What Is Support Coordination and How Can It Benefit Your NDIS Plan?

 What Is Support Coordination and How Can It Benefit Your NDIS Plan?

What does a support coordinator do?

A Support Coordinator helps to connect a client with relevant services and supports which are outlined in their NDIS plan. Their primary goal is to allow their client to achieve the goals outlined in their plans and to participate fully in their community. A Support Coordinator will optimise the client’s NDIS plan, and ensure that they are getting the most out of their funded supports. 

Some of the specific ways a Support Coordinator works with their clients are;

  • Help them understand their customised plan
  • Connect them to relevant supports and involve them in the decision making process
  • Ensure their plan is meeting their individual needs
  • Help the client understand  service agreements and bookings
  • Review supports and make adjustments if required
  • Put in an action plan for a potential crisis scenario
  • Plan and prepare for their plan review

How does a person benefit from engaging a support coordinator?

By working with a Support Coordinator, a person with disability can become more empowered in understanding their own NDIS plan. This is crucial for them becoming more independent, living a fuller life, and achieving both their physical, personal and professional goals. 

A Support Coordinator is delegated to clients on a case-by-case basis, depending on the client’s needs. For those clients who require a higher level of support coordination, there is an option for them to connect with a specialist Support Coordinator. Specialist Support Coordinators are ideal for those with more complex situations and needs. 

Support coordination and the NDIS

Support Coordinators can be unregistered or registered providers, and the client is able to select their own. The benefit of working with an NDIS registered Support Coordinator is that NDIS funding can be utilised to engage the support coordinator, rather than the client paying for their services out of pocket. 

Once a Support Coordinator is actively working with a client, they can provide expert advice and insight into which NDIS support services will be best suited to the client. This one-on-one approach can greatly benefit a person with disability, as it ensures that their NDIS funding is being used in ways most advantageous to them.

It is important to note that not everyone is eligible for a NDIS-funded Support Coordinator. The NDIS assesses every client on an individual basis. If it is found that the client does not have an adequate support system around them which could perform some of the tasks of support coordination, it is only then that they receive NDIS Support Coordination as part of their plan. 

In order to include both a Support Coordinator and a Plan Manager within a person’s NDIS plan, the person must request both of these services at their initial planning meeting. Anybody who requests a Plan Manager will be allocated one, whereas as mentioned, a Support Coordinator has eligibility requirements. 

What is the difference between a support coordinator and a plan manager?

A Support Coordinator and a Plan Manager adopt different roles when it comes to assisting a client with their NDIS plan. However, it is helpful for them to liaise together regarding the best supports and disability services in Perth relevant to their client. 

Support coordinator

A Support Coordinator has the primary role of managing the supports and providers hired by the client. They oversee and monitor the services and ensure that the level of support they are providing is addressing the needs of the client as determined in their NDIS plan. 

Support Coordinators are also responsible for reviewing current supports, and changing and ending agreements if necessary. They will also assist the client in preparing for their plan review or plan renewal. 

Plan manager

Think of a Plan Manager as a personal NDIS-related accountant. They manage all the financial aspects of a client’s NDIS plan.

Some of the specific ways a Plan Manager works with their clients are;

  • Receiving invoices and paying providers for services
  • Tracking supports against NDIS funding budgets
  • Claiming funds through the NDIS portal
  • Adhering to the NDIS Price Guide
  • Managing financial reporting in relation to a client’s NDIS plan review/audits
  • Maintaining and protecting a client’s financial records
  • Offering expert advice in all matters related to NDIS funding

In summary

Navigating the NDIS system can be complex. Support Coordinators are crucial for connecting their clients to the right supports and guiding them through their NDIS journey, while Plan Manager’s handle all the financial aspects of their NDIS plan. If deemed necessary and if a client’s NDIS plan allows for it, it is beneficial to engage both of these experts in conjunction to assist with getting the most benefit from NDIS funding. In many cases however, it is only necessary to engage only one, depending on the client. 

Regardless, by utilising a Support Coordinator or Plan Manager (or both) it will lead to successful management of a client’s NDIS plan, and allows for them to live a more fulfilling life. 

Laura Daniel