How will you manage your NDIS budget?

When you go in to your NDIS planning meeting the planner is going to ask how you would like to manage your plan. There are a few different responses you can give. Do you self-manage, get the NDIS to manage it for you or look in to one of the other options? If you’re confused about which one might be right for you– you’re not alone! We will walk you through your options to help you pick the one that best suits you.

1. Self-management

"The 'hands on' approach"

Self-management offers the most choice, control and flexibility, but can also be quite time consuming and brings a level of responsibility. This option suits organised people who like to take a ‘hands on’ approach. Many have likened it to running their own small business.

It’s important to note that whilst it’s calledself-management, you can use a plan nominee, who is generally a parent or carer.

What it looks like

  • You can choose and arrange your own supports, including your own support workers.
  • You ensure that the relevant invoices for your supports are paid on time.
  • You keep appropriate records and receipts for supports provided, both claimed and paid.
  • You report to the NDIA on the amount used and funds spent on the self-managed items of your NDIS plan.

Pros

  • Flexibility
  • Choice
  • Control
  • Freedom to choose any provider, regardless of whether they are NDIS registered or not

Cons

  • Can be time consuming
  • Comes with a lot of responsibility
  • Need to pay costs upfront and wait for reimbursement
  • Might need to build skills in certain areas – it can be a lot to get a handle on

If this sounds like you, the NDIS have some really great resources on self-management.

2. NDIS (Agency) management

"The most popular option"

This option suits people who don’t want to spend time dealing with finances and are happy to use registered NDIS providers.

74% of people who have received their plans chose NDIS, or ‘Agency’ management. This option, while being easier than self-management, limits you to using service providers who are registered with the NDIS.

What it looks like

  • You can choose and arrange your own supports, including your own support workers. They must be registered NDIS providers if you choose to have an agency managed plan.
  • The NDIA ensures that the relevant invoices for your supports are paid on time.
  • The NDIA keeps appropriate records and receipts for supports provided, both claimed and paid.

Pros

  • Easy
  • Quick
  • No financial accountability

Cons

  • You can only engage NDIS registered providers
  • You have limited control
  • Budgets are not as flexible

3. A mix

"The best of both worlds"

If you’re unsure, you may be able to choose a mix of self-management and NDIS management. This means that you can choose who manages what when it comes to your NDIS finances.

This option suits people who are happy for the NDIS to manage parts of their budget, but want control over certain services. This is especially handy when you want to enlist a support service that is not registered with the NDIS.

What it looks like

  • You choose and arrange your own supports, including your own support workers.
  • You ensure that the relevant invoices for your supports that you choose to self-manage are paid on time.
  • You keep appropriate records and receipts for the supports that you choose to self-manage, both claimed and paid.
  • You report to the NDIA on the amount used and funds spent on the self-managed items of your NDIS plan.
  • The NDIA will manage the parts of the budget that you allocate to them.

Pros

  • Flexibility
  • Choice
  • Control
  • Freedom to choose any provider, regardless of whether they are NDIS registered or not

Cons

  • Can be time consuming
  • Need to pay costs upfront and wait for reimbursement
  • Might need to build skills in certain areas

4. Enlist the help of a Plan Manager

"Like an accountant for the NDIS"

If you like the sound of self-management, but aren’t confident in your abilities, you can enlist the help of a professional. Plan Managers are like an accountant for the NDIS. They take care of the financial complexities and make sure everything is being done correctly.

What it looks like

  • You choose and arrange your own supports, including your own support workers.
  • You meet with your chosen plan manager and discuss your plan.
  • Your Plan Manager oversees the financial component of your NDIS plan.

Pros

  • Flexibility
  • Choice
  • Control
  • NDIA provide funding for the Plan Manager in your Plan
  • No personal financial accountability
  • Easy
  • Freedom to choose any provider, regardless of whether they are NDIS registered or not.

Cons

  • There will be another person you need to meet with regularly.

Note: A Plan Manager and a Support Coordinator often get confused but are two very different roles.You can read about Support Coordination here.

Before you go…

  • It’s important to note that once you decide which option to go with, you can always change in the future.
  • In some cases, the NDIA might make the decision to not let a person self-manage even when they ask to do so.

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