Managing the funding for supports means:
- purchasing the supports identified in the plan (including paying any applicable indirect costs, such as taxes, associated with the supports);
- receiving and managing any funding provided by the Agency; and
- acquitting any funding provided by the Agency. [s42]
Managing the funding for supports is a significant responsibility under a participant’s plan. The management of funding may be assigned wholly to one party or shared to a specified extent between:
A participant can make a plan management request when the plan is being prepared, in its initial development, and at any stage when a plan is in effect. This may be desirable if the participant is not satisfied with the current plan management provider or has changed his or her mind about the level of involvement he or she would like to have in managing the funding for supports.
If the Agency is satisfied that a certain extent of self-management by the participant poses an unreasonable risk to the participant, he or she may be prevented from managing the funding for supports to that extent.
A participant’s plan specifies the reasonable and necessary supports that will be funded. Amounts paid under the NDIS in respect of such supports are called ‘NDIS amounts’. Such amounts may be paid to the participant or to a person who is managing the funding.
An NDIS amount that is payable to a participant, or to a person who is managing the funding for supports under a participant’s plan, is to be paid at a time and in the manner that accords with the Rules. [s45]
[Part 4.3 Rules-Plan Management] provides for payment of NDIS amounts by a single payment or by installments. In the latter case, the Draft Rules allow for payments to be withheld if the participant has not yet provided required information or a document relating to expenditure of previous installments.
A participant must provide the Agency with details of an account with a financial institution into which the NDIS amount can be paid and the Agency must pay the amount into the account nominated. [Part 4 Rules-Plan Management]
The NDIS amounts received by a participant, or by another person on his her behalf, must only be spent in accordance with the participant’s plan. [s46] Acquittal obligations may depend on how specifically the approved statement of participant supports describes the supports.
The Rules may make provision for and in relation to the retention of records of NDIS amounts paid to participants and other persons including requiring that certain records be retained for a prescribed period. [s46] It is advisable to keep detailed records of all funds received and spent in managing funding for supports. Any financial statements, notes or receipts should be organised logically and stored in an accessible and secure place, so the participant or manager is prepared to respond to any queries or requests from the Agency.
Registered Plan Management Providers
The process of registration for plan management providers enables the registered person or entity to manage the funding for supports for the benefit of a participant. If the participant is unhappy with the appointment or performance of the registered plan management provider, he or she may make a plan management request. [s43] The participant should also share any concerns or report any evidence of mismanagement by the provider to the Agency. He or she may also consider making a complaint.
A person or entity may apply to the Agency to be a registered provider of supports in relation to managing the funding for supports. [s69] The Agency must approve the person or entity as registered provider if satisfied that the applicant meets the criteria in the Rules. [s70]
[Part 3.12 Rules-Registered Providers of Support] requires the Agency to have regard to the applicant’s qualifications, capacity and experience in managing funding for supports. The provider should be suitable to manage the funding for a particular participant if that is proposed.
If an applicant seeks approval to be registered in relation to both managing service provision and funds management under plans, there must be mechanisms in place for dealing with conflicts of interest when performing both of those roles in relation to the same participant. [Part 3.14 Rules-Registered Provider of Supports] The decision to refuse to approve a person or entity and the decision to revoke approval are reviewable decisions. [s99]