The NDIS provides choice and control for people with disabilities to use their funding to pay for the support they need to live life as independently as possible. Support Coordinators and Plan Managers offer expert advice, guidance, assistance, and other forms of support to NDIS participants services and can liaise with each other when required.
The key difference between them is a Support Coordinator assists with the overall management of your support services and providers, whereas a Plan Manager focuses on the financial side. Understanding the difference between them both and what you can expect from the services they can provide can be instrumental in the successful management of your NDIS plan.
Plan Management is one of the four options available to help NDIS Participants manage their funds, along with Self-Management, Agency Management, and Combination Management. By acting as a personal accountant for your NDIS funds, Plan Managers give you all the flexibility of having a self-managed plan, without having to deal with managing budgets and paying bills.
Fully funded by the NDIS, which means there aren’t any additional costs, Plan Management can be provided by requesting that one is included in your plan. It’s important to research each of these options so that you can be sure you choose the most suitable one for your circumstances.
While Plan Managers provide access to both registered and non-registered providers of NDIS support services, Support Coordinators help the management of the providers once you hire them and have three levels of assistance available called Support Coordination, Support Connection, and also Specialist Support Coordination.
Support Coordination initially operates a few hours a week to help you set up and implement all the support services you need within the NDIS. Once service agreements and support services are set up, and in place, Support Coordinators will remain in contact to ensure the supports are working and to make any necessary adjustments.
Support Connection is initially only needed for a few hours each month before decreasing over time. The main purpose is to help you understand your NDIS plan while building the skills required to successfully implement and manage your plan.
Similar to Support Connection, Specialist Support Coordination is also only required for a few hours each month and decreases over time. Specialist Support Coordination provides specialised support and assistance with the preparation of plan renewal as well as a range of more complex situations. This type of Support Coordination is most commonly used to help people requiring support services from multiple agencies or services to actively achieve their personal goals.
Which Will Serve You Best?
Whether you are NDIA Managed, Plan Managed, Self-Managed, or a combination, simply request to have the services of a Support Coordinator, a Plan Manager, or one of each included in your plan at your next planning meeting. While access to a Plan Manager is available to everyone, Support Coordinators are only available after the NDIS has deemed one to be reasonable and necessary for you.