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What is the role of NDIS plan manager?

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Plan managers are NDIS-registered providers who support participants in managing the funding within their NDIS plans. In other words - Your NDIS Plan Manager is responsible for managing your budget and paying invoices from your service providers on your behalf.


Having Plan management built in your ndis plan gives you greater flexibility since this allows you to utilize service providers who are either registered with the NDIS or who are not and thus gives you more choice and control over your plan.


Once you decide to have a plan manager, to manage your ndis plan, your plan will be built with the funding needed to hire a plan manager. You will be supported by a registered NDIS plan management provider (such as ELS Plan Manager) to administer and manage your NDIS funds and pay for the services that you receive from ndis service providers. NDIS plan manager is always an NDIS Registered Provider.


Choosing ESL as your NDIS plan manager would mean that you or the service provider who provides support to you, do not have to worry about claiming payment through the NDIS Portal or storing receipts because we pay your invoices and store your receipts for you. This option is less stressful as it reduces work for you and gives you more choice and control in utilizing your ndis plan.


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

If you self-manage your funding, you have to manage your funding to pay the service providers time, who you choose to receive the supportWhen you self-manage your funding, you must manage your funds in order to pay your service providers. You may have to keep and maintain the records and budget on your own.


With plan management, you choose a dedicated plan manager who can make payments to your providers, keep track of your funding and provide you with detailed statements. Also, a good plan manager will be readily available to answer your plan and funding-related queries. You get additional funding to pay a plan manager and you do not lose out on any of your other support funding should you choose to go with the plan management option in your ndis plan.


What is the difference between an NDIS plan manager and an NDIS support coordinator?

A support coordinator is responsible for managing the supports and providers that you hire under your NDIS plan, whereas a plan manager focuses mainly on the financial aspects. In situations where a Support Coordinator is deemed necessary and funded by NDIS, you can access one regardless of your plan, self-management, or NDIA-management status.


How do you pay to have a plan manager managing your ndis plan?

Not at all. Having a plan manager to manage your plan does not cost you out of pocket. The funds are built within your ndis plan.


If you request your ndis plan to be plan managed during your planning meeting, the NDIA Planner or LAC will include an Improved Life Choices budget in addition to your other budgets.


As part of this funding, there is an initial one-time set-up fee (per plan) included to activate your account in our system and on the NDIS portal, and also includes a standard monthly fee that is charged each month from the plan. Hence there are no hidden fees besides these two fees that are applicable and are already funded within your plan.


How can I request to change my ndis plan from ndis managed or self managed to Plan Managed?

To get support from the plan manager, your NDIS plan must include a funding category called 'Improved Life Choices'.


To get plan management funded in your plan, you can discuss this with your planner or LAC during your upcoming planning meeting or review.


If you wish to have a plan manager before your plan expiry, speak to your LAC or ring NDIS on 1800 800 110 and let them know you wish to have your plan changed to plan managed. They will do a lite review of your plan and include the Improved Life Choices category in your plan.


Such a request to have your ndis plan changed to plan managed may take up to 2-4 weeks for ndis to do a lite review and get your plan changed to plan managed.

However, during this time, you can keep using your ndis plan as normal.

The funding included in your plan will cover all plan management fees and there is no extra expense for you to pay out of pocket.


What is covered in my plan?

The NDIS will provide funding for 'reasonable and necessary' support.

It refers to goods and services that will help you achieve the specific goals and objectives set forth in your NDIS plan.


Generally, NDIS claims that are not directly related to a participant's disability will not be approved by the NDIS, such as daily living expenses, entertainment, food, and support items already provided by other government funding schemes (such as education or Medicare), and/or items that may not provide value for money, as well as items that may pose a risk to the participant or others.


How do I access or change service providers?

You may wish to choose service providers based on several factors. It would be helpful to make a list of questions that you may wish to ask a provider before you can decide to choose one.


If you have friends or relatives who know service providers in your area and have received services before, you can approach the provider directly and request access for them to provide you with the services. You can also choose to receive services from the service providers you already know.


If you need help searching for providers in your area, we can provide you the guidance and help you point in the right direction. Once you have started receiving support from your chosen service provider, you can simply provide them with our details from the first signup email that we sent to you, and you can leave the rest to us.


If you are unhappy with the services you are receiving, you can simply find another provider and change. We will keep you updated periodically to make sure your spending and services are on track.


How does plan management work?

It is required that all plan managers be registered with the NDIS and provide you with financial administration services.


Your providers send their invoices to us, and we pay them on your behalf our expert plan managers help you manage your budget and solve your queries about what can be purchased from your plan funding.


Once you request plan management as an option to manage your plan, your ndis planner will fund the category for plan management in addition to another budget available in your plan. This will then allow us to make claims for services on your behalf and pay direct to your service providers.


What is our process as a plan manager to pay service providers?

We as your plan manager can work with almost any provider, as long as they have a valid ABN and the good or service meets NDIA’s definition of “reasonable and necessary”.


Our process as a plan manager is very simple. The first time we receive an invoice from your new provider we request them to share a copy of the agreement that you signed or ask you to confirm your engagement with the provider if you have not signed any agreement and then pay the invoices we receive from your providers on time.


The monthly financial statement that we send to your nominated email address helps you track spending in your plan. We also can provide with you an app that can help you track the expense on your mobile.


How is the plan manager paid from my ndis plan?

In your plan, plan management is separately funded under the Improved Life Choices budget, so you do not have to pay anything out of your pocket, and it will be funded in addition to all other funding categories so you will not lose out on any of the existing funding.


Can you help me contact the NDIA to change my plan from NDIA or self-managed to plan-managed?

If you would like to change to a plan-managed plan, you should contact your NDIA planner or LAC to inquire whether a soft touch review can be conducted to change your agency-managed plan to one that is plan-managed.


Unfortunately, ELS Plan Manager can’t do this for you, but we can help you with what you need to ask for.


How do I use my support funds if I have a plan managed plan?

When you have set up your NDIS plan as plan-managed, you simply need to identify the service providers you would like to use and ask them to invoice ELS Plan Managers. They can send invoices to our central inbox for plan-managed invoices at planmanager@elsaustralia.org.


We can help you to understand your plan and discuss with you what you might like to purchase to be able to achieve your goals.


As plan managers do you recommend good ndis service providers in the area?

ELS Plan Manager works with a variety of providers Australia-wide. As we are completely independent, we do not recommend any services. ELS as Plan Manager strictly adheres to the principle of choice and control so that participants can have full control over the services they choose and receive support from.


We understand what works for one person may not work for another. The best way for you to find services is to search using Google, use provider finder on your myplace provider, and speak to your LAC or support coordinator to help find suitable service providers.


What does each budget line mean in an NDIS Plan?

Check out our handy guide to NDIS plan categories.


How do I download my NDIS plan from the NDIS portal?

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