Getting The Most Out Of Your Capacity Building Supports

Do you want to know more?

Getting The Most Out Of Your Capacity Building Supports

Written by: Katie Greig l NDIS Plan Management Team


We previously covered the three C’s in our August blog: Understanding The Three C’s: Core, Capital + Capacity Building which gave an overview of the three categories that can be funded within an NDIS Plan.  To recap, Capacity Building Supports can include a wide range of services and activities, and they are tailored to the individual needs and goals of each NDIS Participant.

There are nine categories under the Capacity Building umbrella which include:

  • Support Coordination;
  • Home – Improved Living Arrangements;
  • Increased Social and Economic Participation;
  • Finding and Keeping a Job;
  • Improved Relationships;
  • Improved Health and Wellbeing;
  • Improved Learning;
  • Improved Life Choices; and
  • Improved Daily Living.

Not all NDIS Participants will receive each of the above funding areas as this depends on each individual NDIS Participants’ goals, daily functioning needs, informal supports, and other mainstream services they may be accessing.

Back in March, we covered: Make The Most Of Your Core Supports Funding which summarised the flexibility across the four possible Core Supports budgets.  Capacity Building Supports is not as flexible or interchangeable and it is important to understand this so we can get the most out of each capacity building budget that is included in your NDIS Plan.

Capacity Building Key Principals

The key principle of Capacity Building Supports is to enable individuals with disabilities to become more self-reliant and participate in society to the best of their abilities.  The specific supports and services provided depend on an individual’s needs and goals, as outlined in their NDIS Plan.

Capacity Building Supports are intended to empower individuals to develop the skills and independence necessary to eventually reduce their reliance on formal support services where possible.

Improved Daily Living

Arguably, the most common area of Capacity Building Supports is the Improved Daily Living category, which in a nutshell, covers your allied health supports such as Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, and Psychology supports.

Sometimes in your NDIS Plan there will be a description such as:

10 hours for Occupational Therapy, 30 hours for therapy assistant and 6 hours for Speech Therapist to complete swallowing assessments.

This can be incredibly helpful to help you understand how they have ended up with the sum for that category of funding, however, this does not have to be followed exactly as it is described.

So, how do you know how it is best to use your pool of NDIS Funding in this area?

Understand Your NDIS Plan

  • Review what Capacity Building Supports are funded and the specific goals and objectives outlined in your NDIS Plan; and
  • You can speak with your LAC or NDIS Planner to understand how the goals in your NDIS Plan have been written and what steps can be taken towards achieving them.

Collaborate with a Support Coordinator

  • If you have Support Coordination in your NDIS Plan, utilise their expertise to help you navigate the NDIS system, connect with service providers, and make the most of your Capacity Building Supports.

Want to know more about Support Coordination?  Check out this previous blog we put together: Difference Between NDIS Plan Management + Support Coordination.

Improved Life Choices

Speak to your NDIS Plan Management team…

  • If you have Improved Life Choices included in your NDIS Plan (located under the Capacity Building Supports banner) then this means at least part of your plan, if not all, is plan managed and you can access the services of an NDIS Plan Manager to process your invoices; and
  • NDIS Plan Managers can also assist you to track your budget, understand and implement your NDIS Plan.

Want to know more about NDIS Plan Management and how a team can help you?  Check out this previous blog we put together: What Is An NDIS Plan Manager + What Do They Do?

Choosing The Right Service Providers

It is important that you research and select service providers that have expertise in the specific Capacity Building Support you need!  Consider their experience, reputation to meet your goals.

It is also important that you make expectations clear and understand how services are billed;

  • What level of communication would you prefer?
  • How do you break down your billing services?
  • If we have a 1-hour meeting/therapy session, do we finish up 10 mins early for note writing or do you charge notes and other follow up tasks on top of the hour?
  • What do you consider reasonable report writing and can this be negotiated?
  • What are the cancellation policies?
  • Is travel charged for services where applicable?

Most of these questions are covered in Service Agreements between you and the provider, so it is important to take the time to read and understand what you are signing, and which budgets the provider will be billing from.

Once you have a Service Agreement in place, ensure your NDIS Plan Manager receives a copy so that they can allocate a portion of the Capacity Building funds to that service provider, this essentially gate keeps it so that if you are seeing multiple providers under the same category (i.e. Improved Daily Living) it reduces the risk of one provider running over budget and taking from someone else’s budget.  It also helps keep the service provider accountable to their Service Agreement and your NDIS Plan Manager can keep them and you up to date on the levels of the allocated funds so that if a new Service Agreement is required or the current one needs to be amended.

Want to know more about Service Agreements and their importance?  Check out this previous blog we put together: NDIS Participants + Service Agreements.

NDIS Funds + Value for Money 

When you have a support team around you, or are in the midst of finding supports and working towards covering off how to utilise your NDIS Funds and set up your supports so that you can get the best out of your Capacity Building Supports and working this budget in with the flexibility of your Core Supports (if applicable to your situation).

Monitor Your Progress and Regularly Review and Adjust Your Plan:

Keep track of your progress towards your goals!  This will help you and your support team assess what’s working and what needs adjustment.  Regularly communicate with your support coordinator, if you have one, to discuss your progress.

As you progress towards your goals you may be able to change some services or change them to be more cost effective i.e. considering using therapy assistants in between Allied Health sessions as this is a lower hourly rate.  It may be more feasible to use a therapy assistant (TA) more frequently to work on a skill or transfer that skill to another environment whilst still having the overseeing therapist on the team reviewing and monitoring.

Or, you may have mastered a task and want to still be supported to practice this new skill, it may be appropriate to have a Core Support step in if that core budget can accommodate this and reduce the Capacity Building Support i.e. travel training plan is implemented by an OT and then a skills development or therapy assistant support increases the frequency of training sessions whilst the overall plan is being reviewed by the OT.  Once the Travel Training is mastered you may still need some assistance in the community but rather than using the therapy assistant in Capacity Building Supports, you may have the Support Worker brought in for some training so they can continue to practice this new skill.

NDIS Plans are not static; they can be reviewed and adjusted, if your goals change or you need different supports, discuss these changes with your NDIS Planner and make necessary adjustments to your NDIS Plan.  It is important to speak to your team so they can prepare reports and organise assessments if needed, this will help to clearly outline the budgets your require to reach your NDIS Goals and how it is a cost-effective long term to be funded appropriately to your present situation.

Canny Plan Management + Your NDIS Budgets

Capacity Building Supports are a central component of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, aimed at promoting individual empowerment, self-sufficiency, enabling individuals with disabilities to lead more independent, fulfilling lives, achieve their goals and an improved overall quality of life.

Canny Plan Management has a team of NDIS Plan Managers who are available to discuss the definitions and the use of Capacity Building Supports as well as provide the applicable National Disability Insurance Agency information to our clients and to you, to help you make an informed decision.

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you and how we can form part of your support network to ensure that your supports are supporting you!

Pictured, Katie Greig standing with her hands behind her back and a big smile on her face. Wearing a black blazer and a bright green top underneath. The words "Katie Greig- Adviser." on the left hand side and on her right is an orange circle with a little bit of information about Katie.

Recent Posts

Tax Planning for Businesses, Sole Traders + Individuals

At this time of year, we draw attention to the importance of carefully considering any tax planning strategies before the 30 June 2024

Read More

Can Self-Managed Super Funds Borrow?

So, you have a Self-Managed Super Fund, SMSF for short (or maybe you are considering establishing one)

Read More

Insight Close-Up: Independent Contractors + Subcontractors – What’s The Difference?

Welcome to our Insight Close-Up series, where we delve into the most common commercial + business law services we offer our Canny business clients

Read More

Beyond The Will: Do You Need Comprehensive Estate Planning?

At your initial Will appointment, many questions need to be asked, sometimes mundane and sometimes more personal.

Read More

NDIS Review – Getting The NDIS Back On Track

And so it begins.  As promised by the Minister for the NDIS Bill Shorten, changes to National Disability Insurance Scheme are coming.

Read More

Getting Your Bookkeeping In Order For Each Quarter

We know that the end of a financial quarter can be confusing and even annoying for some people, especially as there are four of them!

Read More