Plan Manager, Coordinator and an LAC?
What is the difference between a Plan Manager, a Support Coordinator and an LAC?
The roles of a plan manager, a support coordinator, and a LAC (Local Area Coordinator) are distinct positions within the disability support system. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between these roles:
- Plan Manager: A plan manager manages the financial aspects of a person’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan. Their primary role is to handle the funding allocated to an individual’s plan, including processing invoices, managing budgets, paying service providers, and maintaining financial records. Plan managers assist participants in navigating the financial aspects of their plan, ensuring that funding is used effectively and by the NDIS guidelines. They provide support with financial administration but do not provide direct support coordination or case management.
- Support Coordinator: A support coordinator helps NDIS participants implement and manage the supports outlined in their NDIS plan. They work closely with the individual, their family, and support networks to identify goals and link them to appropriate services and providers. Support coordinators assist in developing a support network, coordinating services, and ensuring that the participant’s plan is implemented effectively. They also assist in resolving any issues or barriers that may arise, connecting the individual with relevant community resources and helping them build their skills and capacity to exercise choice and control over their supports.
- Local Area Coordinator (LAC): LACs are employed by partner organizations contracted by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to provide local support and coordination services. LACs are critical in assisting individuals in accessing the NDIS and understanding how the scheme works. They support potential participants in the eligibility and planning process, help gather information and documentation, and guide the available supports and services within the community. LACs work closely with individuals and families to develop their first NDIS plan and connect them to mainstream and community-based services.
In summary, a plan manager primarily handles the financial management of an NDIS plan, a support coordinator assists with implementing and coordinating supports, and a LAC supports individuals in accessing the NDIS and developing their initial plan. While some responsibilities may overlap, each role serves a distinct purpose within the disability support system.