NDIS Self-management vs. Plan-managed Funding

NDIS Self-management vs. Plan-managed Funding

When a person benefits from  the services of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), they are subject to the rules and regulations of the NDIS system. Fortunately, with the NDIS’ consumer-directed care model of providing services to people living with a disability, they are provided with  flexibility and allowed customisation of their desired support services in order to pursue and achieve their individualised goals. 

A person participating in the NDIS has multiple options for managing the funding provided to them by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). They can choose between self-management, plan-managed funding, or NDIA-managed funding, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Self-management offers participants the most control. 

Whether you choose to use  NDIA-managed funding, plan-managed funding, or self-management for your NDIA funding, Maple Community Services has the expert professional staff and relevant experience to help you get the most out of your available funds. The staff at Maple will work with you one-on-one to identify your priorities and help you develop a strategy that will help you achieve your  well-being goals. 

Who manages NDIA funding for disability services?

It’s important to be aware of who manages the funds that you receive from the NDIA because this can impact the type and amount of support services you receive. You have the option to choose who manages your funds, as well as changing this to suit your needs. You can choose to manage the funds yourself, you can allow the NDIA to manage your funds, or you can choose to have a service provider such as Maple Community Services manage your funds. 

What are the available options for fund management from the NDIA?

There are three primary options for fund management for funds received from the NDIA as a part of your NDIS.

Self-managed Funds

Self-managed funds from the NDIA provide participants with the most control and flexibility. Individuals can choose what support services to use, what level of support they receive, when and where they receive their supports, and whether to discontinue their support services. The self-managed option enables participants to receive their funds directly and spend them on the support services that will best support their needs and goals. This requires a level of understanding  of the structure of their plan and the financial requirements of support services. 

Plan-managed Funds

Plan-managed funds from the NDIA means that a participant works together with a support service provider who has the means and capability to develop a support management plan depending on an individual’s needs, and then can allocate the funds as necessary. This removes some of the burdens of self-management, but requires a trustworthy plan manager that participants can partner with to help them meet their needs. Plan-management of funds by a service provider can be a bridge to self-management or it can be a long-standing solution for people who choose to use it. Plan managers can help educate patients on the details of their plan and financial management of their plan. 

NDIA-managed Funds

NDIA-managed funds are an option for some patients who can not manage their funds on their own and don’t have a service provider or designated person that is able to manage the funds on their behalf. The NDIA will pay support service providers directly from your available budget without dispensing them to you or a plan manager. 

What is the difference between plan-managed and self-managed?

Plan-managed and self-managed funds have some aspects in common including being distributed  by the NDIA for payment to support service providers, but they also have some important differences. In particular, self-managed funds have the money distributed directly to you so you can  make payments as needed to the service providers you work with. You can choose who you want to work with and to what extent. On the other hand, plan-managed funds have the money dispensed to your plan manager who is then responsible for ensuring your service providers are appropriately compensated on a timely basis. The main difference between the two types is that with self-managed funds, you are responsible for your own plan and ensuring the funds are paid out appropriately, whereas plan-managed funds give this responsibility to your plan manager. 

What is the best option for fund management?

As you might imagine, there is no one best option for fund management. The options that are available to you are there because they provide different levels of control, flexibility, and responsibility depending on the specific needs of the NDIS participant. If you do not have the capability or desire to understand or manage your own plan and its finances, a plan-managed fund or NDIA-managed fund may be a better option. On the other hand, if you are capable of and desire to manage your own plan and finances, a self-managed fund option may be the best choice.

Can I change from plan-managed to self managed or vice versa?

Changing plans from one fund management option to another is always a choice for NDIS participants. If you are using one fund management option, you can switch to another option by informing the NDIA and completing the necessary paperwork. You can also change back to your previous one if it’s not working for you, or you can change to another plan. The NDIA allows you the flexibility and control to change your fund management as needed.

Can I combine different fund management options?

Besides the option to change fund management options from one to another, the NDIA allows you to combine fund management options to meet your individual needs. You can choose self-managed funds for some aspects of your plan, while using plan-managed funds for others parts. This provides participants ultimate flexibility, while helping them to meet their support needs.

What do plan-managed fund managers do?

Plan-managed funds can be an excellent option for some NDIS participants who don’t want to or have the capability to manage their own funds. Plan-managed funds are managed by a designated manager or service provider. The manager can help provide oversight for the participant regarding the different aspects of their plan and give feedback and direction as needed. They are in a position to also educate the participant if they choose to transition to self-managed funds or they simply want to know more about it. Managers can help connect you to service providers or coordinate their services as needed. They can inform you when your funds are low, or can advise on service provider options that will fit your budget. When you have identified a plan manager you want to work with, you’ll develop a service agreement that designates their responsibilities and their scope of work. 

Contact Maple Community Services for information on the plan-managed or self-managed funding options and how we can assist you with either or both. Our experienced staff have extensive experience in plan management and ensuring our participants get the funding and support services they need to thrive.