In this article you will find some very helpful information on Plan Management:
- Four categories of managing your NDIS funds
- What a Plan Manager does
- What the difference is between a Plan Manager, Support Coordinator and NDIS Partner
- Choosing a non-registered NDIS Plan Manager
- Non-registered NDIS Providers
Short answer is you can find a NDIS registered Plan Manager via your NDIS portal and you can search based on your location.
Before we get into some guidance in choosing a Plan Manager for NDIS, I think it is best to explain there are four options, or categories in plan management.
The Four (4) Categories
According to NDIS legislation/Act. Plan Management is broken down into 4 categories:
- Plan Nominee
- Registered Management Provider
- The Agency (NDIA)
According to NDIS, a Plan Manager:
- Financial Management of support services as outlined in their NDIS plan. Including making payments to providers, expense claims, monthly statements.
- Work in collaboration with Support Coordinator where applicable
- Assistance with preparing for funding meetings
- Assistance with managing their funding (where required)
- Assistance with decision making, daily planning, budgeting
- Support and Guidance when required
- Advise you (the participant) when NDIS funds are low.
- Provide regular statements directly to participant (eg. monthly or weekly as arranged).
- Follow service expectations set out in NDIS Guide to Plan Management.
- Work with participant to ensure there is sufficient funds available to pay providers.
What they cannot do:
- claim upfront for services that have not yet been provided (this goes for ALL providers).
- determine whether supports or services are ‘reasonable and necessary’
- provide reports or financial statements to providers
What is the difference between a plan manager, support coordinator and NDIS Partner?
According to NDIS:
A plan manager will pay providers for supports delivered. A plan manager will help you monitor your funds, and provide financial reporting.
A support coordinator will support you to understand and implement supports included in your plan. A support coordinator will link you to providers and other community and government services. A support coordinator will also support you to build skills and direction.
An NDIS Partner in the Community delivering Local Area Coordination or early childhood services may provide plan implementation and monitoring support to you. Partner organisations are appointed by the NDIA to help you understand the NDIS, and find providers of support suited to your needs.
Can I choose a Plan Manager that is not registered with NDIA?
NDIA states …
where the arrangement is with a third party who has not registered as a provider of plan management supports, the delegate may need to explain the process for registration to assist in minimising any disruption to the supports.
If a participant does not make a plan management request, the delegate (planner) must have regard to the wishes of the participant when specifying who is to manage the funding for supports.
NB: Delegate is the planner/CEO.
Short answer, absolutely you can. It is written in the legislation, NDIS Act.
How do I choose a non-registered Plan Manager
This is a very important question, something that should never be overlooked.
I would encourage you to do your homework, ensure that who you wish to entrust with this responsibility is going to do it in the best interest of the participant.
If it is included in the funding of supports and Support Coordination is included, I would seek the support and services of this person to help you.
This means qualifications, experience, ethical standards, clearances, etc of the person, rather than the organisation. You have the right to see these for yourself. I encourage people to seek this from those working in organisations, companies, Government Agencies, etc. You have a right to see their individual credentials and serviceability to the needs of the person with the disability and/or their guardian.
If you are not sure about your legal rights, I would seek advice from either Legal Aid or a Legal firm who specialises with disability legislation.
I have found a non-registered provider (Plan Manager), now what?
Now you go through the process of ensuring this is all set up in the plan and in accordance with the NDIS Act.
Once again, this is where your Support Coordinator can help if needed J
If you self manage, it is all good, I have you covered.
This provider is deemed as a Third Party in accordance with s.43(5) of the NDIS Act.
So this is what I suggest you do:
- Ensure the Plan Manager appointed has the credentials, experience, ethical standards required to fulfil the role.
- Ensure you understand how the Plan Manager is handling the funding transactions and in which account it is going, etc.
- Ensure you have a copy of the negotiated service agreement.
- Complete a Plan Management Request specifying who you wish to have manage the funding/supports under the plan and in accordance with the agreed and negotiated Service Agreement. Be specific on the access they are permitted to have, etc.
- NDIA will approve the request.
- Await NDIS to include this in the plan and off you go…
The only time when your plan management request may not be accepted is when participant/guardian is bankrupt or has been bankrupt (insolvent under administration); the participant has a plan nominee; and to allow agreement would put the participant at an unreasonable risk. See ss.43(2), 44(1) and 44(2) of the NDIS Act
At all times they MUST keep in mind the wishes of the participant and what is in their best interest.
If it is declined, you can have this reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
- Operational Guideline – Planning and Assessment – The Plan Management Decision document.
- Section 43(5) of the NDIS Act
- NDIS website
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.