Whether you’re brand new to the NDIS, or have been in the scheme for a few years, it’s never too late to change to plan management. Plan management is a free service paid for by the NDIS, and it gives you a lot more choice and control over where and how you can spend your NDIS funds.
If you’re not an NDIS participant yet, you’ll need to apply for the NDIS either over the phone, or by sending in the access request form. Once you’ve been approved to join the NDIS, you’ll have a planning meeting – you can read more about what to expect in your first planning meeting here. When you’re having your planning meeting, let them know that you want to have your funding plan managed – you can bring this letter with you too. NDIS must grant your request to have plan management in your plan (unlike self-management, where they can decide whether or not this is reasonable for you to do). You should have a think about how much of your plan you want to plan manage – all of the plan, or just some budgets (for example, just the core budget)? If you get your NDIS plan back, and they have not put plan management in then you should contact your LAC or planner immediately.
If you already have a current NDIS plan and you’re agency-managed or self-managed, you’ll need to ask for a review of your plan to switch the management. If you’re more than three months into your plan, this is called an unscheduled plan review. There are a few ways you can request this:
If you already have an NDIS plan, once plan management is approved this will automatically generate a new plan for you (although most of the time, none of your funding amounts will change – just the way they’re managed). This means that the start date will be the date plan management was approved, and the end date will usually be exactly one year after this.
On your new plan, you’ll have a shiny new section under Capacity Building called “Improved Life Choices”. It looks like this
This is the budget where NDIS pays for plan managers – the plan manager you choose to use will claim these funds directly out of your NDIS plan. All plans will have the same amount for a plan manager per year – and all plan managers generally charge the same amount, so you should search for a plan management provider based on the perceived quality of their service (e.g. quick invoice approvals, a portal where you can login to see your funds, good customer service etc.).
You should check on your plan that all your requested budgets are plan managed too. At the bottom of the section for each budget, you should see:
(where it says Improved Daily Living would be the name of the category you’ve opted to plan-manage).
Now that everything is all sorted for your plan, you can start to search for a plan manager (for example, PlanCare). Once you’ve picked who you would like to go with and have signed up with them, you should let your providers (e.g. your therapists, support workers, support coordinator etc.) know so they can start to send their invoices to them. You can also send them this information sheet, which will tell them everything they need to know.