As a NDIS participant, or a carer acting on behalf of a loved one, it can be a confusing process understanding what government support is available and how to access it.

As the NDIS bases its funding decisions on each person’s individual goals, participants need to identify what help they need in order to achieve these goals.

To simplify the process, the NDIS has created three main funding categories; Core Supports, Capacity Building Supports and Capital Supports, each with its own sub-categories and guidelines.

Capital Supports often cover the most expensive and more complicated items as they may include permanent modifications to your home and perhaps your vehicle.

Capital Supports Explained

Under this broad funding category, there are two key sub-categories- Assistive Technology and Home Modifications.

Assistive technology

This sub-category includes aids or equipment that help you live independently or helps your carer to look after you. It Includes mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and prosthetics and personal care equipment, such as pressure mattresses, standing frames, hoists, bathing and toileting equipment. Communication devices, such as personal readers, hearing devices and vision equipment are also included under Capital Supports, together with vehicle modification. The cost of assessments, set-up and training to use the assistive technology is also covered under this funding category.

Vehicle modification includes installing special equipment or modifying the existing set up of your car to enable you to drive yourself or travel safely as a passenger. The NDIS covers modifications it considers reasonable and necessary, such as installing hand controls if you can’t use your feet to operate pedals or installing a hoist to help you in and out of your car if necessary

Home Modifications

This sub-category under Capital Supports covers the costs involved in making structural changes to your current home and perhaps adding specialised fixtures or fittings designed to help you live as safely and independently as possible. This funding would cover the necessary modifications to ensure your home is wheelchair accessible, the installation of stair climbers, elevators and grab rails.

Modifications to help you live safely, comfortably and independently at home that may include items such as handrails in bathrooms, adding slip-resistant coating to your floors or ramps for wheelchair access

Choice and Flexibility

When it comes to funding under the Capital Supports category, there is very little flexibility. Any funds for equipment or home and vehicle modifications you’d like included in your NDIS plan must be considered reasonable and necessary. This means they must be directly related to your disability and give you some clear benefits.

Money under the Capital Supports category is allocated for specific items identified in your NDIS Plan and can only be used to fund those items. For example, if your plan included money under Capital Supports to pay for a wheelchair, you can’t decide to spend that money on the installation of a grab rail in the bathroom instead.

The amount of funding allocated to you won’t change during your current plan. Once your NDIS plan is approved, the amount of funding you get in each type of support budget will remain the same for the duration of your current NDIS plan. The amount of funding will only change if you request a plan review because your circumstances or This means you need to think carefully about the Capital Supports you believe you need and bring all relevant information to your NDIS planning meeting, including quotes from your preferred suppliers.