NDIS Capacity Building: Improved Life Choices
NDIS Improved Life Choices is the Capacity Building category of your NDIS plan used to develop and strengthen the skills needed in the actual management of your NDIS plan. This includes: building your financial skills, organizational skills, improving your ability to direct supports, and developing self-management capabilities. A Plan Manager can also be used to assist with the overall management of your NDIS plan, including engaging providers, developing service agreements, paying providers, claiming payment from the NDIA, and maintaining the appropriate records.
A 2019 study by the Independent Advisory Council of the NDIS determined only 77% of NDIS participants utilized their Improved Life Choices supports. This underused portion of the NDIS plan provides for building the skills of the individual in managing their plan or engaging a plan manager to assist with these tasks. Effective NDIS plan management can play a vital role in the individual achieving their goals of independence, inclusion, and self-management.
What Is NDIS Improved Life Choices?
NDIS Improved Life Choices is a Capacity Building category that provides crucial supports to help individuals with the implementation and administration of their NDIS plan. These supports are intended to help you use your available NDIS supports to the fullest, choosing and receiving the right supports for you. The goal is to ensure you make the best life choices possible and make the most of your NDIS plan. Improved Life Choices lead the way to a happier, healthier, independent life.
How To Use Your NDIS Improved Life Choices Supports
There are 2 ways for you to use your Improved Life Choices supports, Self Management and Plan Management. Both options are fully funded by the NDIS and available to all NDIS participants. Be assured, you have the additional funds in your plan to cover this support, so it won’t impact the rest of your budget. You just need to ask for it.
The decision of Self-Management of your NDIS plan or using a Plan Manager is up to you. Both options let you use any service providers you want, NDIS registered or not. Consider how much time you want to spend, your skill level in keeping detailed records and managing finances, and how active you want to be in the administration of your NDIS plan budget. For the purpose of capacity building, your NDIS plan includes Improved Life Choices funding to develop these skills. The plan management option offers the guidance of an experienced professional to help you make the best decisions to meet your needs and eliminate the burden of managing your plan. Either way, Improved Life Choices should be used to get the most from your NDIS supports
Self Management Of Your NDIS Plan
The self-management option of Improved Life Choices supports you in learning and improving the skills used in the overall management of your NDIS plan. This includes a variety of skills, tasks, and the decision-making process needed to effectively and efficiently manage your NDIS supports. Before you decide Self Management is right for you, talk to someone you know and trust who has experience in self-managing their NDIS plan or join a self-management peer support group for some extra help. Talk to your Local Area Coordinator or NDIA planner to discuss your options and important next steps.
Capacity Building Skills To Learn With Your Improved Life Choices
- Understanding your plan supports
- Increase your financial skills
- Improve your organizational abilities
- Build your communication skills
- Develop your capabilities to manage your supports
- Learn how to select the right providers for you
- Negotiating service agreements and paying your providers
- Establish accurate record-keeping skills
- Develop your ability to generate monthly statements
- Receive training on how to efficiently claim payments from the NDIA
- Discover how to make the most of your available NDIS supports
Plan Management Of Your NDIS Plan
Improved Life Choices supports also allow you to hire and pay for a professional Plan Manager to oversee the administration of your NDIS plan. A good Plan Manager will help you use your NDIS benefits to the fullest, answer any questions you may have about your plan, handle the administrative tasks associated with managing your NDIS plan, maintain all necessary records, and provide the required monthly financial statement.
Plan management services take away the worry and work of planning, budgeting, and implementing your NDIS plan and funding. A knowledgeable and experienced plan manager takes the responsibility for the administrative paperwork and financial tasks of managing your NDIS plan, focusing on your best interests. With their skilled guidance, you can select the right services and providers for you.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Using An NDIS Plan Manager?
- Answer questions and offer guidance in the financial matter of your NDIS plan
- Less paperwork for you
- Management and processing of NDIS invoices
- Organize efficient payments to service providers
- Provide for quick reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses
- Monitor budgets and track spending of NDIS funds
- Secure and accurate record keeping
- Produce all NDIS-required financial reporting and monthly statements
- Supporting you in getting the most from your NDIS funds
Important Qualities Of An NDIS Plan Manager
Experts in all things NDIS. Experienced in the ins and outs of NDIS policy and making it work for you. Understanding your specific needs. Able to provide critical advice in getting the most of your NDIS plan supports.
Accurate and timely accounting of your NDIS dollars. Dependable reporting and monthly statements.
A passion for helping others. Dedicated to meeting your needs.
A plan manager you can trust in managing your NDIS budgets. Committed to open and honest communication. Trustworthy financial guidance putting your interests first.
Compassionate concern for your well-being. Offering support and encouragement on your path to a more independent, inclusive, and meaningful life.
NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits For Improved Life Choices
NDIS Plan Management supports are paid in two ways and have a few specific rules
- Set Up Costs
- A one-time per plan fee for setting up the financial management and arrangements of your NDIS plan
- The setup fee can only be claimed once in respect of each plan
- Auto-extended plans are not considered new plans and will have the same plan number
- Plan Management monthly fee
- A monthly fee for the ongoing maintenance and administration of the financial management of your NDIS plan
How To Get Improved Life Choices In Your NDIS Plan
Improved Life Choices is fully funded by the NDIS and available to all NDIS participants. To add these supports to your NDIS plan, all you have to do is ask. During your next planning meeting or annual plan review, ask your Local Area Coordinator or NDIS Support Coordinator to include Improved Life Choices in your NDIS plan. If you currently are in the middle of your plan and don’t have a plan review coming up soon, contact your Local Area Coordinator or NDIS Support Coordinator and make the request. Or you can contact the NDIS directly.
- Call the NDIS (1800 800 110) or your Local Area Coordinator. The phone number will be on your NDIS plan.
- Ask for a “light touch” or “desktop” review.
- Say you want to switch to “plan management”. There is no eligibility criteria but they may ask why you want to switch. Explain you want assistance with managing your NDIS plan budget.
- NDIS or your Local Area Coordinator will notify you when your request is approved.
How To Find Your NDIS Plan Manager
An NDIS plan manager must be a registered NDIA provider. You can use the provider finder tool on the NDIS website. Simply choose your state or territory, or enter your postcode. Under “Registration Group” click “Plan Management.” A list of all the approved plan managers in your area will be listed.
You can ask your local area coordinator. Your coordinator is likely familiar with many of the plan managers in your region and can recommend someone who would be a good fit for you. If you have any friends or family who are NDIS participants, they might also be able to give you a recommendation for a plan manager they use and are happy with.
You can also search Google for NDIS plan managers in your area. There are websites that offer reviews and ratings of support service providers and plan managers. Make sure that the plan manager you are considering is NDIA-approved.
The CareSide For Your NDIS Plan Management Services
The CareSide offers both plan management and support services. Our experienced and caring team of NDIS Plan Management experts can help you get the most out of your NDIS dollars.
Don’t waste another day, contact the CareSide to get started!