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NDIS Registered and Unregistered provider tugging rope.

Everything you need to know about unregistered NDIS providers

Does the term unregistered provider make you uneasy? You’re not alone, as the difference between NDIS registered and unregistered providers is something that’s often misunderstood. In this post we explore the world of unregistered providers, so you can make an informed decision and can get the best supports available.

 

What’s the difference between NDIS registered and unregistered?

For NDIS participants, the main difference is that you can only access unregistered providers if your NDIS plan is Plan Managed or Self Managed. Whereas if you are NDIA Managed, your options are restricted and you can only access NDIS registered providers.

If you Self Manage your NDIS plan, unregistered providers will send their invoices to you to pay and you will then have to manually claim the funds back from the NDIS using the NDIS portal - but if you're Plan Managed, your Plan Manager does this for you.

For more information on the differences between Self, NDIA and Plan Management, read our blog.

 

Why wouldn’t service providers become NDIS registered?

The registration process takes time, money and effort - three things that many smaller providers don’t have a lot of.

As a result, a lot of smaller service providers chose not to register with the NDIS.

 

Should I use unregistered providers?

Whether you use unregistered providers is entirely up to you, but here’s three things to keep in mind:

  1. Despite not being NDIS registered, many of these providers are highly skilled, passionate and dedicated to making life better for people with a disability.
  1. There are many unregistered providers. These are often small organisations or sole traders, but some larger organisations are not registered either. Using these providers gives you access to a much larger network and helps you find the right NDIS provider for your needs.
  1. If you’ve been with a service provider before transitioning to the NDIS, they may not be registered. If you want to keep receiving the supports you’re used to, you’ll need to use unregistered providers.

 

How can I access unregistered providers?

To access an unregistered provider, you’ll need to either Self Manage your NDIS plan, or use an NDIS Plan Manager. If your plan is NDIA Managed, you can only access NDIS registered providers.

If you have Plan Management with Plan Partners, we will not only let you use your NDIS funds to access unregistered providers, we also deal with all the administrative hassle of processing invoices. This opens up a lot more opportunities and causes a lot less stress. We will get your providers paid directly, taking all the administration hassle away from you and your providers. You will always to be able to track your invoices and spending in your online Plan Partners Dashboard.

Whether you're searching for a registered or unregistered provider, finding the right one for your situation can be difficult and time-consuming - so we've listed 5 different ways you can find the perfect service provider

 

Are you a service provider who’d like to register with the NDIS?

If your business would like to become NDIS registered, you can find out more here.

 

Whether a provider is NDIS registered or not doesn’t change the level of support they provide – it simply dictates who can access them. If you’re currently NDIA Managed but would like to use unregistered providers, our friendly team can help you explore your options. Call us on 1300 333 700 or leave you details here and we’ll contact you. 

 

TOP TIPS

  • It takes time and money for service providers to become NDIS registered, so many chose not to. They’re known as unregistered providers. 
  • Being unregistered has nothing to do with a service provider’s professionalism or quality of supports.
  • Your NDIS plan must be Self Managed or Plan Managed to access unregistered providers, as they’re unable to claim their invoices directly from the NDIS.
  • Accessing unregistered providers opens up many more options, which can be particularly useful in regional or rural areas.
  • If you have Plan Management with Plan Partners, you can access unregistered providers, so contact us to find out more.

 

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38 comments

Christine (not verified)   25th June, 2018

Do unregistered support workers need to have an ABN to receive payment from someone's NDIS plan?

Plan Partners Team 20/6/18

Hi Christine, thanks for the excellent question. While a Plan Manager can help people use their NDIS funds to access unregistered providers, they do need to have an ABN. If an NDIS participant self-manages their funds, they’re able to employ and pay their support workers even if they don’t have an ABN – although this brings with it lots of other regulatory responsibilities. If you have any other queries, feel free to ask here or give our team a call on 1300 333 700. Warm regards, The Plan Partners Team.

Helen Vasicek (not verified)   25th June, 2018

what fees am i charged to manage my plan by plan partners?

Plan Partners Team 25/06/18

Hi Helen, thanks for your question. Because Plan Management is funded by the NDIS, there’s no cost to you!

Plan Management isn’t included in NDIS plans by default, but all you need to do is ask for it in your next NDIS planning meeting and it will be included in your plan (under the category called Improved Life Choices.)

Unlike other supports, there’s no eligibility criteria for Plan Management – so if you ask for it, you will receive it.

If you have any other queries, feel free to ask here or give our team a call on 1300 333 700.
Warm regards, The Plan Partners Team.

Anu Prasad (not verified)   31st January, 2019

Iam in the process of starting as an"unregistered NDIS service provider".
I need the tool kit to check if I have everything in place to start providing service.
Also if you can refer me to someone who can help me out for setting up as unregistered NDIS service provider

admin   31st January, 2019

Hi Anu,
Thank you for your comment.
Great to hear that you want to start providing services to NDIS participants. Our new eBook, 'Working with the NDIS, might be a great resource for you. You can download it here: https://planpartners.com.au/themes/custom/komplet/assets/documents/PP_E….
Feel free to contact us if you have any more questions.
Warm regards,
the Plan Partners team

Hari Sharma (not verified)   03rd June, 2019

We are the Senior Helpers franchise owner in Northern Adelaide. We are not the registered NDIS service Provider. Yes we know that we can provide service to the clients as per the NDIS standards and Home Care Standards. We want to know how plan partner could support us in referral and plan management..
Please do email me .

admin   03rd June, 2019

Hi Hari,

Thank you for your comment. Someone from our team will get in touch and email you about how we may support you.

In the meantime, feel free to join Plan Partners' service provider network. You can learn more about the network here: https://www.planpartners.com.au/service-providers

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Anne Evans (not verified)   18th February, 2019

Hello,
I am about to start support as an unregistered provider and am wondering what insurance I may need?
Many thanks,
Anne

admin   18th February, 2019

Hi Anne,
Thanks for your question.
What kind of insurances you need totally depends on the services you're going to provide, and where. It's best to reach out to an insurance agency to find out what you need for your business.
If you're going to provide services to NDIS participants, we'd advise you to look into creating service agreements with them and to get acquainted with the NDIS invoice requirements.
Our service provider webpage features more information: https://www.planpartners.com.au/service-providers
Good luck with starting up your business!
Warm regards,
the Plan Partners team

Lou (not verified)   09th April, 2019

Hi, are you able to advise whether or not the role of Support Coordinator needs to be a 'Registered Provider' in order to provide services and receive payment?

I've reviewed so much documentation via the NDIS website and can't seem to find anything referring to whether registering as a service provider is required to carry out that role.

Thanks for any assistance / advice you're able to provide,

Cheers, Lou

admin   10th April, 2019

Hi Lou,

Thanks for your question.

This depends on how the NDIS participant's plan is managed. Currently if a participant is NDIA or Plan Managed, Support Coordinators must be registered in order to provide services and receive payment. However if you are Self Managed, participants can have an unregistered Support Coordinator.

We hope this helps! For more information, we recommend you contact the NDIA at 1800 800 110.

In the meantime, feel free to download our short and simple eBook for service providers, "Working with the NDIS": https://go.planpartners.com.au/working-with-the-ndis

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

JOSEPH AUGUSTINE (not verified)   15th April, 2019

Can I work as sole proprietor for NDIS funded client with out NDIS registering

admin   15th April, 2019

Hi Joseph,

Thanks for your comment. Service providers can work for NDIS participants without being NDIS registered, but the participant must be either Plan Managed or Self Managed. If the participant is NDIA managed, their NDIS funds will not be able to be used for unregistered service providers.

You can read more about these 3 different types of management here: https://www.planpartners.com.au/what-are-options-managing-my-ndis-funds

If you have any further questions, feel free to give us a call on 1300 333 700.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

AJ (not verified)   18th April, 2019

Hi,

If working as a Sole Trader, would transporting a client in my own vehicle mean I'd have to change my full comprehensive insurance to something else? Also, would I have to register as a Commercial vehicle? Keeping in mind I'd only be doing around 2 hrs driving a week.

If you could also give me an indication of what the most common going rate per hour is for core supports that would be super helpful.

Thanks

admin   18th April, 2019

Hi AJ,

Thanks for your comment. You will need full comprehensive insurance, but will not need to register as a commercial vehicle.

As for the common going rate per hour, you will need to refer to the latest version of the NDIS price guide. Here's the link: https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/price-guides-and-information

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Bbb (not verified)   03rd May, 2019

Hi ,
I am an unregistered ndis provider but also applied to be a registered one. The website is extremely clunky and I have been navigating to find the outcome of my application rather unsuccessfully .

admin   03rd May, 2019

Hello,

While the assessment process usually takes 10-12 business days, during periods of high volume, assessment and notification can take up to 30 days.

If you are still waiting for the outcome of your application after 30 days, we suggest you contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Sue C (not verified)   09th May, 2019

Hi, The Reflexology Assoc. of Australia has been told there will be no funding for the service of Reflexology but my clients who live in 24/7 care with Qld., Disability Services want to continue receiving my services. Do I need to register or be an unregistered provider as I understand Reflexology is written into their care plan?
Sincerely
Sue Crase

admin   09th May, 2019

Hi Sue,

Thanks for taking the time to ask us this question.

If reflexology is specifically included in your clients' NDIS plans, the NDIS can fund your services.

Whether you need to register with the NDIS or not is dependent on how your clients manage their NDIS funds. As stated in the article, only participants who are Plan Managed and Self Managed can access unregistered NDIS providers. If they are NDIA Managed, they will be restricted to services only from registered NDIS providers.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Louise (not verified)   17th May, 2019

I work for a Professional Organising business providing home decluttering and organising services. We are a for profit business that has a standard rate of $90 per hour. We are seeing an increase in referrals from plan managed clients either from themselves or via OT's. There is no line item appropriate to our services (we are not cleaners). We are having the following issues:
Firstly, how to list our serivces on invoices so that plan managers are happy to pay them (they are requesting us change the terms we use)
Secondly, we are being asked by plan managers to work for an hourly rate far below our minimum charge (more like $45-55)
This is making it very hard for Plan Managed NDIS participants to access our services. We have a long history of working with clients recieving funding from various government schemes via Non Goverment organisations. I'm interested in your perspective?

admin   17th May, 2019

Hi Louise,

Thank you for your question.

You're right - unfortunately, there is no line item that covers decluttering services as such. The line items that you may be able to claim under, as well as their maximum hourly rates, are as follows:
• Assistance With Accommodation And Tenancy Obligations [58.92]
• Individual Skills Development And Training [57.32]
• House And/Or Yard Maintenance [46.20]
• House Cleaning And Other Household Activities [41.43]
We'd advise you to call the NDIS and explain your situation, as they may be able to provide you with some more clarity. As Plan Managers, we can only process invoices that feature correct line items and charge within the hourly rates indicated in the NDIS price guide.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Louise (not verified)   17th May, 2019

Ok that is helpful to clarify where we are at. You are right, this is an NDIS and Industry issue, unfortunately NDIA have been of very little help. I do think that some of the wording around the way plan managment is promoted should be amended however as it seems to imply that participants have a choice of providers however this is not a real 'choice' as they can only have that choice if those providers are willing to charge well below their standard rate? That is not really increasing choice of service providers for participants as businesses are not choosing not to register for just that reason; they cannot run a quality business at the maximum rates. I know this is not the fault of plan managers but we have a lot of very disappointed participants who are realising they don't really have a 'choice' of service provider and plan managers asking us to work for less than our operating costs.

admin   17th May, 2019

Hi Louise,

Thanks for your comment.

We understand that this can be a difficult situation for you and hope that the NDIA can provide you with more clarity on this in the near future. If you have further questions about Plan Management and maximum hourly rates, feel free to contact us at info@planpartners.com.au or give us a call on 1300 700 333.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Kristy Ballantyne (not verified)   12th June, 2019

Hi I'm just wondering if a family member can build a non registered ndis service provider to then hire a person to take care of a family member regarding respite ect.

admin   26th June, 2019

Hi Kristy,

The NDIA's position on this subject is that they will not fund a family member to provide personal care or community access supports unless all other options to identify a suitable provider of supports have been exhausted. Generally, the NDIA will only fund family members to provide supports in exceptional circumstances.

We encourage you to speak with someone from the NDIA regarding this question on 1800 800 110.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Juliet (not verified)   24th June, 2019

Hi, I would like to use a Support Coordinator that is not yet registered. I self manage my plan, is this possible? Kind regards, Juliet

admin   24th June, 2019

Hi Juliet,

Yes! Self Managed NDIS participants may use unregistered service providers.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

ghina dahi (not verified)   08th July, 2019

hello , I'm looking forward for being an unregistered provider . I got my ABN number as starting but It seems that I'm getting confused regarding the following steps . Could you please help . Thanks in advance .

admin   08th July, 2019

Hi Ghina,
Thanks for your comment on our website. If you'd like to know more about working with the NDIS, our eBook 'Working with the NDIS' takes you through the process step-by-step and provides all kinds of handy tips: https://go.planpartners.com.au/working-with-the-ndis. And to keep being updated on the NDIS, we recommend becoming part of our Providers Network, find out more here: https://planpartners.com.au/service-providers
If you have any more questions, just give our team a call on 1300 333 700.
Warm regards, the Plan Partners team

Brett (not verified)   08th July, 2019

Hi,
I am just wondering how self managed NDIS participants claim back money from NDIS for rates above the price cap. Do they just claim a higher rate against a line item?
Do Unregistered providers need to include line items in an invoice?

admin   08th July, 2019

Hi Brett,
Thank you for your comment.
Self-managed NDIS particpants need to claim their money back from the NDIS directly and the NDIS decides whether the invoices comply with their guidelines.
Invoices from unregistered providers need to comply with the NDIS guidelines as well, so they need to include the correct line items. This article explains more about what needs to be on an invoice: https://planpartners.com.au/getting-your-invoices-paid-faster-and-easier
If you would like to speak with one of our team for more information, feel free to give us a call on 1300 333 700.
Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Brett (not verified)   12th July, 2019

That's great information,
So if I understand you correctly then on a self managed plan the only difference between an invoice from a registered provider and an unregistered provider would be that the un-registered provider could charge an amount above the price cap on an item and NDIS still pays for the amount charged.

I'll be keen to see more blogs from you guys in the future.

admin   12th July, 2019

Hi Brett,
Yes, if the invoice is compliant with the NDIS requirements and backed up by enough funding in your plan, the NDIS will most likely approve it.
Feel free to subscribe to our newsletter by leaving your details in the 'Stay Updated' box in any of our articles. And feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Kalen Schloss (not verified)   31st July, 2019

Hi , looking for some clarification

Under your link to Unregistered VS registered providers. The information states "NDIA Unregistered providers will send their invoices to you to pay. You will then have to manually claim the funds back from the NDIS, using the NDIS portal.

Multiple responses on this thread you state that NDIA plans can not use unregistered service providers OR am I correct in saying NDIA managed clients must pay for unregistered providers services privately and claim reimbursement via the portal?

admin   01st August, 2019

Hi Kalen,
Thank you for your comment. NDIS participants who are NDIA Managed cannot use unregistered service providers using their NDIS funds and cannot claim reimbursement for using unregistered service providers.
Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Rachel Rowe (not verified)   12th August, 2019

Hi there,
Can you please tell me what is the approx % split of NDIS clients who are
- Plan Managed
- Self Managed
- NDIA managed
I was about to spend a lot of money to register as a provider, buf if the % of plan and self managed NDIS clients is signficant I won't.
Many thanks
Rachel

admin   12th August, 2019

Hi Rachel,

Happy to help! The information you are looking for can be found in the NDIA's Quarterly Report. In the most recent report (31 March), the percentages of Plan, Self and NDIA Managed participants appears on page 85.

Here's the download link to the report: https://www.ndis.gov.au/media/1358/download

For more accurate information, we encourage you to wait for the upcoming quarterly report, which should be published sometime this month!

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

Rachel Rowe (not verified)   12th August, 2019

Thanks for the info. :)

admin   12th August, 2019

Hi Rachel,

No worries! If you would like, feel free to join the Plan Partners Service Provider Network. You can learn more about how to sign up and the benefits of the network here: https://www.planpartners.com.au/service-providers.

Warm regards,
The Plan Partners team

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