What options do I have when managing NDIS Funds?

In short you have four options when it comes to managing your NDIS funds or budget.

They are:

  • Self-Managed
  • Registered Plan Management Provider
  • the NDIA (Agency Managed)
  • Plan Nominee

Below I go into more detail about them for you as it is a big question

What NDIS mean when managing funds is when someone pays or purchases for something, receiving reimbursement (refund) from NDIA . In accordance with Legislation, someone has to be responsible for the management of a participants NDIS Funds as mentioned in the goals and objectives with their plan.

This can be a pretty big topic and you can find more here: https://www.ndis.gov.au/operational-guideline/planning/managing-funding-supports  or search NDIS for managing funding supports.

You can also refer to the NDIS Act, section 42(2) for further detailed information.

Please note: unless a participant’s plan is managed by the NDIA, there is no restriction on who may provide supports under their plan. Participants are able to exercise choice about the selection of their providers. It is only when funding for a participant’s supports is managed by the Agency that the supports must be provided by a registered provider of supports (section 33(6)).

Below is an overview of the options and my understanding or interpretation of this.


This is when you manage the funding yourself. You could do it on behalf of your child or a family member. This gives you control over which provider you use whether they are registered with NDIA or not.

Not all providers will register with NDIA (like me) because of the complications with the portal and extra work that is required. Which I believe takes the much needed time and money away from the valuable service that is needed and wanted.

You can opt to manage the whole budget (money/funding), or you can manage one section or part of the budget. It is up to you as either the participant or the guardian of the participant (ie parent).

Caution, If you are going to self-manage it is encouraged you have some basic bookkeeping skills or knowledge as it can get a little complicated managing the finances if you are not used to it.

You need to open an account specifically for the funds to be refunded into, and a ledger of outgoing and incoming monies for services, etc. You also must have invoices and/or receipts as evidence of what the money was used for.

Please note you can also be audited by a regulatory body at any time, so make sure you keep on top of your outgoings and incomings as much as possible.

You can also request to have other parts of the budget managed through Coordination of Supports or Plan Management (as described below).

NB: If at any time you find that Self Managing is too much, speak to someone who can help you. A Support Coordinator or Plan Manager can help you work through some of this with you. Please be mindful, some may charge a fee for this service.

Registered Plan Management Provider

This is someone who is a registered provider found on the NDIA website Provider list.

This list is rather extensive and they have broken it down to state and service options which helps.

If you are not happy with the services of these providers, you have a right to choose someone who is not registered. This can be done via nominating who will assist you in managing this aspect of the plan, or you can self-manage that component.


This is also referred to as “Agency Managed”.

This is when the Agency (NDIA) manage the funds and coordination of supports for the participant. This could be one or many staff members managing your supports.

Sometimes this is a directive determined by the CEO due to an unreasonable risk of the participant’s needs and/or situation.

This can also be a voluntary decision made by the participant.

Plan Nominee

NDIA states …

A nominee is a person who is appointed in writing, at the request of a participant, or on the initiative of the NDIA, to act on behalf of, or make decisions on behalf of a participant for the purposes of the NDIS Act. Where it is not possible for a participant to make their own decisions, or be supported to make their own decisions a nominee can be appointed.

A Plan Nominee is someone you nominate to assist and manage the participants plan. Such as, the preparation, review or replacement of the plan; and/or management of the funding for supports. (Section 78 of the NDIS Act).

So essentially you can nominate someone to manage the plan that is not registered with NDIA. I would be careful here and ensure they have the credentials (qualifications, experience, etc) to perform such a responsibility. This component can be serviced (paid) through the Capacity Building Funding Budget line, ie Coordination of Supports & Plan Management.

If you do not have such in the participants plan, then you can request to have this added. I would suggest having a service agreement negotiated with your chosen Support Coordinator or Plan Manager before approaching and requesting this through NDIA. They can also help you with a letter of justification (if needed) around why this service is needed and why you have chosen this qualified professional.

You can make a Plan Management Request specifying who you wish to have manage the funding/supports under the plan. (Section 43 of the NDIS Act).

For further information, please refer to:
https://www.ndis.gov.au/operational-guideline/nominees.html#7.1 ;
https://www.ndis.gov.au/operational-guideline/nominees; and

Disclaimer: at the time of writing this information, all contents were true and correct based on personal lived experience. Please note that is a guide only and over time they may change their processes and some information contained in this article may become void and irrelevant. If in doubt, please go directly to the source, NDIS to seek clarity and clarification.