A guide to NDIS self-management vs plan managed vs NDIA managed
What you need to know about managing your plan
When you get a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, you might learn about self-management, plan management or National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) management. You may manage your plan yourself or get some help from either the NDIS or a plan management provider.
The latest 2022 NDIS report stated that around 30% of participants self-manage part or all of their plan. About 58% of people have a plan manager which has increased from 45% in the past few years. And about 12% of people have an NDIA or agency managed plan which has decreased from 24% in the past few years.
We explain these three ways to manage your plan and look at how you might make your decision.
What is NDIS self-management?
NDIS self-management means you manage your plan yourself. There are many advantages. You can have more choice in deciding about what supports you want to buy and you have the flexibility to use any provider that will help you achieve these goals.
You can negotiate the costs of supports to make sure you’re getting the best value for money. You contact and employ staff yourself, so the people who are helping you are the best fit for you. You also manage your budget, so you know exactly how much money you have to spend.
It’s also important to note that you can self-manage part or all of your plan.
What responsibilities would you have when you self-manage?
When you self-manage your NDIS funding, there are many responsibilities. You need to do things like:
- Make agreements with your support providers
- Pay for your supports
- Keep your invoices and receipts
- Show how you’re using your funding to meet your NDIS goals
- Meet your obligations as an employer if you employ staff directly.
What are the positives and negatives of self-management?
The NDIS conducted a survey so they could better understand the benefits and challenges faced by self-managers. Some things participants liked about self-management included being able to easily track what was left in their budget and have their claims usually processed within 24 hours.
They also liked that the process helped them build their skills and gave them better financial control. It also helped them to be more innovative and able to adapt to changes.
However, some participants highlighted the process could be hard to learn if you’re not a naturally organised person. The process may also be too stressful for some as they worry they might make a mistake with self-managing. However, the report noted that accidental or fraudulent misuse of funding when self-managing is rare.
To learn more about self-management, you can visit:
- The NDIS self-management guide
- Other self-management resources
- Paul Mangan’s NDIS self-management tips and tricks
What is NDIA management?
NDIA management is sometimes called agency managed. This means the NDIA manages your plan and takes care of the bookkeeping and records of your spending.
The positives of being NDIA managed is that you can look at the myplace portal, see what claims providers are making and keep track of your budget. Your providers can directly claim electronically against your funding.
However, one negative is that you can’t use unregistered providers. It’s also mainly administrative support, so it doesn’t give you the options that you might get from plan management.
If you’d like to be agency managed, you can talk to your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner about how they can support you.
You can read more about NDIA management here:
What is plan management?
Plan management is when you use a dedicated plan management provider to help manage your plan. They provide administrative support including paying your providers and keeping track of your budget.
They can also increase your financial and plan management skills so you can self-manage your budget yourself one day if you choose.
With a plan manager, you have increased choice and control over providers because you can use providers that aren’t registered with the NDIS.
If you’d like to have plan management, talk to your NDIA planner or LAC about how to get funding to pay for the plan manager in your budget.
They will also help you find a plan manager if you wish.
You can read more about plan management here:
How can you decide?
Not sure whether you should go for self-management or NDIA management or plan management? It's hard to decide about what is right for you. First step is read the guides on the NDIS website, including the Easy Read guides if that is helpful to you.
Second step is to talk to your NDIA planner or LAC about whether it fits in with your goals. You could even talk to Five Good Friends about how we can help.
Finally, it’s important to remember that whatever decision you make, it’s not set in stone. You can change to another type of plan management in the future. For example, you could choose plan management and increase your capacity and end up self-managing all or part of your plan. Or you could choose self-management but realise that you don’t enjoy all the aspects, so get some help from the NDIA or a plan management service.
Regardless of how you manage your services, we can help you with core supports and support coordination. We’re NDIS registered and our friendly Five Good Friends team are ready to answer all your questions about how we can help.