And why a good Plan Manager will help you achieve your goals
Are you considering getting an NDIS Plan Manager but not sure where to start? Here are some things you should look into before you sign on with a new Plan Manager.
What is NDIS Plan Management?
Plan Management is a support offered to NDIS participants. Your Plan Manager is the person who looks after all your finances from the NDIS and makes sure your service providers are paid. They will pay providers from your budget, keep track of your funds, and take care of all your financial planning.
Plan Management comes out of the Capacity Building budget, under the support category Improved Life Choices, and is an addition to your support budget. This means if you choose to use a Plan Manager, you won’t lose any funding for any other supports.
It’s important that you find someone who you’re happy with as they’re going to be working with you get the most out of your funding. Here are some things to look out for.
1. They need the credentials
Your Plan Manager is looking after your money, so you need to make sure they have the necessary qualifications. Firstly, they must be registered by the NDIS before they can manage your finds. It’s also important to make sure your Plan Manager has bookkeeping or accounting qualifications. They are dealing with invoices, tax and NDIS funding every day so they need to know what they’re talking about!
2. They need to know the NDIS
It’s not just the accounting side of things. Your Plan Manager needs to have an intricate knowledge of the NDIS. A good Plan Manager will provide suggestions from the NDIS framework and give alternatives to getting funding in different categories. They should also do their best to help you understand the NDIS.
3. They need to understand your needs
When you’re choosing a Plan Manager, you need to make sure they have a good understanding of your unique circumstances. They need to be able to understand your disability and how you can work together. For example, does a hearing problem make phone telephones difficult? If so, you might prefer all your correspondence to be over email. Your Plan Manager should work with you to make sure the relationship works for you and you’re getting what you need.
4. They need to understand your goals
When you first sign up with a new Plan Manager, it’s important to outline your goals. Do you want to improve s certain skillset or try something new? A good NDIS Plan Manager will know your goals and do their best to help you use your funding to get there.
5. Do they have reliable and fast technology?
When you’re dealing with multiple NDIS providers, you want a payment portal that is up to the challenge. Many Plan Managers use technology to ensure payments are made quickly and participants have transparency of funds. You should make sure that the technology your Plan Manager uses will allow you to check-in and see your spending in real-time. You also want to know that your providers are being paid quickly.
6. You need to be able to trust your Plan Manager
This is the most important one. Your NDIS Plan Manager is looking after your funding so trust is vital. You need to know that they’ve got your best interests at heart and will work with you to achieve these goals. They should be one of your trusted supporters and should have your back. You should also be given one dedicated Plan Manager and you should know when they’re available to help you. If they’re off sick or on holiday, you should be given an alternative support person.
Your Plan Manager should get to know you and your individual needs, so make sure they’re the right fit for you.