Navigating the ins and outs of the NDIS can be challenging for both individuals and organisations. It’s not uncommon for new participants in the NDIS operation to have questions when they’re first starting out - even experienced operators find themselves stumped from time to time regarding a particular task or feature of the NDIS.
Payment requests are one such area where the complexity of the process can confuse and stall professionals. That’s why we’ve compiled the handy Q&A here regarding NDIS payment requests. We hope you find it helpful when it comes to working through payment request complexity.
What are NDIS Payment Requests?
NDIS payment requests are pretty straightforward. As it sounds, they’re requests for payment made by participants in order to pay for the relevant NDIS service(s). But although this sounds simple, in practice, the different requirements can vary depending on whether a participant is self-managed, plan-managed, or NDIA-managed.
In the case of registered providers, payment requests allow them to request payment for their services once a support has been delivered or provided. Generally speaking, pre-payment isn’t an option, as a result of the requirement that payment be made only after the delivery or provision of the service.
How Can I Get NDIS Claims Paid Faster?
When it comes to getting paid, the reality is that all invoices are not made equal. Failure to properly compile an invoice means it’s almost certain to not get paid. This could result in a delay, and potentially a shortage of cash flow in your operations while the mess is sorted out.
Central to this is understanding that, surrounding the NDIS, different support categories are divided into core supports, capacity building supports, and capital supports. It’s critical that you understand where your support resides among these three - if you invoice in the incorrect category, it’ll bury your invoice in red tape.
As well as ensuring that your support category is correctly listed, it’s also important to factor in other considerations that NDIS pricing takes into account - for example, the additional costs of providing services outside of regular business hours, or in rural or remote areas. For further information about the specifics of how to set the correct prices for your invoice, see the NDIS Price Guide.
How Do I Make a Payment Claim for Providers (and Where Do I Do So)?
In every case, there are necessary steps to making a payment claim that NDIS participants must go through. And while individual providers may have certain requirements they must fulfil when it comes to compiling invoices, these following steps are commonly seen across the NDIS.
Ensure You (and Your Team) are Appropriately Registered
If a participant is not properly registered, their payment requests can’t be correctly processed. That’s why, at the outset, it’s important to ensure participants are correctly registered within the right category. This also involves checking with the participant’s NDIS plan to ensure the relevant support category they intend to claim from is included within their plan.
Finalise a Service Agreement with a Participant
Generally speaking, a service agreement should be in place with participants before providing services. These service agreements should set out the anticipated total cost of the service(s) to be provided to the participant, including its type, frequency, and unit price.
Get Approval of a Service Booking
Once registration and finalisation of the service agreement is finished, you’ll need to confirm approval of a service booking that outlines the specifics surrounding the provision of the service. Unless this step is completed, you won’t be able to submit a payment request.
Keep Accurate Records of Delivered Services
Under the Provider Payment Assurance Program, registered providers must keep full and accurate records of the services delivered. The type of information required to be included depends on the category of support delivered. Detailed guidelines and log templates are available on the NDIS website.
Could Further NDIS Changes be Ahead?
Currently, there are elements of the NDIS as a national scheme that still have ongoing interactions with state and territory governments. As a result, you may find that the current structure of your mode of payment may undergo changes in the near future as a result of this transition.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the NDIS remains in rollout mode. Although the majority of its rollout has now occurred, ultimately, the expectation is that it will take until July of this year for the whole process to finish nationwide.
Just as the NDIS is having a very big and positive impact in many people’s lives, it remains a large entity, costing an estimated $22 billion a year to run. As a result, anyone participating in it must recognise that future changes could impact work processes. That’s why it’s even more important, if you’re participating in the NDIS at present (or soon planning to do so), that you ensure you have the necessary processes in place to streamline your participation and optimise your output.
How ShiftCare Helps Service Providers With NDIS Payment Requests
As the above has shown, participation in the NDIS can be complex and confusing. It’s also true that, if participants find themselves frustrated or flustered by paperwork, it’s bound to not only impact the quality of their service, but the benefits that those they’re serving gain from it.
That’s why when it comes to optimising your NDIS offering, utilising a care management software platform can maximise your operation’s consistency and efficiency.
As a team dedicated to offering the perfect platform for participants in the aged care, at-home, disability, leaving school, family facilitation, mental health and special needs sectors, ShiftCare is standing by to assist you making faster NDIS Payment Requests.
Start a free trial of ShiftCare to explore our payment request processes and more in real-time.