Choosing an NDIS Plan Manager is an essential piece of the NDIS puzzle if your funding is plan-managed. A great Plan Manager will make your life simpler!
So it’s critical that you choose the right NDIS Plan Manager for your circumstances. But with so many Plan Managers out there, deciding which one suits your needs can be tricky.
How do you pick a Plan Manager? Let’s dive into the importance of choosing the right Plan Manager and what to look for when selecting one you like.
Why Is Choosing The Right NDIS Plan Manager Important?
Plan Managers are responsible for managing your NDIS plan and paying NDIS Service Providers. They have access to all your details, including your NDIS plan. That’s why it’s critical to find a Plan Manager you can trust with all your info.
Everyone will have different priorities to consider when choosing a Plan Manager, but there are some general attributes that above-average Plan Manager have.
A good Plan Manager should:
- Pay your Service Providers and Support Workers on time
- Provide info and answer questions about what you can spend
- Help you track your budget and offer alerts
- Get in touch with you if you're overspending
- Help you be flexible in the way you use your funding
- Help you stay within the NDIS spending rules
Local vs. Virtual NDIS Plan Managers
Part of the difficulty of finding the right Plan Manager is that there are many different types of Plan Managers to choose from, like local people or platforms.
Some Plan Managers might be near you and have an office to visit. These Plan Managers can provide a personal touch since you can meet them face-to-face.
Other NDIS Plan Managers won't have an in-person office—they provide all their services online or over the phone. They might provide you with an online portal you can track your NDIS funds on and a way to send your invoices to them.
If you need to get in touch with them, you can do this via e-mail or phone.
Whether you want an in-person or virtual Plan Manager is really up to you!
Beware Of Conflicts Of Interest
If an NDIS Plan Manager is affiliated with a larger NDIS Provider organisation, just be careful if they recommend or suggest Support Workers affiliated with their organisation.
You want to ensure you have a choice and that you're never feeling trapped.
Whatever Providers you choose to use should be your choice. If a Plan Manager is only referring you to Support Workers in their own organisation, that’s a conflict of interest.
In this case, the organisation benefits from you using all of their other services.
Independent NDIS Plan Managers
There are Plan Managers available who aren’t associated with any organisation or other services. They're called Independent Plan Managers.
They only offer Plan Management services!
These types of NDIS Plan Managers often will know all the service Providers in your area and can link you with services that will meet your needs. It's always best to use an independent Plan Manager to avoid conflicts of interest. Independent Plan Managers are not pushing certain service Providers on their Participants, so you know you’re always getting the best value.
Online NDIS Plan Management
There are many Plan Managers who only operate online. Each of these has its platform where you can track how your budget is going. You can also see the status of each invoice.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the most prominent online Plan Managers:
- My Plan Manager, founded in 2014, was one of the first plan management organisations to start. They are now one of the country's large plan management organisations. They operate nationwide.
- Plan Tracker started in 2016 from a kitchen table. As a mother, the founder recognised the demand for people to manage their funding. The Plan Tracker team began providing plan management services in 2018.
- Plan Partners started in 2017 with a team of four. Their faith in the NDIS helped their small team build a nationwide presence. They have offices across the country.
Tip - It's always a great idea to check the reviews of a Plan Manager on Google to see what other people say about a Plan Manager’s service. These usually tell you what experience other Participants have had with them.
Remember, choosing an NDIS Plan Manager is not about how much they charge. The NDIS price guide sets the price Plan Managers charge. It would be best if you thought about the quality of the service they provide. You could also consider what other services they include.
How Can NDIS Plan Managers Help?
A good NDIS Plan Manager will advise you on how to simplify your support. They will also help you in getting the most value out of your NDIS plan and funding.
For example, a lot of Plan Managers often refer Independent Support Workers to Kynd because it helps NDIS Participants to receive safer support and more hours.
Kynd also simplifies a lot of aspects of managing your support worker team: from managing different Support Workers to paying invoices, everything’s in one place.
So you definitely want a Plan Manager who is aware of all the best ways to simplify your support and get the absolute best value for money for you!
Always Check The Service Agreement Before Signing
Like with any other NDIS Provider, it’s crucial to check the Service Agreement of a Plan Manager before you sign it.
And remember that signing a Service Agreement never locks you into using a Provider for life. You can change Plan Management Providers if needed.
Choosing a Plan Manager is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Remember to do what's right for you. Always choose a Plan Manager who doesn't pose any conflicts of interest with you and who will provide good service and helpful information!