What Is The Difference Between An NDIS Support Coordinator And Plan Manager
October 7, 2022
by Joshua Cook

What Is The Difference Between An NDIS Support Coordinator And Plan Manager?

Are you an individual or carer currently sorting out your individualised NDIS arrangement?

At Breakthru, we provide comprehensive information in relation to your NDIS duties, requirements, and future planning. One of the initial things to arrange during your NDIS planning is whether you’ll require a Plan Manager and/or Support Coordinator.

Both NDIS plan management and NDIS support coordination are services that help individuals to put their NDIS plan into action but do so in different ways. As these two distinct services often get placed in the same group, many NDIS participants and their carers become disoriented around what each service does and doesn’t do.

What is the role of an NDIS Plan Manager?

Plan management adopts the role of financial administration that coincides with a NDIS plan. In simple terms, you can think of them as your personal and specialised NDIS accountant.

A Plan Manager’s duties can include things like ensuring your providers’ invoices are paid, claims are made through the NDIS portal, as well as providing you with a monthly statement that tracks how much of each budget remains.

By using a Plan Manager, you’ll be able to focus on achieving your goals, without all the stress of paying bills and overseeing NDIS budgets. Plan Management is generally available for all NDIS Participants and is fully funded by the NDIS. You can gain support by requesting to include a Plan Manager in your NDIS plan. However, it is important to note that not every category can be plan managed so ask your Plan Manager or Support Coordinator for advice around this.

In addition, having a Plan Manager does not mean your whole NDIS plan will be managed, only the financial aspects will be taken care of. You’ll still need to ensure you’re responsible for the arrangement of services involved with your specific NDIS plan.

Some of things Plan Managers will help you with include:

  • Tracking your supports and budgets
  • Manage financial reporting for NDIS plan review and audits
  • Claim funds through the NDIS portal
  • Receive invoices and pay your providers for their services
  • Adhering to the NDIS Pricing Arrangements

What is an NDIS Support Coordinator?

Whilst a Plan Manager focuses more on the financial aspects of your NDIS plan, a support coordinator will help to manage the supports and providers you hire. Regardless of whether you’re plan-managed, self-managed or NDIA-managed, you can access a Support Coordinator if it’s deemed necessary by the NDIS. You may not be aware, but support coordination has three different levels.

1. Support Connection

The purpose of support connection is to help you better understand your plan and build the skills needed to implement and manage your NDIS plan. This type of funding is typically for participants who are high functioning with a level of independence, but still need occasional support to manage their NDIS plan.

2. Support Coordination

A Support Coordinator will help you build the skills you need to make the most of your NDIS plan. They may provide a number of services such as helping you to maintain relationships, live more independently, and manage service delivery tasks.

3. Specialist Support Coordination

A Specialist Support Coordinator is for participants who require more specialised support. Specialist support is generally delivered by a trained clinician, such as an Occupational Therapist, who is able to assist in complex situations. This is the highest level of support coordination available and is reserved for participants with high needs.

What’s the main difference between a Plan Manager and Support Coordinator?

Whilst these services can seem quite interrelated, there’s one important difference that needs to be acknowledged.

There are no conditions for having funding for plan management included in your plan. Therefore, if you request plan management in your meeting, your NDIS planner and NDIA should give it to you. However, not everyone is eligible to receive support coordination. The NDIA assesses each case individually to identify who is eligible for this type of service. And remember, not every category can be plan managed so ask your coordinator or manager for personalised advice.

At Breakthru, we help to provide you with NDIS support coordination when needed and eligible. Through this service, we’ll help to understand the rules, navigate obstacles, and find the best providers to build skills and capacity. This added support will help you live more independently and build more connections in your specific community.

Some of the things our Support Coordinators at Breakthru will help you with:

  • NDIS navigation: Helping you to gain a better understanding of your plan.
  • Service Options: Helping you to find supports that are most aligned with your and your individualised values.
  • Support Implementation: Helping you to track your progress towards achieving your goals.
  • Management Assistance: We can help assist you working with your nominated plan manager to optimise your funded support.
  • Capacity and Confidence: We help to will instil inherent values of confidence to help you become independent in your management.

All of our Support Coordinators will treat you with respect, be supportive and are highly experienced in their domain of expertise! Our Specialist Support Coordinators can also provide more specialised clinical support should you need it.

Where can you find a Support Coordinator?

Breakthru has many well-trained and experienced support coordinators located across New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. If you’re interested you can view our location page to find an office near you.

If you’d like to learn more about our extensive services at Breakthru, contact us today!

About the author

Joshua Cook

Holding dual degrees in Business Marketing and Commerce Accounting, Josh brings more than half a decade of experience to his role as National Marketing Manager at Breakthru, based in Brisbane, Queensland. His life's journey has uniquely equipped him to serve in this vital position. Raised alongside his younger sister Katey, who has Down Syndrome, Josh has gained an intimate understanding of the challenges and societal stigmas associated with disabilities. This personal connection fuels his commitment to the mission of Breakthru - to empower individuals like Katey to access the resources and support they require to live fulfilling lives. Through his role at Breakthru, Josh aims to break down the barriers and dismantle the misconceptions that often surround people with disabilities.

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