Capacity Building supports can pay for therapies or services that help improve your independence.
- The Capacity Building support package helps you to build your independence
- Funds can be used to purchase any approved individual support within a specific category
- There is flexibility if you need to change what type of support you are receiving
Capacity Building support categories
There are nine Capacity Building support categories. You will not automatically receive funding for all nine; the goals outlined in your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan determine was categories you receive funding for.
Support to connect you with informal, mainstream and funded supports so you can get the most out of your NDIS plan and make sure your supports are being delivered as promised. If you ask for Support Coordination during your planning meeting, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will determine what level of support is reasonable and necessary based on the information gathered during your meeting.
- Improved Living Arrangements
Help with finding and applying for shared or independent accommodation and assistance with managing rental agreements and responsibilities. You may choose to use these funds to engage a service provider to help you search for suitable rental properties online and fill out application forms, for example.
Increased Social and Community Participation
Short-term or ongoing support to strengthen your ability to manage your life independently and participate in your community. It can include support to participate in community access programs or group activities. If your goals include improving your social skills and making new friends, you could get funding to attend a community camp or vacation group, for example, where you can meet new people and build your relationship skills.
Finding and Keeping a Job
Support to find and maintain employment at all stages of your life. If you’re approved for funding in this category, you could find a service provider who specialises in employment for people with disability to help you update your resume, apply for jobs in supported or open employment, help you prepare for a job interview or assist with school-to-work transition.
Includes social skills development and behaviour intervention supports where necessary. This could include funding for a behaviour support plan, that aims to limit the likelihood of behaviours of concern developing or increasing.
Improved Health and Wellbeing
Physical wellbeing activities, such as personal training sessions, and nutrition advice to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. These supports can be funded by the NDIS if health, physical and wellbeing difficulties are directly attributable to your disability. For example, if eligible for this funding you may choose to find a nutritionist who can create an individualised healthy-eating meal plan.
Improved Daily Living
Covers assessment, therapy and/or training by a professional such as an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or registered nurse. It includes Early Childhood Intervention. If you receive funding for this category you may choose to spend it on 30 hours a year for occupational therapy and speech therapy assessment and intervention.
Improved Life Choices
Can include plan management support, financial assistance and training to improve organisational and self-management skills. You could engage a service provider who provides plan management services to help you manage the money in your NDIS plan. They can pay providers, help develop service agreements, develop monthly statements and claim payments from the NDIA.
Help to research and apply for study or training opportunities. If you receive funding in this category, you could engage a service provider to help with your transition from school to university, for example. This could include assistance with planning your timetable and budgeting for textbooks, or having a support worker come with you to class. Improved Learning funding will only cover support costs, not course or tuition fees that anyone else without a disability would be expected to pay for.
How can I spend my Capacity Building funding?
You can use your Capacity Building funds to purchase any approved individual support within a specific category.
For example, if you are allocated money under the Improved Daily Living budget, you may initially decide to use 50 percent of the funding on an occupational therapist, 30 percent on a physiotherapist and 20 percent on a podiatrist.
However, down the track you may decide to assign a larger percentage to podiatry services or change from occupational therapy to speech therapy. This flexibility allows you to identify what you believe would be the best capacity building support to achieve your goal.
To help the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) decide how much money they will allocate for different categories under the Capacity Building package in your plan, keep in mind that any supports must be ‘reasonable and necessary’.
Any specialist reports you provide at your planning meeting to show you need certain therapies or supports should include as much information as possible. They should detail the types of services the specialist recommends as well as the frequency of services.
For example if you have a recommendation from a specialist that your child needs physiotherapy, make sure their report specifies how many sessions a year they think your child needs, the duration of each session and what goals these therapies will help achieve.
You won’t be able to move Capacity Building funding from one category to another. This is because each category is aligned with a specific goal in your plan.
So for instance, you may have a total Capacity Building budget of $5,000 made up of $3,000 for therapies under Improved Daily Living and $2,000 for Improved Living Arrangements to help you find suitable rental accommodation. You then can’t decide to combine your funds to spend the total $5,000 on Improved Daily Living because that would mean you are not working towards meeting your Improved Living Arrangement goals.