When you have a person of all abilities under your care, applying for National Disability Scheme (this link will take you to a page on the NDIS website that gives some insight into what the NDIS is) funding, or NDIS funding for short, is the first step towards helping them improve their quality of life.
Knowing how to manage these funds is very important as it will determine how services and support, like specialist disability accommodation and supported independent living (this link will take you to a blog post on the Shine SC website about specialist disability accommodation and supported independent living), for the person under your care will be paid for and which providers are available for delivering these services.
NDIS fund management comes with three options and you’ll need to decide which will suit the person under your care best.
If this will be your first time applying for NDIS funding, it may feel a bit overwhelming and you might not know what to do.
This is a guide to help you understand NDIS fund management better and assist you in deciding which method of managing NDIS funding you should opt for.
1. Plan-managed funding
This involves handing your fund management over to a professional service provider, also called a plan manager, who will manage all aspects of your NDIS funding, such as making sure that all your support providers are paid on time.
The plan manager will also help you keep track of your spending so that the person under your care can get the most out of their funding. With plan management, you can access both NDIS-registered and non-registered service providers at costs that are within your budget.
Plan management will require less administration, as the plan manager will keep track of all your spending in case you have to face an audit.
The plan manager will also negotiate costs with service providers on your behalf so that you can pay less and still ensure the person under your care gets the maximum out of their NDIS funding. This will help you save money that you can use for additional support if needed.
Another benefit of plan management is that if the person under your care has an NDIS plan, the plan manager will be funded by the NDIS and you won’t need to worry about any additional costs.
This form of fund management is ideal when you have a busy schedule, rendering managing funds too difficult.
If you’re not too familiar with NDIS funding in general, the plan managers can also explain it to you and the person under your care
2. Plan-managed funding
As the name suggests, this type of fund management involves you or the person under your care solely managing NDIS funding.
The main benefit of self-management is that it allows you to be more creative with how you or the person under your care utilises funding to meet your needs.
Through self-management, you or the person under your care will have a more expansive choice of deciding what forms of support are needed and which all-abilities provider to opt for. More control when negotiating costs for support will also be offered.
Despite the degree of freedom people get from self-managing their NDIS funding, self-management introduces a range of responsibilities:
- You’ll need to keep track of all your receipts and invoices to prove that you’ve paid for your NDIS support
- You’re fully responsible for managing your funding in a way that ensures value for your money and for making sure you stay within your budget
- You need to show how you’ve utilised your funds to pursue your goals during your plan review
- You’ll have to make clear agreements with your chosen support providers on how the types of support will be delivered and paid for
- You have to claim and pay for support through payment requests without delay
- You must participate in any type of payment auditing and you’ll have to present all receipts, invoices, and other evidence to prove that you’ve spent your funds according to your NDIS plan
The option to self-manage your NDIS funding is good if you or the person under your care is proficient in bookkeeping and familiar with how the NDIS works.
3. NDIA-managed funding
NDIA-managed funding, also known as agency-managed funding, is when the National Disability Insurance Agency, or the NDIA for short, manages your NDIS funding.
Similar to plan management, the NDIA will manage all aspects of NDIS funding for the person under your care, including bookkeeping and making records of spending. The NDIA will also pay all of your invoices for you.
It should be noted that when you choose NDIA management, you’ll only be able to choose from NDIS-registered all-abilities service providers.
Find the right NDIS fund management method
There’s no perfect option for managing NDIS funds; all three options are valid and will allow you and the person under your care to make the best out of the NDIS plan.
These three options provide you with differing levels of flexibility, choice, control, and responsibility depending on the needs of the person under your care.
It’s not necessary to adhere to only one option; switching between the options by informing the NDIA and completing the required paperwork is a possibility.
If you want to learn more about how you or the person under your care can manage NDIS funding, get in touch with a reputable all-abilities service provider on the Sunshine Coast today.
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