What does a Plan Manager do?
In this article, we look more closely at what a Plan Manager can do for you.
First, we will recap what plan management is, followed by a discussion of its benefits. Then, we will discuss the duties of a Plan Manager. Finally, we will share some tips on what to ask your Plan Manager before signing an agreement for their services.
NDIS Plan management
Plan management is a type of disability service funded by the NDIS and offered to NDIS participants. With this service, you can have a plan management provider assist and support you in managing your funding.
Think of your Plan Manager as your financial adviser. Your Plan Manager will provide advice regarding your funding, keep full records of invoices and other evidence of payment and make sure you are working within your budget.
There are alternatives to plan management:
- NDIA or Agency Managed – your funds are managed by the NDIA
- Self-managed – you manage your own funds
- Combination – you can have a portion of your funds managed by a Plan Manager and a portion managed by yourself
However, it might be worthwhile to look into plan management as the support is effectively “free”. That is, the service is funded under its own budget, so there is no extra cost to you. At your planning meeting with NDIS staff, you can tell them that you would like a Plan Manager to support you.
Benefits of Plan Management
We have enumerated the many benefits of plan management here, and we summarise the main points below:
- Plan management helps save time and reduce stress. Admin duties, such as keeping track of invoices and claiming funds from the NDIS, can take up so much time. This is time you could have been using to work towards your goals. With plan management, you need not worry about this.
- You’ll have peace of mind: Plan Managers know the ins and outs of the NDIS, ensuring that you won’t be overcharged.
- You’ll have flexibility: With a Plan Manager, you can receive services from providers that aren’t NDIS registered.
What a Plan Manager Can Do for You
A Plan Manager can:
- Pay your service providers promptly for supports delivered.
- Help you keep track of your NDIS funding. For instance, your Plan Manager can provide a report of your spending and advise you when your funds are running low.
- Keep a record of how you spend your NDIS funding by receiving and managing invoices.
- Help you increase your financial and plan management skills. Working closely with a Plan Manager can help you learn how to manage your own money.
- Give financial advice with regards to your NDIS plan. Your Plan Manager can provide information about what service providers you can use with your funding. This will help you make an informed decision regarding your supports.
Finding Your Plan Manager
It is best to meet with your Plan Manager first before having them manage your plan. In your initial meeting, talk to them about your goals, the supports you need to achieve your goals and your expectations of their services.
Some questions you can ask are:
- How are you going to pay my service providers? (Follow up question: Do you have the technology or capacity to pay them promptly?)
- How are you going to communicate with me? (Phone? Email? In person?)
- If you go on holiday or get sick, who will look after my funding?
To give you an idea of what to expect from a Plan Manager: at Afea, we will receive invoices on your behalf, verify them, claim funds from the NDIA and pay providers within 2-3 business days. Our team of Plan Coordinators are only a phone call away should you have any questions or concerns. Afea’s online portal allows you or your representative to log in from anywhere at any time to check the status of invoices, see real-time budgeting information and approve payments.
We hope this answers all of your plan management questions! If you want to know more, reach out to our team.