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NDIS Self Managed vs Plan Managed vs Agency Managed Explained

There are three ways to manage your NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) plan ranging from taking full control (and responsibility) to a completely hands-off approach. Your ideal management style will depend on factors such as your lifestyle, the time you are willing or able to invest and the level of administrative support you need.

1. Self-Managed

Self-managing your NDIS plan offers full autonomy over budgeting, the use of your funds and the selection of service providers (NDIS registered or non-registered). This approach allows you to negotiate provider rates outside the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits and stretch your funds further, or you may choose to pay higher rates to secure valued services/specific providers.

However, if you choose self-management, you will be responsible for coordinating the process, including navigating the NDIS funding system and maintaining accurate records in case of audit.

While flexibility and control may be appealing to many NDIS participants, self-management can be risky. It requires individuals to have a high level of organisation and knowledge of the NDIS framework; without this, you may miss out on crucial funding opportunities. Computer literacy is also important for managing records, billing and reimbursements.

This can be inaccessible for some participants as you must act as your own advocate, NDIS expert, coordinator, bookkeeper and accountant. If self-managed funding does not sound quite right for your needs and lifestyle, two other options exist: Plan Managed or Agency Managed.

2. Plan Managed 

Plan Management offers the best of both worlds. The NDIS will provide additional funding for a Plan Manager of your choice to help manage your budgets and pay your bills. You retain control over selecting providers, including non-registered NDIS providers; however, you must follow the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.

This approach offers control over your funds and service providers, while significantly reducing the administrative burden associated with self-management. Your Plan Manager will handle the payment of invoices, financial reporting, budget tracking, service bookings and coordination with your providers.

This approach is ideal for those who would still like to have some flexibility in their plan but do not have the time or expertise to navigate the NDIS requirements and maintain essential record-keeping.

NDSP offers expert plan management services, empowering participants living with disability nationwide. NDSP Plan Managers offers meticulous record keeping, payment of your providers’ invoices, reimbursement of expenses, and providing regular updates on spending and remaining budgets.  

Related: How to Choose the Best NDIS Plan Manager for Your Situation.

3. Agency Managed

This is when the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) directly manages your plan. You might know this as NDIA-managed funding. The agency will pay your service providers directly, and you will not have any upfront costs or additional admin tasks. You can monitor your fund’s status through the MyPlace NDIS portal (accessible via your MyGov account).

However, this option offers limited flexibility. You’re restricted to using only NDIS registered providers, and cannot negotiate with them to optimise your NDIS funding.

Agency management is suitable for those seeking a more hands-off approach, who do not require a lot of flexibility and are only looking to use registered providers. If you’re considering this method of plan management, please contact your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner for guidance on how they can support you.

Related: Do I need plan management?

Which plan management option is right for me? 

Support is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The best way to manage your NDIS funding is unique to each individual. Your choice depends on your unique circumstances and needs. When making your decision you should consider the time you can dedicate to managing your plan, and how much additional work you are willing to take on in exchange for increased control. Managing your plan is a significant responsibility and can become overwhelming without assistance and expertise.

To recap:

  • Self-Management provides the highest level of control but also comes with the heaviest burden of responsibilities, administration tasks and time commitment. It involves coordinating and implementing your plan independently.
  • Plan Management offers the most flexibility and control without the added burden of financial and administrative obligations. Opting for this route will free up both time and mental energy. You’ll receive NDIS funding to engage a Plan Manager should you choose this option.
  • Agency Management offers the least flexibility and control since the NDIA directly manages your funds. However, it also entails the least burden on individuals regarding administrative tasks, as all billing and management will be handled directly by the NDIS.

Interested in NDIS plan management? 

NDSP Plan Managers specialise in expert plan management, assisting individuals living with disability in effectively managing their funding to achieve their NDIS goals. Through our quality and comprehensive plan management services, we ensure that you have the freedom to focus on what is truly important – accessing the support you require and reaching your goals.

Our knowledgeable and responsive team can help to navigate the complexities of the NDIS. For additional resources on the NDIS and plan management, see our participant toolbox hub.

If an NDIS Plan Manager sounds right for you and your needs, contact NDSP for help making the most out of your NDIS funding.