NDIS Plan Management, broken down and explained!?
Quite often not everything is explained in detail about Plan Management. Yes, the commonly asked questions are frequently answered, but what about the not-so-common questions? We breakdown all aspects of NDIS Plan Management for you. From your planning meeting and the first discussions of how you might manage your plan, to what Plan Management is, how it is beneficial, what is expected of your Plan Manager and you, to changing providers. Read on for the ultimate explanation of Plan Management.
What is NDIS Plan Management
Plan Management is one of three ways you can manage your NDIS funds. A Plan Manager assists you with managing your NDIS funding by taking care of provider payments, keeps a record of all payments made, provides monthly spending summaries, alerts you to chances of overspending and underspending, as well as provides advice on how to use your funding to work towards NDIS goals and positive outcomes.
How much does it cost?
Plan Management comes at no cost to you! When Plan Management is requested, additional funding is placed into the plan to cover paying a Plan Management provider for their services.
What are the benefits of being Plan Managed?
There are many benefits to being Plan Managed. You can choose between registered and non-registered providers to deliver your services, giving you more choice. Most Plan Managers offer a wide range of additional budgeting tools that can assist you in better understanding your funding and keeping across your spending. A quality Plan Manager can help build your knowledge of the system as well as your funding, allowing you to spend your funding in the smartest way possible, and in a way that suits your needs best.
How do I get Plan Management in my plan?
During your planning meeting, you will be asked how you would like to manage your funds. This is your chance to request your funding be Plan Managed.
I already have my plan, but it is not Plan Managed. Can I change this?
Yes! You can make a request to change your financial management to being Plan Managed at any time. Reach out to your NDIS Coordinator or call the NDIS directly on 1800 800 110 to make the request.
How do I choose a Plan Manager?
It is up to you as to which Plan Management provider you choose to go with. When considering who you might engage with, make sure to keep in mind a few things. Does the provider you are looking at offer multiple ways of communication? Do they have multiple tools to help you with budgeting? Is their processing time up to standard? And, are they a trusted provider? A few additional things to take into consideration are, are they independent or do they offer multiple services, and how long have they been in the industry? Having industry knowledge and experience can be beneficial in the long run. Do your research, and ring around to a few different providers! All good providers should have a chat with you to explain their services.
What does my Plan Manager do for me?
Your Plan Manager is there to keep you on track and assist in building your NDIS knowledge. Most good Plan Managers have multiple digital tools on offer that allow you to track your spending in real-time, through live dashboards, accessible on desktops and mobile apps. By having up-to-date information on your budget, you can ensure you stay on track. This detailed analysis you have can also assist you to plan better for the future and spend smarter. Your Plan Manager also plays an important role in building your NDIS knowledge and understanding of your funding and how it can be used. Both benefits ultimately lead to less stress for yourself and more time to do the things that are important to you. Being Plan Managed means someone else is taking care of the administration of your plan, leaving you with more free time.
What are my Plan Manager’s responsibilities?
Plan Managers must be registered NDIS providers and follow the NDIS Code of Conduct and Practice Standards. A Plan Manager must assist participants to manage the financial aspects of their plan without seeking to further the financial, or other interests of themselves and their organization or any third party. This is being 100% independent, with all advice given to participants in their best interests and not any other parties. Your Plan Manager is also required to be accountable and transparent. They should be supplying you with monthly statements of plan expenditures and balances at a minimum. Plan Managers must have a robust security process in place to store and maintain participant information and they are expected to always uphold participant rights.
What are my responsibilities?
When you are Plan Managed it is your responsibility to keep your provider up to date with the services you have engaged with and any changes to these services. You should also update your Plan Manager on any changes to your contact details, like a move to a new address or an update to your banking details.
What tools can my Plan Manager give me?
Each Plan Manager will vary in the offering of additional tools available to you. It is very common now though you will have access to a dashboard displaying your funding, your expenditure, and your balances, all in a real-time view. Some may offer this via a mobile-friendly app as well as a desktop version. You may have access to separate budgeting calculators, access to run reports on your spending as well as the ability to approve invoices before they are paid.
The best tool a Plan Manager can give you is a team of experts on hand when you need them. Being able to speak with your Plan Manager in a way that suits you, to answer questions you have about your budgets and how they can be spent to help achieve your NDIS goals, is such a huge advantage.
How does my Plan Manager protect me?
Your Plan Manager plays an important role in protecting you from potentially harmful providers as well as protecting you from overspending your funds and owing money to the NDIA. Your Plan Manager ensures all your providers are charging in line with the NDIS price guide and under the correct line item. They can act as a mediator between yourself and your providers, confirming information regarding your funding, to avoid the need for your providers to see your NDIS plan. They are also there to alter you to any potential chances of overspending your funds. Your Plan Manager will alert you if you are on a trajectory that will see you running out of funding before the end of your plan.
Can I change my Plan Management provider if I am not happy?
Yes! You can change Plan Management provider just like you can change any of your other providers. Each Plan Manager has a different notice period, this can be found in their service agreement. It is important to note some Plan Managers have a notice period of 4 weeks, some have a period of 2 days. Being across this when you sign up can help you avoid any frustrations if you do leave a provider.
How do I change Plan Management providers?
The first step is informing your current provider you wish to leave their services. This must come from you and not from your new Plan Manager (if you have already reached out to engage with a new provider). From there your current provider will ensure all invoices have been paid, close their booking in the system, release your funding for the next Plan Manager, and then provide you with a report on your funding balance for your record. Your new provider of choice will now be able to make their bookings and start paying your invoices. Be sure to tell your other service providers you have moved to a new Plan Manager and the details of your new provider to avoid any disruption in payments.
If you have just received your plan and would like to set up Plan Management or you are unhappy with your current provider and would like to switch, give our friendly, helpful team a call today at, 1300 467 287 or reach out here.