DIA Statement on Media Reports

Disability Intermediaries Australia (DIA) is aware of the media reports published in News Corp mastheads including the Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, The Advertiser and others by Cydonee Mardon on 17 March 2024 reporting of alleged fraudulent practices by some plan managers.

Since 2019 DIA has been raising concerns to the NDIA and NDIS Commission about the oversight, market monitoring and regulation of the sector and advocating for higher levels of accreditation and standards that put the participant at the heart of the services being delivered.

In 2021 DIA published our own Professional Standards of Practice which our members must adhere to. These Professional Standards of Practice go well beyond the requirements established by the NDIA and NDIS Commission. DIA provided these to the NDIA and the NDIS Commission ahead of their release.

More recently, DIA gave substantial evidence at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability around these issues. DIA has no tolerance for scammers, fraudsters or rogue operators; they should be investigated, prosecuted and barred from the NDIS.

DIA and many of our members have willingly cooperated with the Fraud Fusion Task-force. DIA is eager to ensure that alleged scammers are promptly investigated, prosecuted and if found guilty barred from the NDIS. Should these alleged scammers be found to have engaged in non-compliant or illegal activity they should promptly appear on the NDIS Commission compliance, enforcement actions and banning orders lists.

Plan Managers are to the NDIS as Tax Agents/Accountants are to the ATO. Plan Managers support NDIS Participants to lodge claims from the NDIA and then disperse the funds of those claims to providers that have delivered the services NDIS Participants have used. Plan Managers also support participants to monitor and track their spending against their NDIS Plan. Similar roles can also be found in Aged Care and other social service schemes.

62% of all NDIS Participants have proactively chosen to use a Plan Manager because it gives them the greatest empowerment to exercise choice and control over their plans, budgets and providers.  The popularity of Plan Management reflects the positive difference “good Plan Managers” to overcome the complexity, bureaucracy, and compliance requirements of the NDIS so participants can get on living their lives.

Plan Management is one of only three disability supports where providers must be registered with the NDIS Commission, and the only disability support where this requirement is enshrined in legislation.

“Each and every one of the reported 343 providers in the articles have been registered through the NDIS Commission. Like many in the disability community, we don’t understand how the NDIS regulator approved the registration of these alleged ‘scammers and crooks’ in the first place?”
Mr Jess Harper DIA CEO

The NDIA holds all funds in NDIS Participants’ plans until a claim is lodged for them by a NDIS Participant or on their behalf by a Plan Manager. When a Plan Manager lodges a claim, they are required to provide information including the line item being claimed, date of service provided, the ABN of the support provider and a range of other information.

These articles highlight that the NDIA has not adequately been monitoring and reviewing the claims being made for NDIS Funds. Like many in the disability community, DIA can’t help but ask, how did these alleged ‘parasitic pen pushers’ claim these funds from the NDIA without immediate detection, prior to funds being released by the NDIA?

The current NDIA SAP System and the NDIS’s new PACE System, which is currently being rolled out, are riddled with bugs, errors, issues, and limited capability which have reportedly allowed unscrupulous operators to commit the alleged offences described in the articles. DIA encourages the NDIA to implement an efficient business system that has technical controls and capability that prevents fraudulent, mistaken and/or non-compliant claims from being accepted and processed.

Plan Managers do not ‘hold’ NDIS funds on behalf of NDIS Participants, nor do they charge a percentage of funds claimed such as ‘clipping the ticket’. Generally, NDIS Participants funds can only be claimed from the NDIA once services have been delivered to the NDIS Participant. For the last 4 years, Plan Managers fees have been capped at just $104 per month per participant for their services.

Well over 90% of the NDIS Participants who engage a Plan Manager do so from approximately 500 Plan Managers, with over 40% of Participants being serviced by approximately 10 Plan Managers. DIA suspects that the alleged 343 operators likely fall outside of both of these cohorts. This means the overwhelming majority of the 399,814 NDIS Participants that engage a Plan Manger receive services from the ‘good Plan Managers’ enjoying reliable, timely and accurate service that delivers choice and control and participant self-direction.

Over the past two financial years the ‘good Plan Managers’ filtered out around $1.8B in non-compliant claims from being lodged with the NDIA ($600m in 2021-22 and $1.3B in 2022-23), supporting NDIS Participants and the Australian taxpayer.

Effective Plan Management makes for a better experience for the participant living with disability and saves the scheme money through increased efficiency, compliance with scheme rules, oversight and fraud mitigation. In 2023 Plan Managers supported NDIS Participants to claim over $20.5 Billion in funded support and services from their plans that they need to live their lives. For media reports to blanketly label Plan Managers as ‘parasites bleeding the NDIS dry’ is simply wrong.

There are hundreds of hard-working, diligent and dedicated Plan Managers delivering excellent services to NDIS Participants and supporting the scheme to function who feel betrayed and let down by these alleged scammers.

DIA and its members will continue to work with all stakeholders to promote higher levels of accountability and integrity. On behalf of the good Plan Managers delivering excellent and quality services, we welcome the opportunity to work hand in hand with the Minister for the NDIS, The Department of Social Services, the NDIA, NDIS Commission and the Fraud Fusion Task Force to reform the sector.


Media enquiries can be directed to

Mr Jess Harper

Chief Executive Office

Disability Intermediaries Australia

e. media@intermediaries.org.au







DIA is a members-based organisation. We are only able to do the work that we do because of the ongoing support of our members. Thank you to all DIA members that continue to support the work we do. If you’re a provider delivering Support Coordination or Plan Management are not yet a member, you should consider joining. Click here to join from our homepage.