A young woman living with a disability getting support from her carer at the library

NDIS Funding Categories Explained

Your NDIS plan contains four main funding types:

  1. Core Supports

  2. Capital Supports

  3. Capacity Building

  4. Recurring Supports

You may qualify for funds in more than one area, in accordance with your individual needs and NDIS plan goals. There are currently some differences in how it works between the support categories in the original NDIS plan system and the new NDIS PACE plans.

Related: NDIS PACE: What it means for Participants

In this article we will go over the key differences and help you gain a better understanding of how the NDIS funds categories can work for you.


1. Core Supports Budget

The Core Supports budget aims to provide assistance for day-to-day tasks relating to your plan goals and your life goals. The support categories for your core budget reflect this.

Core Supports funding can be used flexibly within the budgets listed below:

Assistance with daily life

This supports budget helps you to be as independent as possible while living at home. This may include funding a support worker for services like:

  • Meal preparation

  • House cleaning or gardening

  • Help showering or dressing (personal care)

  • Respite care

Assistance with social, economic and community participation

This category helps you to participate in community, social and recreational activities. It generally covers the support you would need to participate, rather than the actual activity – but it could also cover things like classes to build skills and independence.


This funding is for everyday items and services related to your disability. Examples of items which could be funded by this support:

  • Off-the-shelf items like nutrition products or dressing aids

  • Small, low-risk, low-cost assistive equipment (like a kettle stabiliser, modified cutlery or a walker)

  • Costs for an assistance dog such as pet insurance

  • Auslan

Your medicines will not be covered by this funding.


You may be able to claim a transport funding allowance if you can’t use public transport.

This supports budget will help cover costs associated with getting you to and from education programs or schooling, your place of employment, or community activities.

PACE only: Home and living support

For participants who have already transitioned to the PACE plan format, Home and Living funds the additional support required for participants to safely complete their activities of daily living, whilst maintaining their independence. These supports could include Supported Independent Living (24 hour support) and Medium Term Accommodation (transitional housing for a short period).

PACE only: Young people in residential aged care (YPIRAC)

This core supports funding is to support anyone under the age of 65 who permanently lives in a residential aged care facility.


2. Capital Supports Budget

Capital supports funding is for more expensive assistive technology, like vehicle modifications. It can also be used for one-off items like specialised disability accommodation (SDA).

Capital supports are restricted to specific items identified in your NDIS plan, so it is crucial that you consider these when setting your goals. This is not a flexible budget; you must use it as specified.

Assistive Technology (AT)

This covers specialised technology or equipment you may need to achieve your goals. For example:

  • Wheelchairs

  • Prosthetics

  • Orthotics

  • Portable hoists

  • Vehicle modifications

  • Acquiring an assistance dog

  • Braille resources

To claim this funding you will need an assessment from a therapist and a quote from a service provider.

PACE only: Assistive Technology maintenance, repair and rental

A new addition, this category covers expanded and ongoing AT costs like:

  • Rental of AT

  • Repairs and maintenance

  • Flexible equipment packages for changing need

  • Early childhood flexible AT

Home Modifications

This specifically funds changes and additions to your home, which make it easier for you to live an independent life. This might be rails, ramps, or other fittings or modifications to meet your individual needs.

This funding can also include the cost of engaging a project manager to implement the necessary modifications, particularly if they are significant to the structure or layout.

PACE only: Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

Specialist Disability Accommodation, or SDA under PACE, has been split into its own budget after previously being a part of the Home Modifications budget. It is a range of housing designed for people with extreme functional impairment or very high support needs.


3. Capacity Building Supports Budget

This one is possibly the most self-explanatory. Capacity-building supports are for activities that will build your capacity, aiding you to become more independent, social, and learn new skills.

Capacity-building supports are not flexible between support categories, but more flexible than your capital budget as you can use the funding on anything within the relevant category.

Note: The PACE system has different names for some of the supports. We have included the new PACE names (in ellipses) where applicable.

Support Coordination (Support coordination and psychosocial recovery coach)

The NDIS will fund participants to engage a Support Coordinator if it is ‘reasonable and necessary. Support Coordinators help find and connect you to supports and services, and handle any issues that might come up with your chosen service providers.

Read more: NDIS Plan Manager vs Support Coordinator Explained

Increased social and community participation

Helps you to participate in community and social activities to build your confidence, skills and independence, such as:

  • Studying

  • Life skills training

  • Sports coaching

You can also receive funding for a mentor to support your independence in the community.

Finding and keeping a job

This one is exactly what it sounds like – these supports help you to find or keep a job. What this might look like in practice:

  • Support for resume building or interviews

  • Assistance in employment

  • Help transitioning to work for school leavers

Improved living arrangements

We all need a safe, secure and suitable place to live. This budget funds assistance in finding accommodation suitable for you, including aid in transitioning to a more independent living situation.

This category may cover assistance with going to inspections, finding a group home, negotiating contracts, or fulfilling tenancy obligations, among other things.

Improved relationships (Relationships)

Funding supports for you to make positive changes to improve your relationships and life, like psychology, positive behaviour management strategies, or individual social skills development.

Improved health and wellbeing (Health and wellbeing)

Helping you to manage the impact of your disability through exercise or diet advice, with a focus on improving health outcomes. This might include:

  • Working with a nutritionist

  • Personal training

  • Exercise physiology

Note: The NDIS does not fund gym memberships.

Improved learning (Lifelong learning)

Assessment, training or therapy to help increase your independence, skills and community participation. This funds direct supports to help participants transition through school and into further education like university or TAFE.

Improved life choices (Choice and control)

The NDIS funds the cost of your plan manager so you can reduce the burden of financial administration, while still having choice and control over your plan.

You can request a plan manager in your planning meeting or review. You do not need to meet any criteria to become plan-managed, and there are no out-of-pocket costs to do so.

For a closer look at the different ways to manage your plan, see our post NDIS Self Managed vs Plan Managed vs Agency Managed Explained.

Improved daily living

This area focuses on helping you develop basic skills to improve your independence and help build confidence and capacity to handle the challenges presented in your daily life. Examples include:

  • Occupational therapy

  • Speech therapy

  • Daily planning and budgeting

  • Driving lessons

These therapies and training may be delivered in groups or individually.

PACE only: Behaviour support

This new category funds the supports you might need to develop behavioural management strategies. This can include specialist intervention supports, to reduce behaviours of concern and improve your quality of life.

Note: Some services covered by this budget were previously covered by the ‘Improved Relationships’ budget. While these have been available for some time, the new ‘Behaviour Support’ category creates a specific area of support for them.


4. Recurring Supports Budget (PACE only)

Currently, this only has one subcategory, which is Transport. The NDIS will pay funds to you directly and on a regular basis if you require support for everyday transport needs.

If you have a recurring supports budget, you won’t need to make additional claims for ongoing transport funds.


Managing NDIS funding with NDSP

Using NDSP as your plan management specialist is entirely funded through your NDIS plan. It is funded from the Improved Life Choices budget, which can only be utilised for plan management services. This leaves you with more capacity to focus on what is important – achieving your goals.

Maintain control over which service providers you would like to engage, including non-NDIS registered providers. Working with plan management specialists takes the financial administrative burden away, not your choices.

NDSP helps participants to make the most out of their NDIS funding. Our expert plan managers offer high-quality, comprehensive services. Check out our free Participant Toolbox to get started with helpful NDIS resources.

If you are interested in transitioning to NDIS plan management, get in touch with NDSP to find out more about how we can help.


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