A guide to NDIS funding categories and core supports

Child living with down syndrome drawing pictures with support worker in home environment

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is key to providing funding that can help individuals to live independently and control their support. Whether you’re hoping to be eligible for NDIS funding or you simply want to learn more about the NDIS, understanding the NDIS funding categories and support purposes and items is a good place to start.

What are the NDIS funding categories?

The NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) has identified three NDIS funding categories (also called support budgets) within the NDIS. Each funding category relates to specific goals and outcomes the person wants to achieve. These are:

  • Core Supports
  • Capital Supports
  • Capacity Building Supports

Under each funding category, there are multiple NDIS support categories, and within these categories are support items, each of which has a specific amount of funding allocated that an individual can use to access, receive and pay for supports. Many support items have price controls which are set by the NDIA. This is also known as a price limit. Participants who are Agency managed or Plan managed are required to follow these price limits. If the participant is self-managed, these price limits provide a guide as to the general expected cost of supports. Note that price limits and NDIS support categories differ between states, so it’s important to refer to your state’s guide on the NDIS site.

What are NDIS Core supports?

NDIS Core Supports include, among others, the support necessary for the person to complete everyday activities in daily life as well as any support required to participate in social and community events.

There are four unique categories that can be allocated to NDIS plans:

  • Assistance with Daily Life: This includes support items such as assistance with everyday activities, household tasks and Supported Independent Living (SIL).
  • Transport: Transport support is extremely important for most NDIS participants as it allows them to access disability supports outside their home and become active participants in their community. Most transport supports currently don’t have price controls, and this funding can be used for either private or public transport services.
  • Consumables: A consumable is an everyday item that a person living with a disability may require, such as continence products, and equipment for eating.
  • Assistance with Social and Community Participation: This includes support items that can enable an individual to engage with community, social or recreational activities. This category can help the person reach their lifestyle and social goals.

For many of the support items within each of the above support categories, price limits apply and can differ depending on the time of day the support is provided, the day of the week the support is provided, where in the household the support is provided or the nature of the person’s disability.

What are NDIS Capital Supports?

Capital Supports include NDIS support categories (also known as ‘investments’) that can enable the person to optimise their living arrangements to achieve independence. Within Capital Supports, there are two key support categories:

What are NDIS Capacity Building Supports?

Capacity Building Supports focus on enabling a person to build their independence and skills, giving them choice and control over the support they need to their goals.

  • Support Coordination: This category provides funding for support connection, support coordination and specialist support coordination. A Support Coordinator can help you find out what services might suit you best, connect you to services and understand how you can use your plan funding categories.
  • Improved living arrangements: This may involve support that is required to help an individual find appropriate accommodation, such as a home or rental property and understand tenancy obligations.
  • Increased social and community participation: This category involves supports that help build social skills and can enable participants to attend social events such as classes, sport coaching or camps.
  • Finding and keeping a job: Seeking employment is an important part of many NDIS plans, and this category can help participants to learn workplace skills, access support to find employment; it also includes SLES (School Leavers Employment Support)
  • Improved relationships: If a participant has difficulty forming or maintaining relationships and connections, NDIS funding can help them to receive behaviour support from health professionals.
  • Improved health and wellbeing: Involving both physical wellbeing activities and dietetics, this category can help individuals to receive support to help improve physical mobility and wellbeing.
  • Improved learning: This can include support for skills training, advice and assistance for when a person transitions from school to tertiary education.
  • Improved life choices: Plan Management can be funded in a plan to support the participant to manage payments of invoices, understand their budget and oversee plan expenditure to track overspending or underspending of funds.
  • Improved Daily Living: This includes a variety of services which are provided by health professionals such as therapy services and reports, therapy maintenance, multidisciplinary team intervention, early childhood intervention supports, individual support and group supports for therapy.

If you’re plan-managed or self-managed, you can directly book Independent Support Workers in your local community on Mable and start using your different NDIS support budgets to work towards your goals in each area.

If your NDIS funding is managed by the NDIA:

  • You can only use NDIS-registered providers for your support
  • You can’t use your NDIS funding to book independent support workers on Mable.

We hope this guide has helped you gain a better understanding of NDIS funding categories. You can learn more about the NDIS in our NDIS Topic Library.