A plan manager pays the bills while a support coordinator finds the people to help you.
When you first enter the world of NDIS you’ll come across many new terms which seem designed to confuse rather than explain. You’ll hear expressions such as a planner, a LAC, a provider, the agency, registered and non-registered, a service agreement, a review of a reviewable decision, and many more. Two roles that seem to cause their fair share of confusion are the roles of Support Coordinator and Plan Manager.
When you have your first plan meeting, your NDIS planner should ask you to choose how you’d like the funding managed. You have four choices: Agency managed, self-managed, plan managed or a combination of these.
The 3 management options.
Agency managed: An agency managed plan (ie. managed by the NDIS) can only use providers registered with the agency. As not every business is registered with the NDIS, your choice of providers is reduced.
Self managed: This option doesn’t restrict you to using NDIS registered providers as you can choose any business that meets your plan goals. Self managed clients must ensure that all invoices are paid on time and that only appropriate services are used. You will also need to send invoices to the NDIS via their online portal.
Plan managed: The Plan management option provides the best of both worlds. A plan managed client is not restricted to NDIS registered providers and can choose any business in Australia to meet the plan goals. This is especially important in regional areas where the choice of providers is more limited than in a capital city. A plan managed client has someone to handle the book work and pay the bills, and keep track of the remaining balances. So you have complete control over who you work with and someone else does the paperwork for you. If you select the Plan managed option, you will need to select a plan manager once the plan is active.
A Plan Manager is a separate business from the NDIS who manages your plan funding for you. This includes paying invoices from your providers and keeping track of the funds spent and the amount left over. They are your personal NDIS bookkeeper! Your Plan Manager is paid by the NDIS with separate funds to your plan, so choosing this option won’t reduce the rest of your plan. This gives you the same choice of providers as a self managed participant but without any of the paperwork or responsibility.
What is a support coordinator?
A Support Coordinator or a “Coordinator of Supports” is someone who helps you convert a written plan with a bucket of money into actual, real help. They will connect you to local providers to help you achieve the goals as outlined in your plan. A good Support Coordinator can be vital in helping you navigate a new plan and get real help coming through the door. They will know the local providers and can recommend someone who can match your requirements.
In your initial plan meeting or review meeting, unless you already have well established supports in place that are working well, you should always request to have support coordination included in your plan.
Anyone starting out with the NDIS should always request Support Coordination and Plan Management in their first plan. The NDIS is very confusing and can be overwhelming for anyone new to the system. Having these supports in place allows you time to understand the system before choosing to take on more responsibilities.
Call us today to discuss your NDIS plan and how we can help you regain control over the funding. Call on 0429 800 482, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our contact request and we will call you at a convenient time.