plan will be largely based on your personal circumstances. Below are three different routes you can take. Take the time to compare your options and explore the most viable solutions for you and your loved ones. Try looking up NDIS plan manager Sydney resources or similar for Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, or anywhere else in Australia.

Option 1: Self-management of Your NDIS Plan

The option that allows you the most control over the management of your NDIS plan is the self-management approach. That means that all aspects of the plan are to be chosen and implemented by you and you alone. You have a full range of options in terms of which providers you want to work with, you can make arrangements in your own time, and you don’t have to be as dependent on others when getting NDIS-related tasks done.

For many, the self-managed approach is also the most affordable one. But how much money you can save from self-managing your plan depends on factors like how much your contractors will charge you. If you go the self-managed route, you’ll be able to choose providers who aren’t governed by NDIS’s price guide, but this also means that they can charge you a higher amount than what’s stated by the scheme.

Self-management of your NDIS plan also means that you are in charge of your accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing, and audit preparation processes. Being responsible for all these can be exceptionally taxing on you, and the stress may be counterproductive to what NDIS enrolment is meant to achieve. It might be engaging someone else’s expertise in managing your NDIS plan if it means that it will save you time, stress, and energy in the long run.

Option 2: NDIS Plan Management by the NDIA

A second option for your NDIS plan management is leaving everything to the NDIA. In the agency-managed route, the NDIA will take care of everything related to the plan in-house. That means that they will tap their network of providers for the NDIS participant’s care and that they will also take care of accounting and bookkeeping for the plan. You will be able to log into myplace, an Australian government-hosted website that serves as the official participant portal of the NDIS, to see how the agency is managing your plan budget.

The agency-managed approach is simple, convenient, and transparent. Since NDIA is the originator of the scheme, they are in a good position to implement your plan management with consistency to their protocols. They handle all the red tape and pay the providers directly, therefore freeing you of the burden to do so.

However, the downside of choosing agency-based plan management is that you have to work within the limits the agency has. For example, you will only be able to choose among NDIS-registered providers. The trade-off for the added convenience is reduced flexibility, so you should decide which among these is your priority.

Option 3: Personalised Plan Management by a Professional NDIS Plan Manager

A third option is to hire a professional NDIS plan manager from the private sector. Your hired NDIS plan manager can work with you to determine your exact needs, and they can use their expertise to help you determine a fully personalised approach to your plan management.

The choice to hire an outside plan manager may actually represent the best of both worlds for NDIS participants: individualised management of needs, but also extra technical assistance from experts when it comes to navigating the bureaucracy and red tape of the insurance scheme. Your NDIS plan manager can also help you access a mixed pool of both NDIS-registered and non-registered providers, all depending on your specific preferences. You can also rely on them to take care of all financial housekeeping for the NDIS plan; they will be in charge of all your NDIS records and invoices, thus freeing you up to focus on matters like choosing your provider and aligning your plan with your goals.

Since external NDIS plan management services are a fairly new innovation, it may take you some time to warm up to the idea of entrusting someone else with your plan. Be sure to look up the plan management company’s credentials and experience working with the NDIS, as well as testimonials from their other NDIS participant-customers.

How Do You Choose Between Your NDIS Plan Management Options?

In the end, the best choice for managing your plan really depends on your circumstances, your goals, and your priorities. Agencies like NDIA recognise the plurality of experience that comes with disability, and the people that will work with you in implementing your plan know that your individual needs are very different from those of other NDIS participants. What matters is that you choose the approach that allows you to realise the life you want for yourself and your loved ones, all on your terms.

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