The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the Australian government’s nationwide scheme for helping people with disabilities cover their disability-related expenditures. The financial support is directly provided to eligible participants by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). They can purchase support and services from registered NDIS service providers to improve their functional capacity, employability, living options and other necessary skills and hobbies. It helps them to gain purpose in life and adopt a more active societal role.
The funding provided by the NDIS can be managed in three ways. The participants can self-manage their funding, pay for a Plan Management Provider to take care of the funding or let the NDIA manage their funding. They are allowed to implement a mix of these three options as well. The Plan Management Providers are also known as Plan Managers and they can help the new participants to learn about self-managing their NDIS plan. The role of a Plan Manager is completely different from that of a Support Coordinator. A Support Coordinator helps the participants to understand their NDIS plan better, build their capacity and connect them with various providers and services. Meanwhile, the responsibilities of Plan Managers are limited to managing and monitoring the funds, paying the service providers for support delivered and reporting on the financial situation. It is not the job of the Plan Manager to determine whether the supports are ‘reasonable and necessary’ or not.