This article is aimed at those who have Self-Managed components of their NDIS plan.
How do I pay for Services?
This is a very common question for newly self-managed people.
What we do is have an account setup specifically for NDIS funds, which I believe we have to do anyway. It really does help with managing and budgeting the funds.
Then we make sure the account has a bank card associated to the account. Your bank manager can help you set this up if you need further assistance.
When it comes time to pay for the service – usually you have to pay on the day – we use the bank card linked directly to the account we set up.
You can also pay via online banking 3 days before the date of service. This all depends on the service agreement or payment terms with your chosen provider.
Can I claim for items not included in the plan?
Essentially if it is not included in the plan you cannot make a refund/claim for it with NDIS.
For example, if you by some fidget toys for your child and it is not in the plan. You will NOT be able to claim them through their funding.
You will know if it is included in the plan as you would have had a discussion around “equipment” and most likely it would be listed in the plan and associated with a budget line.
If you want to claim them through the funding you will need to have an OT or other therapist justify why the person needs the fidget, how it will benefit them and meet their NDIS goals and objectives. Then it needs to be added to the plan. Once this happens, then and only then can you claim for it.
This goes for any additional service and equipment not mentioned within the plan.
Be mindful, if you claim for something that is not in the plan you are technically breaking the law. As a result you could be committing a criminal offense and therefore face prosecution.
I am self-managed do I need to use registered NDIS Providers?
Short answer is No.
The beauty of being self-managed is you have the freedom to choose whomever you wish to provide a service.
As long as:
- They have an ABN
- are qualified to provide the service in which you seek
- agree to provide you an invoice and/or receipt
I would encourage you to view their credentials ie qualifications, experience before signing them up. You will see that I mention this a lot throughout this document. It is because I hear so many horrid stories of people being “locked into contracts” or at least feeling that way. I also hear stories of where service providers are increasing their fees once they are aware of the NDIS Funding, and so on.
Please note, registered providers are supposed to provide a service within a specific fee agreement. When you self-manage you can choose anyone, anywhere and anytime that meets your individual needs. Please note some may charge more or some may charge less, it really depends on the service provider. You technically do not even have to mention you have NDIS funding. Some may push for this knowledge, I have heard and experienced this also, if you do not want to disclose this information I believe you do not need to.
The only time they may need to know is when they do the reports for the review. This is where your Support Coordinator comes into the picture. They can assist you with how to handle this situation – depending on their credentials.
Find out what are their ethical standards (aka service charter)
Please note you are not required to enter into a 12 month contract/agreement with any provider. You can choose whomever you wish. Some providers may wish for you to do this as a way of securing business. However in accordance with the NDIS Act, you can choose whomever you want whenever you want. Be mindful of this clause in the service agreement.
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.