NDIS Plan Management: How to hire your own support worker with an ABN

This resource is for participants that have their NDIS plan managed by a plan manager, and covers hiring self-employed or independent support workers who have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

If you are self-managed, you can read MyCareSpace’s resource NDIS SELF MANAGEMENT: HOW TO HIRE YOUR OWN SUPPORT WORKER WITH AN ABN

This resource will cover:

How do I hire a support worker?

Plan Managed participants can hire their own support workers with an ABN! It is often misunderstood that as a plan managed participant you can use ANY provider whether they are NDIS registered or not.

The ONLY features of plan management that are different from self management are that the plan manager handles the financial side of things and pay your bills AND

  • the plan manager handles the financial side of things and pay your bills AND
  • you cannot pay a support worker more than the NDIS price guide hourly rate

Why or when would I consider hiring a support worker myself?

You can hire a support worker to help you achieve the goals set out in your plan. You can either

  • Engage the services of a care company who provides you with a support worker of your choice OR
  • Find and then hire an independent support worker as a contractor if they have an Australian Business Number (ABN)

Hiring your own support worker might involve a little work, but it gives you flexibility with their hours and the chance to negotiate their rates and hours.

It also allows you to engage someone that you child or loved one is already familiar with.

Being plan managed means you may be able to negotiate a lower hourly rate (lower than the NDIS support catalogue) since the support worker receives the full amount when you pay them directly (a care company will take a cut) – this will help stretch your funding.

This will be especially useful when you are hiring a support worker over the weekend (or public holiday) as the support catalogue rates are very much higher over these periods.

The only restriction you have is that you cannot pay more than the NDIS support catalogue price.

It’s more FLEXIBLE You can hire someone you already know (not family members) or someone who lives nearby. The hours you need could vary and many agencies will have support worker minimum service times. When you hire someone directly it may be easier to fill the hours you need more easily.

How do I get started when hiring my own Support Worker with an ABN?

Before you can hire someone, identify what your needs are. You will need to do this regardless of whether you already have someone in mind or will need to find someone.

1. The areas of your life where you want the help of a support worker
  • Personal care
  • Health needs (going to medical appointments etc)
  • Accessing the community – getting out an about, going shopping etc
  • Daily living requirements like help with cooking, cleaning etc
  • Everyday tasks like sending emails.
  • Assistance with therapies – practising, doing exercises etc
  • It may be helpful to write a daily plan of what you do (or want to do) every day and work off that.
  • It will take some time to get this together and you are probably going to have a few versions before you have it ready.

Make a list of where you or your loved one needs help with. See this Sample Duty Statement from MyPlace (WA) which is part of their resource on engaging support workers (referenced below in its entirety). It will help you identify the duties you may need a support worker to perform.

2. What is your support budget?

This will influence how many hours of support you can pay for. Your NDIS funding for support workers falls under CORE – Assistance with Daily Life in your NDIS plan.

Look at your total funding for support workers for the year and divide it by 52. Now you have a weekly budget.

According to the NDIS Support Catalogue, the weekly hourly rate is around the $50-ish, the Saturday hourly rate around $72-ish and the Sunday hourly rate around $95.

CLICK HERE to search our online NDIS Price Guide and search NDIS rates

3. What kind of support worker would you like?

It’s helpful listing the type of qualities you would like in a support worker. For example punctuality, flexibility, discretion, physical strength, patience etc. Perhaps you might prefer a support worker that shares your interest or has skills you’d like to learn.

4. How will they invoice you?

​Support workers who are contractors can charge per hour at a rate agreed upon by you. They will need to invoice you for their support hours.

Here are guidelines for what a Plan Manager would like on an invoice to ensure speedy payment

CLICK HERE to download and use our sample invoice for providers

5. You should have a Service Agreement

​Even if you know the support worker well, a service agreement just makes sure everyone is on the same page and understands the expectations each party has and the terms of the agreement. Avoid messy arguments later by making sure you sign a service agreement. IT really does benefit both parties!

There won’t be one thing on its own that decides whether a support worker is an employee or an independent contractor. You need to consider all of these factors making sure your support worker is an independent contractor.

The ATO website has a great tool that asks you a series of questions to determine whether you are engaging a worker as an employee or contractor for tax and superannuation purposes.


This resource has been shared with full consent from MyCareSpace

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