A Guide to the 3 Ways to Manage NDIS Funding

How to decide if plan-management, self-management, or agency-management is the best approach for your NDIS funding

After all the time and effort that goes into submitting your NDIS application and getting to a planning meeting, some people rush through one of the most important decisions of all – what approach you will use to manage your funding.

There are three ways NDIS funds can be managed: Plan-management, self-management and agency-management.

Statistics show that each type of funding management has a strong user base. In December 2023, 29% of NDIS participants self-managed, 62% were plan-managed and 9% were agency-managed.

No particular type is better than the other. But for each person, one style of NDIS plan management is likely to be a better fit with their goals, abilities and preferences.

To help you decide which type of NDIS funding management is the best suited to you, we’ve outlined the main types in this article, including the benefits and drawbacks of each.

SeenCare is a specialist registered NDIS provider in Melbourne for people living with disability and high medical needs.

We don’t provide plan management services. However, because we are a registered provider, we can provide healthcare and disability support services to participants utilising any of the three NDIS funding management systems.

To find out more, please contact us today.

NDIS Self-Management

Self-managed NDIS funding involves just what the name suggests. You, as the participant, are in charge of managing your funds and administering your plan.

With a self management NDIS plan, you are responsible for:

  • Choosing your providers and negotiating a service agreement
  • Paying invoices and collecting receipts
  • Keeping track of money that is spent
  • Providing records of how funding has been used (if requested)

To self manage your plan, you will need to use a dedicated bank account only for the management of NDIS funds. As you receive services you have purchased, you are required to complete electronic forms online to receive money from the NDIS into your dedicated bank account.

Participants who choose to NDIS self-manage are able to use non-registered providers. Many use non-disability specific providers (eg, for household tasks, transport assistance or home nursing care). In some instances, participants even choose to pay above the NDIS pricing arrangements for especially valued supports and services.

Overall, NDIS self-management offers the greatest choice and flexibility, but it also comes with the most responsibility.


  • Maximum choice and flexibility in how NDIS funds are used
  • The option to choose unregistered and non-disability specific providers
  • Increased ability to negotiate and control costs of your supports


  • Additional time and effort spent on budgeting and paying invoices
  • Requires high attention to detail with organisation and record keeping
  • There can be a delay between paying for services and receiving reimbursement

Best choice if…

NDIS self managing is a good choice for people who have an interest in and ability to manage the financial side of your plan. The increased flexibility and control allow you to tailor a support plan exactly to your needs. It also provides the opportunity to learn new skills around budgeting, finances and people management.

NDIS Plan-Management

Plan managed NDIS funding is the most common way for NDIS participants to manage their plan. With NDIS plan-management, the financial side of administering a plan is given to a professional called a plan manager.

A plan manager is a registered NDIS provider who usually has a background in bookkeeping, accounting or another relevant administrative role. Because of this, many people describe plan management NDIS as being like having a personal bookkeeper and support person just for NDIS funding.

Some of the tasks an NDIS plan manager can undertake include:

  • Receiving and paying invoices for NDIS services that have been provided
  • Monitoring your budget and providing updates on over or under spending
  • Providing advice on how to get the most financial value out of your plan
  • Supporting you to do plan management tasks that you would like to handle

NDIS plan managers are paid for their services from funds in a participant’s plan. However, this does not mean the participant receives less overall funding. If a need for plan management is identified, additional funds are included in the plan to cover these costs.

While plan managers must be registered providers with the NDIS, participants are free to choose which plan manager NDIS they would like to work with.

When you are NDIS plan-managed, you have the choice to use either registered or unregistered NDIS providers.


  • Has most of the choice and flexibility of NDIS self-management, without the need to handle budgeting and payments
  • You can still choose service providers and approve invoices
  • Plan manager can negotiate on your behalf with providers to get maximum value for your funds


  • Creates an additional layer between participant and service providers
  • There can occasionally be delays in payments being made
  • You can not use providers who charge above the maximum levels in the NDIS pricing arrangements

Best choice if…

NDIS plan management is suitable if you want to have choice and flexibility around how your funds are managed, without the responsibility of making payments to providers and keeping detailed financial records.

Agency-Managed NDIS Funding

NDIS agency-managed funding is perhaps the simplest of all three funding models. With this option, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) manages your plan and pays providers on your behalf.

NDIA-managed participants can only use registered providers. After a service is delivered, the provider submits an electronic invoice to the NDIA and the NDIA pays them directly.

For agency-managed NDIS participants, the NDIA handles all the bookkeeping and record keeping to track how funds are being spent.

Anytime an NDIS agency managed participant wants to see the claims providers are making against their plan and how the overall budget is tracking, they can log into the myplace portal to access this information.


  • No bookkeeping or financial involvement is required by the participant
  • Simple and efficient system for providers to submit claims and receive payment
  • The NDIA will monitor your budget to keep an eye on spending levels


  • The least flexible of the three NDIS plan management options
  • Can’t use unregistered providers
  • No scope for the participant to increase their financial management skills

Best choice if…

While it might sound restrictive, NDIS agency-managed funding is actually a great option for people who don’t require a lot of flexibility and would prefer to have no involvement in the financial management of their plan. There are many registered providers to choose from, so being agency-managed shouldn’t mean you are unable to access adequate supports.

Building the Right Support System for Your Goals

While services and supports to improve daily living and overall wellbeing are the most important part of an NDIS plan, it would be a mistake to think that financial management isn’t part of that.

For better or worse, the financial side of managing an NDIS plan can take up a lot of time and energy. So, choosing the right NDIS plan management approach to support your goals and preferences is essential.

Fortunately, there is a lot of flexibility built into this area of setting up an NDIS plan.

Not only can participants pick which form of financial management suits them best. It’s also possible to use different types for separate portions of the plan. For example, you might choose self-management for assistive technology funding and plan-management for supports to assist with daily living.

Finally, choosing one management approach at one stage doesn’t mean you can’t switch in the future. You’ll just need to bring it up in a planning meeting or ask for an early review if your circumstances have changed.

SeenCare is a specialist registered NDIS provider in Melbourne for people living with disability and high medical needs.

We don’t provide plan management services. However, because we are a registered provider, we can provide healthcare and disability support services
to participants utilising any of the three NDIS funding management systems.

To find out more, please contact us today.

03 9110 1014