Published On: December 7th, 2023|Categories: Plan Management, Support Coordination|Tags: , |

How to Manage and Understand your NDIS Funding

Assessing your eligibility, applying for, and getting approval for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a long and arduous process. Although being approved is a great thing, and it means that you’ll be able to start receiving the care and support you need, you may be left tired, confused, and overwhelmed by the activation of the plan. You’ll still need to find and implement the supports you require for your specific needs and preferences.

There is a reason we refer to your participation in the NDIS as a ‘journey’ – because that is exactly what it is! Luckily, here at Help at Hand Support (HAHS), we have a team of dedicated and helpful staff who are ready to dive into the nitty gritty process with you. We understand that every person is different, and as such we treat each participant as an individual and help them choose and implement the right support services and workers to best suit them.

This article gives you an easy guide on understanding your NDIS funding, as well as going through some of the main points of consideration you should look out for when making decisions.

Support Coordinator vs Local Area Coordinator

There’s a lot of information surrounding the NDIS and some of it can be confusing. One area that can be hard to understand is the difference between a support coordinator and an NDIS local area coordinator (LAC). Both try to help you find the right support and support workers, but they work in different ways. So, what is the difference between them?

Local Area Coordinator:

  • A Local Area Coordinator is an NDIS community partner who serves as a guide in comprehending and accessing the NDIS.
  • Engaged in the planning, development, implementation, and review of your NDIS Plan, the Local Area Coordinator aids in understanding the plan and identifying suitable service providers.
  • Additionally, the Local Area Coordinator may serve as your NDIS contact person, addressing any queries you have about your plan. It’s important to note that Local Area Coordinator services are offered free of charge, requiring no NDIS funding for the Support Connection services they provide.

Support Coordinator:

  • NDIS-funded Support Coordinators assist participants with complex needs, coordinating services and enhancing support networks.
  • Assists you in understanding and implementing your NDIS plan.
  • Assists you to establish support and services in line with your goals and plan budget.
  • Help you monitor your NDIS plan budgets.

NDIS Plan Management vs Self-Management

Choosing between self-management and having the plan managed by a company like HAHS is an important step in beginning your support journey. Although there are many helpful guides and information pages on the web that can help you get started on your own, it’s smart to consider having your plan managed by professionals that have the contacts available and the experience to help you get the most out of your NDIS funding. It’s also helpful to note that plan management just makes life easier. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of both options:

Self-management advantages:

  • Not being restricted to NDIS registered providers. This means that you can choose your own support workers and therapists and hire whoever you want.
  • Be more innovative in what you spend your funding on, rather than following a preset plan.
  • Participants in rural/remote areas have more provider options available.
  • Employing your own support staff directly.
  • Not restricted to NDIS price guide prices, meaning you can negotiate rates.

Self-management disadvantages:

  • Not restricted to NDIS price guides, meaning providers can demand more than the NDIS rate.
  • You’ll need to have the time to engage with providers, pay invoices, and schedule times.
  • You’ll need to keep records of everything in case of an audit.

Plan management advantages:

  • Plan managers take care of payments and invoices.
  • They also keep comprehensive records in case of an audit.
  • Good plan managers will help you get the most out of your NDIS funding.
  • They know how to use the NDIS portal, which can be confusing to navigate, so that you don’t have to.

Plan management disadvantages:

  • If you opt for a service provider with rates exceeding the NDIS Price Guide, you’ll be responsible for covering the additional cost, as plan managers are obligated to adhere to the price guide.
  • Like any other service provider, you might encounter a Plan Manager delivering subpar service — delayed invoice payments, unresponsiveness to your requirements, and unhelpfulness. Therefore, as you would with any NDIS provider, seek recommendations or meet with potential plan managers before selecting.

Organizing your support

Finding the right provider is an especially important part of the NDIS. Think about who you want on your team carefully and make sure that the provider is the right fit for you. It’s vital to ask if you’ve got funding for a support coordinator. If yes, then a support coordinator might be the best option for you, and we at Help at Hand Support can help you find the right person for you. We can help you select your service providers based on your needs and set up service agreements with your providers to ensure you have them locked in, thereby ensuring satisfaction for all our participants.

Last Updated: January 22nd, 2024|

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