Managing your NDIS funds: Self-managed


Self-managing means that you, a family member or trusted person takes care of the day-to-day organisation of your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds.

Key points

  • If you are self-managed, you can choose any provider to deliver supports 

  • You will be responsible for maintaining records and your budget

  • If you need support to self manage you may be able to receive support from the NDIS

What does self-managed mean?

If you choose to self-manage your NDIS plan, this means that you or the person you nominate will be responsible for:

  • paying bills and invoices out of your NDIS budget

  • choosing how much to spend 

  • organising all paperwork and administration

  • making clear agreements with your providers about the supports you will receive including how they will be provided and paid for

  • showing how you’ve used your self-managed funding towards reaching your goals at your plan review

  • participating in any payment auditing where you will need to provide invoices, receipts or other evidence to show you have spent your funds in-line with your NDIS plan

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will decide whether the nominated person is suitable to self-manage the fund. 

This option gives you a lot of flexibility and control in how you meet your plan goals. If you are self-managing, you can choose any provider you like to deliver supports. This includes both NDIS registered providers and those who are not registered with NDIS.

With this flexibility comes a lot of responsibility. Self-management means keeping on top of your budgets while maintaining records and receipts for supports provided, claimed and paid.

How does it work?

You will be in charge of requesting invoices from service providers and processing payments through the NDIS participant portal. 

Self-managed participants can also choose to pay a service provider upfront and have the money claimed back from the NDIS deposited into a nominated account.

It is strongly advised that self-managed participants set up an NDIS-specific bank account in the participant or plan nominee’s name. 

You or your nominee will be responsible for paying any bank or transaction fees incurred as part of this bank account, so you will need to select the account that is right for you.

The account holder is exempt from paying income tax on any funds received directly from the NDIA and held in this bank account. You need to keep all invoices and receipts for five years.

It is important to keep in mind that the funding included in your budget will be based on NDIA pricing. This means that the money you receive to pay for a speech therapy session, for example, will be capped according to NDIA pricing. Some unregistered providers may charge more than this amount per session. 

If you choose an unregistered provider to deliver support services you may run out of money quicker.

Is it for me?

Choosing to self-manage means taking on the role of financial manager, support advocate, administrator and director. 

If you have the capacity and resources to fill these roles, and want complete choice and control of your or your loved one’s NDIS plan, then self-management could suit you.

If you would like to self-manage, but feel you are lacking in certain skill areas or would like extra assistance, you may be able to receive support from the NDIS. 

If you want to self-manage but are not sure if you’re ready, you can ask your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA planner for additional support to develop the skills you need during your planning meeting

For example, if you are happy to self-manage but would like to receive ongoing advice from a financial professional, then you can ask for this support to be included in your plan. 

Some examples of supports that can help you self-manage include: 

  • bookkeeping and accounting services 

  • employment services 

  • software applications 

  • support coordination and plan management assistance 

  • peer support organisations

Benefits of self-managing your NDIS plan:

  • Flexibility

  • Total choice and control

  • Freedom to choose any registered or unregistered provider

  • Opportunity to develop or refine financial, organisational and administration skills

  • You can apply for assistance through NDIS Capacity building funds

Cons of self-managing your NDIS plan:

  • It’s time-consuming

  • A lot of responsibility

  • You need to meet with lots of people and providers

  • You need to resolve billing issues yourself

  • You might need to pay for services upfront and wait for reimbursement

Are you self-managing your NDIS plan? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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