9 Responsibilities When You Choose To Self Manage Your NDIS Funding
he National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the most significant economic and social reform since the introduction of Medicare in the 1970s. This new approach will ensure the economic, education and social participation of Australians with a disability are maximised. We are blessed to be living through a time when people living with disability feel supported and empowered to participate within the community.
The first step to accessing the NDIS is to complete an access request form. This form is available to download online and requires your GP to answer a series of questions that determines your eligibility. Many people have had a bad experience trying to get access to the scheme, and this can be for a range of reasons. If you strongly believe you or a loved one should qualify for support through NDIS, take the time to re-apply and meet with your GP to discuss your application. Remeember to requet a longer appointment, as many GPs struggle with time to fill out an access request during a short consultation.
There are multiple benefits to self-managing your NDIS funding and none more important than the choice and control you have during this process. There are some complexities in supporting a person with a disability, and often, myself included, it's normal to feel out of control and overwhelmed. There is the flexibility within your core funding that comes with self-management that enables you to move funds between categories based on your current needs, allowing you to have a choice in your priorities. Self-managing also is a great way to maximise your funding as you can avoid paying out administration fees for third parties to manage your care. This can give you control over the amount you pay your carers and the savings, when compared to the NDIS recommended support price enables you to place your savings back into further care.
If you are thinking about self-managing, you need to understand your responsibilities as a self-manager. Your responsibilities include:
- Purchasing supports that link to the goals in your NDIS plan.
- Making clear agreements with your providers about the supports 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 supports by making payment requests and paying for your supports on time.
- Keeping invoices and receipts to show you have paid for your supports 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 reaching 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.
You can choose to take on the management of your funding, and generally, the NDIS will provide a support coordinator as a backstop to guide you through the self-management process. If you are self-managing, there is nothing stopping you from engaging care agencies to provide support, you are responsible for paying invoices and communicating care needs. At the other end of the spectrum, you can register an ABN or WPN and employ carers directly and manage your own care team. There are many financial benefits to this, yet this does come with much responsibility that many people prefer not to carry. If you are looking for a simple model, there are great aids out there that to act as a conduit to care, yet take all the headaches away from payroll and employment. Alternatively, you can employ a sole trader who has the competency to perform your care and manage all their home insurances and payroll.
If you are interested in self-managing your funding, whether you are midway through a plan or starting to prepare for a plan review, you simply need to contact your local NDIS office and request to change the way your funding is managed. If you have the competency and experience managing a small business, you will find self-managing your funding very similar. There are many responsibilities, and I encourage you to seek advice when transitioning into self-management.
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