FAQ Plan Management
Why use a Plan Manager?
Who are Capital Guardians?
Why choose Capital Guardians?
Registering with Capital Guardians
What happens when I choose Capital Guardians?
Reimbursements for Participants!
What is Agency Managed?
What is Self-Management?
A Plan Manager is essentially a book-keeper.
Plan-Managed funding allows care recipients to hire non-registered supports, but without all the work of self-managed funding. With this option, recipients hire a plan manager to organise payments and store all records on their behalf. Similar to having their own personal book-keeper for their NDIS plan. There is also extra funding available to pay the plan manager so that money won’t be taken away from other supports. The only downside here is the NDIS won’t let recipients pay supports more than the price limit.
A great thing about being able to hire supports that are not registered with the NDIS is that it allows people to get more involved in their community. This is due to being able to use providers that don’t specialise in disability. If the care recipient has an unregistered NDIS provider in mind, then with plan-management or self-management the recipient can still hire them.
Plan Management Makes Sense
The NDIS is intended to allow people with a disability to live more independent lives and have more control over the support services on which they rely. But having too much control can also create a lot of extra work, which is why plan management makes sense.
No matter what the care recipient decides on when they are setting up their plan, they can change their mind later. It is also possible to use a combination of different management options. For example, the recipient might self-manage payments to that one amazing provider who happens to charge more than the price limit. Everything else can be handled by a plan manager.
Capital Guardians has a long track record of looking after funding and processing payments on behalf of thousands of Australians in the aged care sector. The business formally started with its first aged care customer, Baptistcare, in 2008. We are now offering our innovative payment solutions and world-class customer service as an NDIS Plan Manager. With best in class security, transparency, and accountability; Capital Guardians offers peace of mind for NDIS participants and their families.
Capital Guardians pays approved invoices from providers quickly using an automated process. Therefore, providers of services and support know that they will be paid within 48 hours. This will happen after invoices have been approved by the NDIS participant. This gives peace of mind to providers. As unpaid bills and NDIA Provider Portal complexities can cause serious disruptions to the cash flow of providers. This can make them less likely to want to provide services to NDIS participants in these circumstances.
Capital Guardians allows NDIS participants to log in to our website to view information about how their spending is tracking. This is extremely useful as a capacity-building tool.
It encourages NDIS participants to be aware of their support budgets and categories. In fact, it reduces the likelihood of them overspending and requiring intervention from Support Coordinators or Local Area Coordinators.
Capital Guardians also prides itself on excellent customer service through both phone and email. Thus allowing NDIS participants and their providers (with consent) to easily contact Capital Guardians. Specifically if there are any questions about an NDIS plan.
To be able to use Capital Guardians as an NDIS Plan Manager, you need to choose or have chosen Plan Management as an option. This should happen through your NDIS planning meeting. The NDIS sometimes calls this funding for a financial intermediary, or a Plan Management Provider – PMP. If your NDIS plan is Plan Managed, then you can go to the Capital Guardians website or call or email us. We can help you make the switch to Capital Guardians.
If your NDIS plan is not Plan Managed, speak to your Local Area Coordinator or call the NDIS to ask for a review of your plan. This will allow the NDIS to change your plan to one that is Plan Managed.
NDIS participants or their representatives can visit the Capital Guardians website, call, or email us to begin working with us. When switching from a different Plan Management Provider, we can work directly with the NDIS participant to end their previous service bookings and create new ones.
After NDIS providers give Capital Guardians the required details from their NDIS plan to create a service booking, we will provide them with the login details. These will be used to view information about the funding they have in their plan. We will also provide NDIS participants a link to share with their providers, allowing them to upload invoices for services provided.
When providers upload a bill, they want to be paid; the NDIS participant will be alerted through email. They can view and approve them, or engage in capacity building activities. Should something not appear correct, they are able to talk to us. NDIS participants have access to the details in their NDIS plan by logging into the Capital Guardians website at any time, providing information that is reconciled in real-time.
After registering, login and select the Providers tab. This allows a search of local providers within Capital Guardians. Alternately, just invite a provider to register with their email address.
You can choose any providers with an Australian Business Number (“ABN”). Anyone “carrying out a business” can apply for an ABN for free at https://www.abr.gov.au/business-super-funds-charities/applying-abn.
It only takes minutes for a Provider to register. The registration process will automatically confirm their ABN for your peace of mind. In addition, they provide you their police check and insurance covering: professional indemnity, public liability and personal accident insurance. (including journey insurance). Providers can upload their Police Check, Insurance and other forms, and can be seen in search and user logins.
A Participants Plan comprises funding that is their money. However, it is important this money is treated no differently to personal monies, and only spend when agreed goods and services are provided.
For this reason, all Capital Guardians accounts have a nominated “Approver”. (or more than one). As soon as an invoice is submitted by a provider (real time), an email to approve is sent. Thus, the approver can then approve on any desktop or iPhone, also review the actual pdf invoice and all its details.
As soon as an Approver logs in, just need to select the words “Approve” in RED, and the provider is paid the next working day.
If you do not approve the invoice, select the invoice number and either 1) type a message to the provider; or 2) delete the invoice and type a message to the provider why you are deleting.
Participants, who spend their own money, can request a reimbursement, and be paid overnight after they approve.
Firstly, Capital Guardians need to set up the participant to claim reimbursements. The partcipant needs to provide their bank details (BSB and Account) to Capital Guardians for deposits to be made.
After the bank account is setup, the NDIS participant or their representative can:
- Login to the Capital Guardians site using email address and password.
- In the menu on the left-hand side, select, “Invoice.”
- Enter the dollar amount claimed; description; date and attach the receipt (mandatory).
- Click on “Send”.
If claiming the reimbursement on a smart-phone, use the camera to take a photo of the receipt.
For participants who don’t have computers, reimbursements need to be organised with the representative or support coordinator. A process for providing paper-based requests and receipts will be setup.
With agency management, the NDIS agency organises the financials for the plan. It’s the easiest option in terms of the extra administration work. This needs to be completed by the care recipient, but it’s also the most restrictive in their choice of support provider. In fact, only providers registered with the NDIS can be used on an agency-managed plan. However, if the plan only has a few providers that are all registered – and the plan is unlikely to change – agency-managed funding is a perfectly reasonable choice.
Self-management will allow the care recipient to hire any provider. They do not need to be registered and can charge more than the hourly rate in the price guide. This means that literally anyone with an Australian Business Number (ABN) can be hired, even if they don’t have specialist disability experience. However, if a higher rate is paid the recipient will still need to make sure their budget will last the whole year. Due to the fact their budget only considered the NDIS hourly rates.
Some support providers have complained NDIS prices are set too low. Therefore, self-management is great if the care recipient wants to hire a provider that charges above the price limit. Buyer beware! Some providers charge the maximum price possible. They have little regard to what the fee should be delivering in terms of value and quality of service. When this happens, the recipient does not get value in their plan. Consequently, they lose hours of service and might have their self-management status reviewed.
Downside of Self-management
Another downside of self-managed plans is the administration, including, record keeping, segregating funds, claiming and paying providers. The care recipient is responsible for keeping records of every transaction on the plan for five years. If they lose a few receipts, or the ink on them fades away, there will be trouble if the agency decides to conduct an audit. While recipients can hire support to help manage their plan, this will come out of their budget. Overall, for people who don’t mind being their own accountant and who need to pay above the price limits, self-management is a good option.
Self-Management offers similar benefits to Plan Management, including greater control over day-to-day decision making, more flexibility, and greater choice in how to use the funding.
The key differences between Plan Management and Self-Management is that Self-Management:
- Do their own administration for claims and payments. Also, the NDIS participant is responsible for claiming NDIS funding and paying the invoices related to the products and services received through an NDIS plan.
- Can pay whatever they choose to service providers, and Plan Managers have prices caps, similar to Agency Management.