Tips to minimise NDIS payment delays
In response to a backlog of NDIS payments experienced by providers nationally, the NDIA has established the National Provider Payment Team.
This team - which consists of 24 NDIA employees with specialist expertise - has been operating since February this year, acting as a single point of contact across three specialist areas:
- Urgent, critical and escalation
- SIL, SDA and no Service Bookings
- Bulk upload and complex Service Bookings
Provider queries are triaged to the most appropriate team member.
What caused the backlog?
The backlog has been caused in part by errors in provider NDIA systems, processes and payment requests. The Agency acknowledges scheme design challenges have contributed to the issue, however there are also avoidable causes.
The NDIA weekly payment summary details three main reasons for payment errors, including:
- Claim amount is greater than the funds available in the service booking
- Multiple business errors
- Claim is outside the plan dates
What can providers do?
There is currently no mechanism for providers to edit a service booking once it has been submitted, amendments are only actionable by the NDIA.
- Ensure service bookings are in place prior to delivering the service.
- Ensure the service booking accurately reflects the support item funded in the participant’s plan and the agreement with the participant, detailed in the Service Agreement. For example, if the provider has agreed to provide weekly support for six weeks, ensure the service booking duration reflects the six-week period only.
- Ensure there are no duplicate service bookings with the same support item and overlapping dates – the portal will not accept a service booking with overlapping dates.
- Ensure all data is entered accurately and in the correct format.
Delays in SIL quote approval may be experienced if a previous quote is pending review.
- Understand NDIS language and terminology, ensuring quotes accurately reflect how supports will be delivered. For example, a shared support or an individual support.
- Ensure community participation supports are not included in the quote.
- Refer to the NDIS SIL Quoting Practical Guide (PDF | Word).
Ensure format instructions are strictly adhered to as stipulated in the Bulk Payment Request - Step by step guide.
- For example: Date format. The guide states that, "by default computers are set to the Australian date format: dd/mm/yyyy. The portal requires the date to appear as yyyy/mm/dd”… Each time you open a CSV file, the computer’s system date format will take effect." This means that the date format is impacted each time the document is closed.
- Payment request dates must fall within one Service Booking date period. The portal does not accept payment requests that cross over multiple Service Bookings.
- If you need to make a claim for the same support item and dates more than once, ensure the invoice number/claim reference is unique.
- Ensure there is no missing data in each record or payment request.
- Ensure that only one of the unit measures columns (column G or H) has been filled in.
- Ensure data in each column is in the appropriate format (e.g. numbers, dates, etc).
An overview of Making Payment Requests can be found online in the NDIA Provider Toolkit.
The NDIA Provider Payment Team is attempting to resolve these issues as quickly as possible and it is important that we work together to ensure avoidable errors are minimised. More NDIS transition resources are available here.