Could prosthetics, hearing technology or a home modification make a meaningful difference to your independence?
The good news is there’s a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) budget dedicated to covering these items for NDIS participants, and it’s called the Capital Supports budget.
Capital Supports is designed to pay for higher-cost, specialised assistive technology, home and vehicle modifications and – in some instances – building and maintenance costs associated with Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). We cover the specifics about these categories and the items within them here.
An important detail about Capital Supports funding is that it’s prescriptive. That means it can only be used for the specific purpose stated in your NDIS plan (e.g., a manual wheelchair), and can’t be used flexibly (like some other funding).
Below is a simple five-point checklist to help you to work out if you need Capital Supports funding and, if you do, how you can secure it.
No one knows your support needs like you do, so if you already have an idea of a support item you’d like included in your NDIS plan, skip to Point 4.
1. Think about living in your home, and about being out in the community. How accessible are these two environments for you?
Perhaps your porch stairs are a barrier to you getting out of your home and into your garden, or maybe your vehicle doesn’t have the right set-up to transport you safely – if at all.
Consider how the environment around you presents challenges to you going about your activities of daily living and achieving your goals.
2. Research what assistive technology or home or vehicle modifications could help to reduce or remove these challenges.
From simple to innovative, there are assistive technology and home and vehicle modification solutions for every challenge. You can research solutions independently on the internet, or with the support of your support coordinator (if you have one) or local area coordinator.
The NovitaTech store is Australia’s largest assistive technology retailer, and you can browse their supports and services online here. For information about home modifications, get started by browsing this NDIS web page.
3. Assess your living options
If home modifications aren’t appropriate for your situation, there are other home and living supports available through the NDIS. They include SDA – which comes under the Capital Supports budget – and Supported Independent Living, which is funded separately to provide ongoing in-home assistance (up to 24 hours per day, seven days per week).
We explain the different types of home and living supports that are currently available through the NDIS here.
4. Get a functional capacity assessment
A functional capacity assessment evaluates a person’s ability to perform tasks and activities of daily living. They’re carried out by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, and appropriate supports (like support workers, assistive technology and modifications) are recommended based on the results.
Your assessment and accompanying recommendations will assist you to secure the right amount of Capital Supports funding to pay for some of the supports you need.
You can submit your functional capacity assessment to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) as part of documentation to support your application to the Scheme, or during a plan reassessment, participant check in or review.
You might want to include lived experience and/or carer impact statements too.
Tip: Functional capacity assessments can be expensive, but if you currently have an NDIS plan with a Capacity Building Supports budget, you may be able to utilise funding in the Improved Daily Living category to have a functional capacity assessment undertaken.
5. Source and send quotes to the NDIA
If Capital Supports funding is pre-approved in your new plan, you’ll need to gather quotes from providers before making a purchase. Then, you’ll need to send these quotes to the NDIA for approval so funding can be released.
Get moving on sourcing quotes as soon as you can! Being proactive in the NDIS can help you to exercise your rights and leverage more funding.
If you have any questions about how to use your NDIS funding, we’re here to help. You can call us on 1800 861 272 from 8am-6pm (SA time), Monday to Friday, or email us at [email protected].