Managing NDIS funds: what does this mean?
When you’re developing your child’s NDIS plan, you’ll be asked how you want to manage your child’s NDIS funds.
Managing NDIS funds means making sure your child’s supports are paid for. It also means making sure the funds are spent on supports that help your child work towards the goals in their NDIS plan.
Options for managing NDIS funds
There are 3 options for managing your child’s NDIS funds:
You can choose one of these options or a combination of options. For example, you can choose to self-manage one area of your child’s NDIS funds and ask for another area to be plan-managed.
When you’re deciding on options, you could think about the following things:
- How much independence and flexibility do you want in managing your child’s funds?
- How much administrative work are you comfortable with?
- How much funding is in your child’s plan?
- How many NDIS providers will your child be seeing?
- Will you be using registered NDIS providers?
- How confident do you feel about managing money?
Self-managing NDIS funds
Self-managing NDIS funds involves:
- buying supports for your child’s plan
- negotiating the price of supports
- agreeing with NDIS providers about how they’ll provide supports and how you’ll pay for them
- paying NDIS providers directly
- keeping records of what you’ve spent
- showing how you’ve used funds to work towards the goals in your child’s plan.
If you’re self-managing, you can:
- manage your child’s NDIS funds yourself
- nominate someone like a family member or friend to self-manage on your behalf
- pay a bookkeeper to manage the funds.
Benefits of self-managing NDIS funds
If you’re self-managing, you can:
- choose and control how you spend your child’s NDIS funds
- decide what supports to buy to help your child work towards their goals
- use both registered and unregistered NDIS providers
- negotiate the costs of your supports – NDIS providers can charge more or less than the NDIS rate
- employ support workers directly
- choose not to tell NDIS providers that you’re paying for supports with NDIS funding.
Disadvantages of self-managing NDIS funds
If you’re self-managing, it:
- can involve a lot of administrative work
- can be time consuming
- means you must keep records of how you’ve used your child’s funding.
Self-managing takes time and effort. You’ll need to decide whether it’s right for your family. You’ll be asked questions to check your suitability, including questions about your ability to self-manage and your financial history.
When you self-manage your child’s NDIS funds, you can choose from a wider range of supports because you can use both registered and unregistered NDIS providers. This might be important if your child uses the NDIS and you live in a rural or remote area with fewer services. Or it might be important if you want more choice – for example, because you want to choose an LGBTQ+ friendly NDIS provider.
Plan-managing NDIS funds
A plan manager can manage some or all of your child’s NDIS funds. The plan manager can:
- pay NDIS providers for you
- help you keep track of your funds
- take care of financial reporting.
You can choose your own plan manager. For example, you could choose an accountant or a plan management organisation. All plan managers need to be registered with the NDIS.
The cost of plan management is included in your child’s plan if you choose this option.
Benefits of plan-managing NDIS funds
If you’re using a plan manager, you:
- can use both registered and unregistered NDIS providers
- can negotiate pricing up to the maximum NDIS rate
- don’t need to pay NDIS providers yourself or keep records
- don’t need to be responsible for bookkeeping and keeping spending records.
Disadvantages of plan-managing NDIS funds
If you use a plan manager, you can pay NDIS providers only up to the maximum NDIS rate.
NDIA-managing NDIS funds
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) can manage your child’s NDIS funds.
Here’s how it works if the NDIA manages your child’s NDIS funds:
- You choose registered NDIS providers using the NDIS provider finder, and you organise supports directly with them.
- NDIS providers submit payment requests through the myplace portal, and the NDIA manages your bookkeeping and spending records.
Benefits of NDIA-managing NDIS funds
If your child’s funds are NDIA-managed, you don’t need to:
- pay NDIS providers yourself
- keep records
- show bookkeeping and spending records
Disadvantages of NDIA-managing NDIS funds
If you’re NDIA-managed, you can use only registered NDIS providers. This might be a problem if you live in a rural or remote area with a limited choice of NDIS providers or if you want to use unregistered providers.
Note: sometimes NDIA-managing funds is called ‘Agency-managing’.