NDIS, self-management and me
Since going self-managed on the NDIS I have found the entire thing to be a much more pleasant beast to deal with. I have also seen how the NDIS can directly help me, quickly, in a way that I choose without causing me some of the same pain as when I was NDIA managed.
NDIA managed means that when you need something that your plan funding covers that you have assessments. These assessments by Vision Australia get drawn up after an interview with you, sent to the NDIA; they review and hopefully approve it. They then will send the confirmation to Vision Australia and give authorization for the product to be purchased and handed over to you.
Self-managed means that the responsibility for the administrative stuff is in your hands. This means that you go to the service provider and get the service and sort out the funding/ billing yourself between Vision Australia and the NDIA.
NDIA managed means that the NDIA and your service provider take care of the admin and billing between themselves.
Self-managed means I take care of the admin and billing between the NDIA and my service provider.
NDIA managed example
If I needed pen friend labels from the Vision Australia shop, If I was NDIA managed the following would happen. I would let an occupational therapist or adaptive technology staff member know, they would then need to access my plan, write a report, send it off to the NDIA who would review it, hopefully approve it. Then the NDIA would let that staff member within Vision Australia know that it is okay to purchase the pen friend labels for me and hand them over. This is a lot of work for a 40 dollar product and definitely time consuming.
If I was self-managed I would do the following. I would go to the Vision Australia shop and buy the penfriend labels with my own money. I keep the receipt and go home. When I get home I log onto MyGov website. Within the NDIS page I should have linked there I will go to my payment requests and create a new request. I enter the date I purchased the labels, the amount the labels were purchased for and select what category on my plan to assign the cost to. In this case I would assign it to consumables. 40 dollars gets deduced from my consumables budget and I keep the receipt I got from Vision Australia in a safe place should the NDIA ever come knocking. This is to ensure that the date and price you entered into the system match the receipt from Vision Australia so the money is accounted for. Assuming I have my bank account details entered into MyGov the 40 dollars I spent of my own money will be reimbursed into my bank account within a day or 2 so I am not out of pocket.
I now do this for everything NDIS related except for assistive technology. This is because assistive tech items are expensive and a higher risk so assessments need to be conducted to ensure the correct device is being purchased for the right needs and the expense is justified.
Self- managed also means that you aren’t restricted to only use NDIS approved providers. You can use any business as long as it is legitimate and has an ABN [Australian business number].
If I live alone and have difficulties maintaining my garden or grass because of my blindness I can hire a gardener. I can either use an NDIA registered gardening service, or any gardening service that is a registered business. I would pay the gardener for their work, receive an invoice ore receipt, and enter a payment request into MyGov with the date of the service, the amount and which category on my plan it was in relation to. In this case it would be daily activity/ core support. I would then keep the receipt in a safe place should the NDIA come knocking and within a day or 2 I should be reimbursed the cost of the gardener into my bank account.
Examples of service where I self-manage
If I buy anything from the Vision Australia shop
If I have an orientation and mobility session
If I have an occupational therapy session
If I have an adaptive technology session
If I hire a 3rd party support worker to help me go shopping, go to a concert, go to the swimming pool.
It is also worth remembering that different types of management options serve different purposes and exist to provide flexibility across disabilities and differing life circumstances and family dynamics. Self-management works for me, it does not mean it works for everyone.
The following page will give you more information:
Your questions answered- managing your plan and participant information