If one of the ways are chosen by you is not working correctly or require more support & guidance, you can always switch during any time, not only at the time of review but also let the NDIS office know about it. The fact sheet given below provides information to all the individuals who can access NDIS funding & are initiating the planning procedure. It helps you decide upon the most appropriate ways to manage your NDIS funding to support a personal plan.
Listed below are few choices & also the pros & cons of it:
When you choose the NDIS plan to be agency managed to your NDIS funding, the meaning is that the NDIS funds will be paid out directly by the NDIS to the registered services provider. By opting for agency managed plan, the participant can choose only the NDIS registered providers who extend the right support & services with your funds. Such NDIS registered providers will have a direct portal link to the NDIS website. These send all their bills to the NDIS directly once they have rendered their services to the participant. Then the payment is made directly by NDIS. Either the participant or nominee has the provision to directly check out on MyPlace NDIS web portal during any point of time for determining how funds are being tracked, which of the claims have been made & what all are left.
The agency managed option provides the least choice & also control to the participants. However, it is quite a good choice for all those participants who are not looking out for much of the flexibility and just looking for the security of all the registered NDIS providers.
Pros of agency managed NDIS funds.
There is no bookkeeping, upfront cost, and separate bank account needed. The participant is never audited at all.
Cons of agency managed NDIS funds
When you choose the registered NDIS service providers, there is less control, power, and creativity in your hands for spending the funds, and there is little spontaneity. For instance, most registered NDIS service providers have the minimum shift lengths that might not be suitable for your precise needs.
Also, there is a requirement of service agreement & service booking with each & every registered NDIS service provider in Melbourne.
The participants may also choose to manage the NDIS funding for the supports on their own. This you can do either on your own or have the nominee to do this on your behalf. The nominee may be the family member, friend, or carer. So, self-managed funding means the money will go to the participant to spend for meeting your and child’s goals. In this scenario, the participant may choose any of the mainstream support & services providers, and it doesn’t have to disability-specific either or the registered ones.
When you opt for a self-managed plan, it is extremely crucial for you to know that no service provider is obligated at all to adhere to the NDIS fee schedule. So these can decide upon their own fees, charges. This might be good in the circumstances when you are willing to pay the valued support worker higher than the schedule fees. However, this turns out to be bad when the service provider is just one in the entire town, and their charges are ridiculously higher. Also, you are required to open a separate bank account solely for your NDIS funds. (In case of child’s nominee- student bank account in child’s name or even an offset account of you both is workable).
The payment can be made upfront for all the services you utilize and then you can claim it on the NDIS portal and get it reimbursed or put in the claim with the invoice and then make payment to the service provider comes through. It can be done easily through the portal. All payment will be deposited into account within just a few days. However, you are required to keep decent records and all the receipts for auditing.
Pros of self-managed NDIS funds
The participant gains complete control over the NDIS funds. You can choose any of the providers or company to help you meet all your goals (this ensures a higher level of spontaneity). The higher rates can also be paid for valued services & support. You also gain a chance to negotiate for a lower cost for stuff and may also be able to stretch the funds further. There is no requirement of service bookings.
Cons of self-managed NDIS funds
The participant is required to make payment for all the stuff up front at times and has to wait for reimbursement. The record-keeping is just as you could be audited too.
As part of the planning process, you also identify your preference to hire a plan manager to help you manage funds & budget. This type of option offers the same benefits as self-managed one & has no disadvantages at all. Also, NDIS adds extra funds in the plan specifically to assist you in covering up the cost of hiring someone else to do paperwork and making payment to the providers for you. So it’s just like employing your own NDIS funded accountancy professional. Under such provision, the NDIS funds will be reimbursed directly to the registered plan manager of your own choice.
The plan manager will pay the bills send by you or your support service provider can also send out all the bills directly to your plan manager. The participant can either use registered or unregistered providers for extending needed support & services through the plan manager.
However, the Plan Managers are registered, and you use your own accountant or bookkeeper’s services. The money that goes for funding Plan Manager is an extra addition to the plan. It is not going to eat the therapy funds or any other NDIS plan funds. However, if you hire Plan Manager, always ensure that there is a system in which you can log in and see all the claims during any point of time.
Pros of Plan Managed
The main benefit is that participants may choose any provider or organization for all support & services that help meet all their unique goals. This ensures a greater level of flexibility & spontaneity. This might also allow you to negotiate for lower cost or stretch funding further, never audited. Additionally, you never have to worry about record-keeping as well.
Cons of Plan Managed
The major disadvantage under this option is that there is a possibility that your Plan Manager may not pay the service providers as quickly as they would like to. The service providers might be dependent upon the Plan Manager that you would have hired.
Mix of above
In this type of option, the participant may choose to include some of the elements of self-managed and some areas of self-managed type of arrangement. For instance, if you wish to self manage the transport funding for seeking greater flexibility & timeliness of your available NDIS funds and you might want the capacity building therapy funds as agency managed.
What in case the option I chose is no longer working for me?
If the option you have already chosen is no longer working or you require additional support, then you can change the arrangement during any point of time & not just during the review time. For making changes, you are required to contact the local NDIS office.
How to find the Plan Manager?
There is a service provider search function on the NDIS website. It comprises of the list of registered Plan Managers. You can call a few times and also interview them before planning out your meeting and can communicate your NDIS planner who you have chosen. During the interview, ask the plan managers how much time they take to pay bills and how flexible & spontaneous they are. Do they have any specific system in place that checks in with you before each invoice is being paid? Find out whether they have their own online system that lets you access & track the claims any time.
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