What is Plan Management?
The first thing I always discuss with a new NDIS participant is what is plan management and what does a plan manager do?
As most people who are involved in the disability sector know, there are 3 ways that funding can be managed; NDIA managed, self managed, or plan managed.
Plan managed sits directly in the middle of the other two, meaing that plan managed participants get the perks of both but with less work.
The key factors of NDIA management is that the particpant doesn't need to process invoices themselves, NDIA does it directly, but also the providers used must be registered NDIS providers. With self management, the participant processes invoice payments and takes care of the associated administration themselves, but can use unregistered providers.
Plan managed participants can use unregistered providers without the burden of the invoice payments and administration - therefore getting the best of both worlds.
Now - what does a plan manager do apart from processing invoices?
This can change with each participant. For those who don't have a support coordinator, as a plan manager I always put the offer out to provide them with lists of providers in the area that provide the services they need. We also track budgets and ensure that the funds being spent are within the limits of what the participant is able to afford, and we make sure that funds are being spent from the correct category.
As a plan manager myself, I generally advise my participants and/or their support coordinators when funding is getting low, and my participants come to me when they're not sure if something can/should be funded by their plan or not, that's when I'll find an answer and come back to them.
There's a lot of value that can be added by having the right plan manager on board and it's an excellent alternative for those who want flexibility with their plan funding without taking on the administration work.