Understanding your NDIS plan

Lady with wheelchair

Published September 04 2019

At your NDIS planning meeting you are given the opportunity to choose how you want your disability supports paid for. This can be through the NDIS, known as agency managed, self-managed, or by using a plan manager. You can also have a combination.

Agency Managed

If you choose agency management that means that the NDIA will pay the service providers on your behalf. You can keep track of your budget through the myplace portal. Having your NDIS managed by an agency means you can choose a provider, like Merri Health, and have the payments handled by the agency.

In summary, an agency managed NDIS plan means:

  • You do not have to handle payment and invoices
  • You can only  choose supports that are NDIS registered

The advantages of having your plan NDIA managed are:

  • It makes it simple – you don’t need to worry about invoices.
  • You use registered service providers that have gone through the accreditation process
  • Providers will not charge more than the NDIS price guide

The disadvantages of having the NDIS manage your NDIS plan are:

  • You are limited to using only NDIS registered service providers which may limit your choices


You may feel comfortable to choose the services and service providers on your own, or with help from someone you know. This is called ‘self-managed’. With a self-managed plan, you will have a greater number of service providers to choose from.

Self-managing also means that you will need to keep track of your NDIS funds and where they are going. You will need to open a separate bank account that is only used for your NDIS funds. By doing this, you will also need to link the supports you choose to the goals in your NDIS plan.

In summary, if you choose to self-manage your NDIS plan, it will be your responsibility to:

  • Choose the services you need and the service providers
  • Manage your NDIS funds and open a separate bank account
  • Book your own services and manage their payment
  • Set up service agreements
  • Manage your total plan budget
  • Keep records of receipts
  • Link the support services to your goals in your NDIS plan

The advantages of self-managing are:

  • You can source your own providers
  • If you live in a remote area, you may have access to more services
  • You won’t be restricted to the NDIS price guides and you can negotiate your own rates

The disadvantages of self-managing are:

  • You need the capacity to engage with providers and manage invoices
  • You need to keep records and receipts in case of audit
  • Providers that aren’t registered can charge above the NDIS price guide

Plan management provider

If you decide self-managing isn’t for you, you have the opportunity to have someone else take care of tracking the funding within your NDIS plan. Having a plan manager will not cost you any additional money; the NDIS will pay your plan manager for their service.

In summary, if you choose to have a plan manager for your NDIS plan, they will:

  • Manage your bills
  • Send you monthly statements to help keep track of your funding
  • Some plan managers can help with making service agreements with providers

The advantages of having a plan manager for your NDIS plan are:

  • Having someone else deal with paying the bills
  • Having your plan manager keep records of receipts
  • You can use both registered and non-registered service providers

The disadvantages of having a plan manager for your NDIS plan are:

  • Using a plan manager means that you aren’t making choices on your own.

For more information, contact our NDIS community engagement coordinator, Shelley Hosking.
Email: Shelley.Hosking@merrihealth.org.au
Phone: 03 8419 2621