Choosing the Right Plan Manager in Australia Doesn’t Have to be Daunting
Gaining NDIS funding can be the difference between overcoming obstacles and gaining quality of life –– or not. But with the wrong plan manager, making the best use of funds, while getting the support you need, can be challenging.
To ensure you, or your participant, can thrive, there are a few essential things to consider when choosing a plan manager in Australia.
Some essential characteristics include:
Choice and control
For those who experience disability, choice and control are essential. A plan manager should assist you to achieve the goals you’re working towards, not work off a script that fails to take into account your personal situation.
A plan manager likely values choice and control if they:
- Take time to understand your situation
- Focus on helping you find solutions to your personal goals
- Allow you to ask questions and provide feedback
- Empower you to make decisions
Remember: your plan manager should work for you –– they should help you to feel informed and empowered while assisting you to overcome obstacles, whilst working within the parameters of the NDIS.
Accessible and contactable
To ensure you can gain the support you need, a plan manager must also be easily contactable. That way you’ll have opportunities to get your views across, ask questions, and find solutions together.
To ensure a plan manager is contactable, consider the following:
- Do they have multiple forms of contact including a phone number and email address?
- Do they answer calls and emails promptly?
- Do they employ people who deeply understand the NDIS?
- When you’re in touch, do they take the time to understand your queries and work to find a positive solution?
Flexible use of funding
When it comes to NDIS funds, there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. That’s because every person is an individual, and every person’s situation is different.
To ensure you’ll be able to make the most of your NDIS funding while meeting your goals, it’s important to choose a plan manager that allows you to use your NDIS funds in ways that will benefit you the most.
At myAutonomy, for example, we allow participants to use funds flexibly in the ways that benefit them the most –– to ensure all participants can thrive.
Bear in mind that some purchases of Assistive Technology require a letter of support, as we highlighted in our recent post on ‘Consumables and Assistive Technology’.
Efficient payment of invoices
While it might not seem critically important, plan managers who pay invoices quickly can be very advantageous for participants. That’s because providers are much more likely to approve products and services if they trust the plan manager and know that they’ll get paid within a few days.
This might mean gaining access to a broader range of services and options and therefore greater chance of choosing the provider of your choice. It also prevents the risk of interrupted services or other issues down the track.
Are they personable?
Some discussions around NDIS funding and experiencing disability can be highly personal, challenging and, understandably, emotional.
That’s why it’s essential to find a plan manager who is personable, friendly, and understands the importance of finding solutions for every situation.
Before choosing a plan manager, consider whether they:
- Have a friendly manner
- Treat you as if you’re an individual not another number
- Allow you to speak with the same person each time you call (if that’s your preference)
- Will go the extra mile to meet your needs
While choosing the right plan manager can be tricky, if you keep these characteristics in mind, you’ll likely find a manager that cares and offers you the choice and control you deserve. With a manager who helps you achieve your goals, making the most of your funds will be that much easier.