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Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Support Coordinator, Plan Manager – Whats the difference?

3 Jun
3 Jun

Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Support Coordinator, Plan Manager – Whats the difference?

Local Area Coordinator (LAC), NDIA/NDIS, Support Coordinator, Plan Manager – What’s the difference?

There are a range of different organisations, individuals, and companies that you will work with through your NDIS journey. At times the sheer volume of different points of contact, and their specific role can be downright confusing. So we have created the follow guide to help you understand what the role of each position is, as well as how to decipher where to go for your specific support need.

The NDIS and the NDIA

NDIS – National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new (and current) system for providing individualised support for Australians living with a disability. Individuals that meet access to the NDIS are known as participants, are given an NDIS ‘Plan of supports’ which is tailored to meet their specific support needs. Though not all people living with a disability will become a participant, the NDIS provides support, direction, community capacity building and linkages in connecting people with a range of other supports available in the wider community.

NDIA – National Disability Insurance Agency

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) also referred to as ‘the Agency’. Their role is to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Which basically means that they are the team in charge of getting things done. They do have ‘Partners’ which assist them in achieving this, which we will discuss a bit further later on.

What is the difference between the NDIS and the NDIA?

The NDIS is the system, or ‘scheme’. The NDIA is the team (people) who work in implementing the scheme.

What’s the difference between Local Area Coordination and the NDIA?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. Each participant will have a different best option based on their individual skills and abilities. The NDIS sees Self-Management as the ultimate goal for participants, however not everyone has the ability, time, capacity or knowledge to be able to use an online government interface, manage their own budgets and organising their own supports. There is also the burden of having to pay invoices upfront and having to keep detailed financial records for a number of years. Agency managed has its obvious barriers, being that you can only engage registered providers. The lack of flexibility means that if you find a provider that you know, like and charges less, If they are not registered, you cannot access their support. Plan Management gives you most of the flexibility of a Self Managed plan without the financial (paying up front) or compliance (documentation for Auditing) burdens.

Support Coordinators and Plan Managers

Plan Management is funded in your plan, if you request for it as your Plan Management option. Generally the decision is made in the Pre-Planning Meeting (or review meeting if this is not your first plan), where you inform the Local Area Coordinator about your decision. However you can change your mind once your plan has been approved or in progress. You just need to contact your Local Area Coordinator and notify them of your change of mind. When you do select Plan Management, the funding is added to your plan. It is completely paid for by the NDIS, and it doesn’t eat into your other funds. Typically funding will appear under Capacity Building Supports Budget > CB Choice and Control of your NDIS Plan.

Plan Managed means that a third party Registered Provider – like South East Care, handles your financial accounts, paying your Registered and Unregistered Providers, paying invoices, keeping regular accounts of your Plan and ensuring strong filing history. Plan Management gives you most of the flexibility of a Self Managed plan without the financial (paying up front) or compliance (documentation for Auditing) burdens.

Why South East Care for Plan Management?

South East Care’s Plan Management Team is directed and run by a team of qualified financial experts, with a profound experience and understanding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Making our services quality, accurate and reliable. All information provided on our website was written by our very own staff, who have a deep knowledge and experience of the NDIS. So if you do choose to manage your plan with a qualified Plan Manager, consider South East Care as your Plan Manager.

  • We prioritise paying Invoices quickly and on time.
  • We ensure Providers and Non-Providers follow the right procedures and don’t double dip into Participant’s funding.
  • We keep you informed about how your funding is going, and keep you notified if any concerns are identified.

If you’d like to read more about South East Care, contact us on (03) 9070 5230 or visit:

Why South East Care for Support Coordination?

South East Care’s Support Coordination Team are a team of dedicated Support Coordination specialists. Our team are focused on providing a comprehensive, well rounded experience for our clients and their family members. We understand that the NDIS and its complexities can appear difficult to manage and coordinator, however with a South East Care Support Coordinator we’ll assist in making the process one that is not only manageable, but one that you can understand and plan ahead with.

  • We work to achieving your goals and reaching your desired outcome.
  • We work with your current supports, family, friends, professionals and NDIS funded supports to maximise your outcomes.
  • We keep you at the centre of what we do, ensuring we are available to assist you in the capacity you need.

If you’d like to read more about South East Care’s Support Coordination Supports, contact us on (03) 9070 5230 or visit:

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