NDIS Self-Managed vs. Plan-Managed Funding

You can choose different ways to manage your NDIS funding, including NDIS self-managed vs. plan-managed options. Read this article to determine which option is better.

Updated on Feb 22, 2024
5 min read


Managing NDIS funding may seem like a daunting task. All that paperwork, invoices, and financial documentation can pile up in no time. Managing your NDIS funding can be stressful and time-consuming.

Those with financial expertise may choose this option for many reasons. Financial independence and total control are just of them.

Others may feel more comfortable with the help of a professional. They hire plan managers who do their finances for them. This includes handling the financial aspects of the NDIS and making sure they are approved. 

If you're not sure which to choose - NDIS self-managed vs. plan-managed options, stick around. In this article, we will explain how both these funding systems work to help you make a decision. 

What Is Self-Management?

As the name suggests, self-management allows you to handle your NDIS funding on your own. This option comes with more flexibility. You can make decisions about how to use NDIS funding for the support and services you need.

Self-management gives you more control. But it also means taking on more responsibility for managing your NDIS plan.

Self-management comes with the following tasks:

  1. Budgeting
  2. Paying service providers
  3. Invoicing and receipts
  4. Record-keeping
  5. Monitoring spending
  6. Decision-making

Your biggest task will be to create an NDIS budget. Your budget has to align with your NDIS plan. In other words, you must outline how you intend to allocate funds across different supports and services.

You also have to organise and make direct payments to your chosen service providers. It's your job to make sure they are paid for the services they provide.

You also have to keep track of records, invoices, and other financial documents. 

Benefits of Self-Management

If you choose this option, you will be able to enjoy many benefits. These are some of the reasons NDIS participants choose self-management:

  • Total financial autonomy
  • Flexibility
  • Direct payments
  • Customisation options
  • Personalised budgeting
  • Decision-making freedom
  • Financial transparency

Self-management allows you to have maximum control over your NDIS plan. You can make decisions about the supports and services that best suit your needs and preferences.

You have the freedom to choose your service providers. You will also be able to pay those service providers directly. This allows for a more straightforward payment process. There is no need for intermediaries.

One of the best aspects of self-management is the ability to customise your services. You can make sure your services align closely with your goals and preferences.

You can even create a personalised budget. 

While self-management offers these benefits, a level of responsibility and commitment is required. If you choose self-management, you should feel comfortable taking on administrative tasks. 

If you are not prepared to keep detailed records, it might not be the best option for you. But if you know how to navigate the various aspects of the NDIS system, self-management may be the way to go. 

What Is Plan Management?

If you feel like you can't handle the financial and administrative aspects of your NDIS plan, you can opt for plan management.

This option includes an external service provider, also known as a plan manager. The plan manager takes care of the following tasks:

  1. Budget management
  2. Paying service providers
  3. Financial recording
  4. Invoicing and receipts
  5. Navigating the NDIS Portal
  6. Coordination of support
  7. Support and guidance

When you hire a plan manager, you don't have to worry about your NDIS funding. They handle everything for you.

This includes managing your budget and processing payments to your chosen service provider. They also make sure your spending aligns with the approved limits outlined in your NDIS plan.

Your plan manager deals with invoices from service providers. They also verify their accuracy and maintain records of all financial transactions.

Most importantly, plan managers offer support and guidance on navigating the NDIS system. They help you understand NDIS funding and how it works. 

The NDIS website provides a directory of registered service providers, including plan managers. 

If you are considering plan management, you should explore service providers and understand their fee structures. Make sure your chosen plan manager aligns with your preferences and needs.

Benefits of Plan Management

Plan management comes with many benefits for NDIS participants. Here are some of them: 

  • Help with finances
  • Access to a broad range of support services
  • Payment processing
  • NDIS expertise
  • Reduced administrative burden
  • Peace of mind
  • Advocacy

Plan managers handle the financial aspects of your NDIS plan. 

They often have established relationships with a variety of service providers. Through them, you have access to a broader network of support and services.

The plan manager pays service providers on your behalf. They streamline the payment process and make sure invoices are settled promptly.

They are familiar with the NDIS system and guidelines. They offer expertise and guidance on navigating the complexities of the NDIS system. This includes service agreements, budgets, and fund utilisation.

You can delegate administrative tasks to your plan manager. For example, invoicing, payment processing, and record-keeping. This reduces the administrative workload.

Plan managers can advocate for individuals. They help resolve issues with service providers. They address concerns and make sure you receive the support you need.

Note that you still have flexibility with plan management. While the plan manager takes care of financial tasks, you still have the freedom to choose your service providers.

NDIS Self-Management vs. Plan Management

Choosing between self-management and plan management isn't easy. Your choice should depend on your preferences and goals. 

If you want to choose self-management, consider these factors:

  • Autonomy. Do you prefer maximum control and making all the decisions about your support? Then, self-management may be the right choice for you. 
  • Organisational Skills. Self-management requires good organisational and administrative skills. This includes handling paperwork, budgets, and payments.
  • Direct Payments. Do you like the idea of managing payments and negotiations by yourself? With self-management, you directly pay service providers.
  • Financial Literacy. A basic understanding of financial management is crucial for self-management. You'll need to budget, track spending, and ensure your funds align with your NDIS plan.
  • Comfort with Decision-Making. Are you comfortable making decisions about service providers? Self-management allows you to have complete decision-making authority.

If you want to hire a plan manager, consider the following:

  • Balanced Control and Support. Do you want to delegate administrative tasks to your plan manager while still making decisions about your support? Plan management provides a balance between control and support.
  • Financial Assistance. Do you need help with the financial aspects of your NDIS plan? Plan management offers this type of support.
  • Access to a Network. Plan managers often have relationships with a variety of service providers. You will have access to a broader network of support services.
  • Reduced Administrative Burden. Do you prefer to have some administrative tasks handled by a professional? Plan management can reduce this administrative burden. 
  • Expertise and Guidance. A plan manager understands how the NDIS system works. They can answer any questions you might have. 

Knowing Which Option Is Right for You

If you are an NDIS recipient, you can choose between plan management and self-management. 

Self-management comes with more control and flexibility. But it also comes with more financial responsibility. 

Plan management allows you to relax and leave the financial burden to a plan manager. But it means the NDIA will be involved in your NDIS funding. 

If you're looking for an NDIS provider, look no further than Inclusive Home Care. We are here if you have any questions about our services. 

Schedule a free personalised consultation now.

Learn what options suit you with a free, no-obligation consultation.