NDIS 101: Managing your funding
Independence Australia is a registered NDIS service provider and provider of Inform Online and provides a range of options for beginning your NDIS journey, accessing supports such as NDIS consumables, viewing NDIS guides, resources and tools such as the popular NDIS planning booklet.
Navigating the NDIS can be daunting, especially if the NDIS marks the first time you or your loved one are accessing supports and services. The Inform Online NDIS 101 series aims to take some of the confusion out of understanding, accessing and using the NDIS by providing straightforward information and resources.
Your NDIS funding is there to help you meet your goals. So it’s important to think about how your funding should be managed.
There are three options for managing your NDIS funding:
- Plan managed
- NDIA managed
You can also elect to use a combination of these options, self-managing some aspects of your funding but getting others managed by the NDIA or a plan manager.
Your Early Childhood Intervention Coordinator, Local Area Coordinator or your NDIA planner will discuss the best way for you to manage your funding during your planning meeting. Whatever style of fund management you choose, you should regularly check your funding to ensure your budget and plan are on track.
Self-management NDIS Plan
Self-management means that you manage your own funding. This option gives you flexibility and provides space for you to think a little creatively about how you might use your funds to meet you goals. But it also comes with some responsibilities.
If you are self-managing your funding, you’ll need to be responsible for things like:
- Purchasing and paying for your supports and managing those supports to ensure value-for-money
- Making clear agreements with providers and/or meeting your obligations if you employ staff
- Keeping all your receipts and invoices and engaging with any auditing
- Letting the NDIA know if you are no longer able to meet your obligations as a self-manager
If you’re interested in self-managing, speak to your Local Area Coordinator or NDIA Planner. For some first-hand knowledge, seek out someone who is self-managing and ask about their experience. Or reach out to a self-management peer support group.
The NDIS provides some support in the form of self-management guides.
Printed copies of these guides are available from your local NDIS office or call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 to request a copy.
Plan management NDIS Plan
If you’d like some help to manage your funds but would still like some flexibility around the providers you use and the ability to negotiate prices and make decisions, plan management could be a good choice.
Plan managers can pay your providers for you. They can also help you track your funding and look after financial reporting for you. In addition, they can help you choose providers. If you decide on plan management, this will be funded in your plan.
NDIA management NDIS Plan
And finally, there is NDIA management. When your plan is managed by the NDIA, you choose your provider from a range of NDIS registered providers and your provider claims directly from your funding. Under NDIA management, you cannot use unregistered providers. While the NDIA will take care of financial reporting, you can still monitor your plan funding through the myplace portal.
There are pros and cons to each way of managing your funding. The important thing is to consider your own capacity alongside your goals and make a choice that best fits you and your circumstances.