What is the NDIS?
The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a support scheme initiated by the Government of Australia to provide support services to Australians with disabilities of all kinds (physical, motor, sensory & intellectual). It aims to help them lead a comfortable life under expert care & enable them to live independently.
NDIS provides participants with financial support for purchasing equipment, access to community services, and even availing care providers. In your search for a care provider, you must have come across terms such as NDIS Registered Providers & unregistered ones.
So what do they mean, and how does their being registered (or not) affect your journey for NDIS support? Well, here is all the information to help you understand the difference between the two.
NDIS Registered Providers vs Unregistered Providers
Service providers are organisations or individuals who deliver a specific service or set of services. While some service providers can be large organisations offering a host of services under one roof, others are small to medium-sized businesses run by families or traders.
It is essential to understand that the registration of service providers (or its absence) is not a measure of their professionalism. Both registered and unregistered providers must abide by the NDIS Code of Conduct.
NDIS registered providers are the ones who have registered their services with the NDIS. Furthermore, these service providers have gotten the approval of the NDIA to deliver NDIS services to participants.
The NDIS recommends all service providers register themselves, however, many don’t. And they are the unregistered service providers.
Criteria for Registration
To get their registration, service providers must fulfil a set of requirements. They must abide by the NDIS Price Guide and follow particular rules, regulations & agreements when providing any service. It is a lengthy & costly process, and many providers choose to stay unregistered.
Although some providers choose to remain unregistered, as mentioned earlier, they must abide by the NDIS Code of Conduct. Moreover, All care providers, irrespective of their registration status, are answerable under the NDIS Commission Enforcement and Compliance Policy. And anyone can file a complaint against their care providers or workers, regardless of their registration status.
Can I Only Opt for Registered Providers?
In most cases, the choice of providers depends entirely on the participant. If you manage your NDIS allowance or have a Plan Manager, you can choose to go for a registered or unregistered provider. If you decide to go with an unregistered provider, they cannot be paid directly by the NDIS and they must submit the invoice to you or your Plan Manager for their remuneration. You’ll have to manually claim the same via the NDIS portal.
On the other hand, if the NDIA manages your NDIS, your choice of provider is restricted to only NDIS registered providers. Such care providers are insured & bonded, and there is a lesser chance of encountering fraud or subpar services.
Benefits of Opting for Registered Providers
There are several advantages of choosing a registered provider. Some of them are listed below:
- Fully recognised by the NDIA: These providers must adhere to specific standards while providing services. The NDIA recognition ensures that they are committed to providing quality support services.
- Hassle-free: The invoices are sent directly to your NDIS portal. And hence, you do not have to fret about receiving & sending invoices or waiting to get the payments approved.
- Must adhere to NDIA price caps: Registered providers cannot overcharge their clients. They must strictly abide by the price caps prescribed by the NDIA.
- NDIS Validation: Such providers have undergone meticulous testing & auditing to get registered. The rigorous evaluation ensures that the providers abide by every single NDIS standard.
- Variety of Services Offered: At times, the registered providers offer certain NDIS support services that the unregistered providers cannot (or are unable to) provide.
Possible Disadvantages of Opting for Unregistered Providers
Both registered and unregistered providers must abide by the NDIS Code of Conduct. However, there can be certain drawbacks to choosing an unregistered provider. Some of these possible drawbacks are listed below:
- Lots of paperwork: Unregistered providers cannot get paid by NDIS directly. Hence choosing to go with one means filing large amounts of paperwork, which, at times, can be a hassle.
- No price caps: Unregistered providers are free to set their prices for service since they do not have to abide by the price caps set by the NDIA.
- Subpar services: Unregistered providers do not have to undergo any audits. And hence there might be a chance that they are cutting corners & providing clients with inferior quality services.
- Unavailability of services: There are particular services like Supported Independent Living or Speciality Disability Accommodation, which only registered providers can provide.
Find Reliable NDIS Registered Providers in Altona
If you are looking for an NDIS registered provider in Altona, you don’t need to look too far. Several reputed & experienced care providers in the region offer various NDIS support services. Their expertise in their respective fields & years of experience will ensure that you’re getting the best care & support you deserve.
While choosing a care provider, you must remember that you should look beyond their registration status & look at the portfolio of their past clients & work. You must choose a care provider who has expertise & experience in providing the support you’re looking for. However, it is still advisable to go with a registered provider since they are directly answerable.