NEW TO THE NDIS? Three ways to manage your NDIS plan funding

When you receive NDIS funding for your plan, it can be a bit confusing knowing how to manage it, who can help and what to do!

Support managing your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding is always available but it’s up to you to decide which of the three options available you adopt: Self management, plan-managed funding or NDIA-managed funding.

Many NDIS participants opt to manage their own plans and funding while others prefer to be plan managed, at least to start with.

Knowing the differences between all three and understanding how they work will go a long way with helping you make that decision.


Self-management is when you manage your NDIS funding. It gives you the flexibility and choice to decide what support you buy to pursue your plan goals.

It lets you think creatively about how you can use your funds to best meet your needs.

If you are interested in self-managing all or part of your NDIS plan, speak with your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner. You could also talk to someone you know who is self-managing about their experience or connect with a self-management peer support group.

There’s an NDIS Guide to self-management for people who are self-managing, or interested in self-managing their NDIS funding.

This guide will help people understand the benefits of self-management, roles and responsibilities and how to self-manage effectively.

Self-managed participants will have greater choice in deciding what support to buy, greater flexibility to use any provider, the capacity to employ or contract staff directly, the ability to negotiate the costs of your support and greater control.

However, self-management comes with greater responsibility. These include:

  • Purchasing support that links to the goals in your NDIS plan.
  • Making clear agreements with your providers about the support you will receive including how they will be provided and paid for.
  • Managing your funding so the costs of the support give you value-for-money, and can be met within your budget.
  • Claiming and paying for support by making payment requests and paying for your support on time.
  • Keeping invoices and receipts to show you have paid for your support using your NDIS funding.
  • Meeting your obligations as an employer if you choose to employ staff directly.
  • Showing how you’ve used your self-managed funding towards pursuing your goals at your plan review.
  • Advising the NDIA of any significant changes in your circumstances that may result in you being unable to meet your responsibilities as a self-manager.
  • Participating in any payment auditing where you will need to provide invoices, receipts or other evidence to show you have spent your funds in-line with your NDIS plan.

For more information about your responsibilities as an employer read Directly engaging your own staff.

Plan-managed funding

The NDIA will provide funding in your plan to pay for a Plan Manager who pays your providers for you, helps you keep track of funds and takes care of financial reporting for you.

It means you don’t have to juggle workers or invoices.

A plan manager can help you:

  • Increase your financial and plan management skills.
  • Learn how to self-manage your plan.
  • Pay providers.
  • Increase your choice of providers.
  • Get NDIS plan budget reports and greater budget oversight.

At your planning meeting you can tell NDIS staff that you would like a plan manager to support you.

You can change a plan manager during your plan. To find out more about Plan management and how to find a plan manager, talk to your LAC or use the Provider Finder tool on your NDIS portal.

NDIA-managed funding

NDIA-managed funding means the NDIA pays your providers on your behalf.

When your plan is managed by the NDIA (sometimes referred to as agency-managed):

  • You are able to choose from a range of NDIS registered providers.
  • Your providers claim payment electronically from your funding.
  • You cannot use unregistered providers.
  • You can look on the myplace portal to see what claims providers are making against your NDIS funding and keep track of your budget.
  • The NDIA will manage your book-keeping and records of your spending.

Just remember, you can always change the way your plan funding is managed. If you are mid-plan and want to change, contact 1800 800 110 or speak to your LAC.

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