What’s the difference between Local Area Coordinators (LAC), Support Coordinators and Plan Managers?
Our easy read guide to who can help you with the NDIS
When you join the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), you might get lots of information. It might be confusing to understand.
Fortunately, there are many people who can help you.
You may have heard of Local Area Coordinators (LAC), Support Coordinators and Plan Managers. Here we explain who they are and how they can help you.
What is a Local Area Coordinator (LAC)?
A Local Area Coordinator service is sometimes called a LAC.
LACs are organisations in your local area that can help you with the NDIS. They are for people aged 7 - 64 years. They will be your main contact with the NDIS.
LACs do things like:
- Find you information about services that might help you
- Help you understand the NDIS
- Talk to you about your goals and what help you get at the moment
- Create an NDIS plan for you
- Help you understand your plan
- Help you set up supports and services in your area
- Check in with you about how your plan is going
LACs don’t approve your plan – they help set it up and submit it.
You don’t pay for the LAC out of your plan. They are paid directly by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The NDIA is the organisation that runs the NDIS.
To learn more about how to start your plan with an LAC, visit the Easy Read guide on the NDIS website.
What is a Support Coordinator?
Support Coordinators are for people who need more ongoing help to set up their plan. You need to get funding for Support Coordination in your plan. It is part of the Capacity Building budget.
Your LAC can help you find a Support Coordinator or you can ask friends or family for help.
Support Coordinators do things like:
- Help you understand your plan
- Make sure you get the right supports in your plan
- Connect you to providers
- Connect you to community and mainstream supports
- Help you increase your independence
- Help you manage your plan budget
Your Support Coordinator will help you increase independence and confidence. In time, you may learn how to look after your plan on your own.
You can choose which Support Coordinator you want. You can also change Support Coordinators. To learn more about how to start your plan with a Support Coordinator, visit the Easy Read guide on the NDIS website.
What is a Plan Manager?
A Plan Manager helps you look after your NDIS budget. There are 3 ways to manage your NDIS budget.
- Self-managed – this means you look after your budget yourself
- NDIA-managed – this means the NDIA manages your budget
- Plan-managed – this means you choose a Plan Manager to help you with your NDIS budget
You or your Support Coordinator can help you find a Plan Manager or you can ask friends or family for help.
Plan Managers do things like:
- Pay your service providers
- Keep track of your NDIS funding
- Help you understand your NDIS funding
- Help you understand how much your providers charge
- Help you learn skills so you can be more independent
Plan Managers can help you use providers that are registered and not registered with the NDIS. If you want a Plan Manager, it can be included in your NDIS budget.
You can choose which Plan Manager you want. You can also change Plan Managers at any time if you want.
If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with us at Five Good Friends. Our friendly team can talk to you about what support would work best for you.