NDIS plan management is one of the four options when considering managing the NDIS funding. A participant may decide to self-manage his/her fund, use NDIA-provided agents, choose a plan manager, or combine the options available.
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When a participant decides to choose a plan manager, the administration of your funds is bequeathed to a plan manager. Any activity carried out by this plan manager in the process of the arrangement is called “plan management”.
In this article, we will briefly discuss plan management, the duties of a plan manager, and the remuneration received by plan managers. We will also take a look at the duties and powers of a beneficiary in the plan management arrangement.
What Is NDIS Plan Management?
NDIS Plan Management simply implies the art of overseeing the financial and administrative aspects of an NDIS participant’s affairs by an individual that is either self-appointed or appointed by the agency (NDIS).
The management process is handled by a “liaising party” who pays and receives invoices from you (participant) or respective service providers.
The manager also maintains a communication line with service providers (such as physicians, gardeners, therapists etc.) to ensure that you receive attention in due time from these service providers.
NDIS Plan Management involves the services of an expert who should possess the required technical skills to carry out these duties and more, for effective plan management.
What NDIS Plan Management Involves
NDIS Plan Management primarily involves the financial management of an NDIS participant’s benefits from NDIA, advising the best use of available budget, and the appropriate administration of these benefits. This process requires the services of a plan manager who will play the role of a financial expert on behalf of the participant.
The manager will perform certain tasks which include auditing, service payment, financial reporting, and benefit claiming available to the participant.
The NDIS manager sometimes teaches the NDIS participant some of the ways to self-manage their finances in case of an impending transition to self-management.
What Does an NDIS Plan Manager Do?
A plan manager assists in finding a way through the system that has been instituted by NDIS for your benefit. When you have someone whose work is to help you access your money and manage it, things become easier.
A plan manager also handles financial paperwork and executes virtually all expenditures on behalf of a participant which affords the comfort of going about other things in their life.
In other words, the NDIS plan manager falls in line to help NDIS participants fulfill their financial obligations. They carry out the following duties:
- The plan manager advises on expenses to be made and prioritizes them on your behalf. This enables prudence and cost-efficiency.
- The plan manager accesses funds on the NDIS portal to pay your providers on the participants behalf and negotiate with them, and assists in looking for budget-friendly and quality services.
- If a participant plans on transitioning to self-management, a plan manager can teach the required skills during the stint of the contract.
- A plan manager receives invoices from a provider and the participant and also provides the participant detailed information on monthly expenses.
Hiring a plan manager does not deprive the participant the freedom to make choices on which service providers to choose. Just ensure that you communicate whatever decision you reach with your plan manager.
When Can a Plan Manager be Hired?
A plan manager can be allocated at any time it is considered necessary on request from the participant. Plan management is one of the four options that can be chosen when considering managing an NDIS Plan—options include self-management of an NDIS Plan, engaging an NDIS registered provider, or hire a plan manager fully funded by the NDIS plan.
You can also combine any of the options. Make sure any decision you are going with suits your needs.
How Does a Participant Engage a Plan Manager?
Participants can find a plan manager through the NDIS Local Area Coordinator or a support coordinator. They can simply reach out to any NDIS staff stating that you would like the services of a plan manager.
Similarly they can inform their Local Area Coordinator about their interest in hiring a plan manager. They can also contact a certified NDIS plan manager you know personally, or check one online.
Once it has been decided that a participant will have a plan manager, an additional budget will be added by the NDIA under the Capacity Building Support budget that is called, “Improved Life Choices.” This budget is meant to cushion the additional cost of hiring a plan manager and give the participant the freedom to spend other available funds.
The next line of action is to agree on the terms of the extent of services to be provided in managing the participants finances. Remember, the participant still has the power to control how they utilise their funds.
So How Much Do NDIS Plan Managers Get Paid?
NDIS plan managers get paid about $55,000 per annum at the entry-level. And the amount allocated by NDIS to its participants is around $1,400 a year.
The costs that are covered under the NDIS includes:
- An initial one-time payment will help you settle all costs incurred.
- Continuous support throughout the phases of the management plan.
- Monthly salary
A plan manager should possess certain qualifications apart from being an expert in accounting and with knowledge in NDIS. Looking out for certain qualifications will help you in the long run in your relationship—qualifications like being versed in CRM tools and project management skills.
If you want more information on the qualities to look out for, you can check out this article where we took time to explain the qualities to look for in a plan manager before hiring.
Asking your plan manager if he/she is conversant with softwares that can make their work easier is also a brilliant idea. One of these softwares is the Brevity software.
Brevity is an advanced software that is packed with features that allow you to build a streamlined, technologically advanced Plan Management practice.
Originally published Nov 5 2021
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Frequently Asked Questions
Once you have shown interest in hiring a plan manager to an NDIS staff, the NDIA will make provision for separate funding that will be used for the remuneration of your plan manager. It is this money that you pay your plan manager with.
Plan managers get paid an average of $55,000 for entry-level. Although the amount participants receive is $1,400 per annum—which is about $117 a month.
NDIS providers get paid around $50 per hour, and on weekends they get paid around $72 on Saturdays and around $95 on Sundays. NDIS providers are paid higher or lesser based on four major circumstances, namely;
Location—providers working in rural areas get paid more than those in urban areas.
Days of the week—providers working on weekends, and holidays get paid more than other weekdays.
Time of the day—daytime workers get paid less than nighttime workers.
Management method—self-managed or agency-managed.
Plan managers have three major duties which are:
Receiving and paying invoices
Making claims for compensation for expenses incurred during managing the affairs of a participant
Summarisation of monthly expenditures and the unspent money