Understanding The Three C’s: Core, Capital + Capacity Building

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Understanding The Three C’s: Core, Capital + Capacity Building

Written by: Christine Friel l NDIS Plan Management Team


Since the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the early 2010s, NDIS has become a buzzword in the disability community.  Every person living with a disability in Australia has different needs and the National Disability Insurance Scheme has become an invaluable resource.  At its core, NDIS Funding is there to provide you with the supports you need for your disability and help you work towards your goals.  Your funding is based on what is ‘reasonable’ and what is deemed ‘necessary’ to pursue your goals while enabling people with disabilities to engage meaningfully with the community.

An NDIS Participants budget is broken down into three categories;

  • Core;
  • Capital; and
  • Capacity Building.

Core Supports

Core Supports are based around supporting NDIS Participants with their everyday life and activities at home and/or within the community.  NDIS core supports are grouped into four sub-categories:

  • Assistance with Daily Life;
  • Assistance with Social Community and Economic Participation;
  • Consumables; and
  • Transport

Core support funding is the most flexible of the three support categories, enabling NDIS Participants a greater degree of interchange of funding between their core sub-categories if their needs or circumstances change from their initial planning meeting.

Want to know more about the flexibility within your core supports funding?  Check out this previous article we put together: How To Make The Most Of Your Core Supports Funding.

Assistance with Daily Life

Assistance with Daily Life supports is to assist with personal-related daily activities to help and enable the NDIS Participant to live as autonomously and as independently as possible.  Assistance with Daily Life Funding can be used when an NDIS Participant’s disability limited their functional capacity to undertake activities and tasks such as:

  • Assistance with self-care activities such as getting in/out of bed, showering, dressing, meal preparation, eating; and
  • Domestic activities and household tasks including house cleaning and garden maintenance, including lawn mowing.

Assistance with Social, Community and Economic Participation

‘Participation’ is the operative word in the Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation supports.  With the designed purpose of assisting or supervising the NDIS Participant to connect, engage and participate in social, community and economic activities, including employment, the funding can be used for supports such as:

  • The engagement of a support worker to assist with accessing the community, social and recreational activities, including group or centre-based activities; and
  • Specialised Supported employment where an NDIS Participant is employed and requires additional supports such as job assessment, job customisation, direct supervision, and physical assistance.


In the National Disability Insurance Scheme language, the term consumables is multi-faceted.  It refers to both consumable products and assistive technology items under $1,500.  The purpose of this funding is to enable the NDIS Participant to purchase the everyday items they need because of their disability such as continence products, or modified equipment to assist with their independence or mobility.  Although a low-cost assistive technology item may be under $1,500, if it is deemed a risk item, before purchasing the item will need to be assessed and recommended by the NDIS Participants’ applicable therapist.


Transport funding is allocated when the NDIS Participant is unable to access or use alternate transport, such as driving themselves or using public transport to get to and from activities, appointments, or their place of work.


If budgeted, capital supports are required to obtain quotes from suppliers, prior to any purchases, as this helps ensure value for money!  Capital supports can be broken down into two sub-categories:

  • Daily Living – Assistive Technology
  • Home – Modification and Specialist Disability Accommodation

Daily Living – Assistive Technology

Equipment specifically identified in an NDIS Participant plan such as a wheelchair or aids.

Home – Modifications and Specialist Disability Accommodation

This support category assists an NDIS Participant to live independently and safely in their own home.  Specialist Disability Accommodation for NDIS Participants with extreme impairment and/or very high supports needs.

Capacity Building

There are nine support categories, however, not all NDIS Participants will receive funding as this depends on each individual NDIS Participants’ goals:

  • 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
  • Improved Daily Living

Support Coordination

When it comes to finding the right supports to help you reach and achieve your goals that you set out in your NDIS Plan, your Support Coordinator is here to assist you with the supports that might be beneficial for you to reach those goals.  A Support Coordinator will assist you to engage providers, to utilise your NDIS Plan, and to help you understand your plan.  Ultimately the NDIS Participant has choice and control.  The Support Coordinator will liaise with the various providers, personalise supports, review and keep a watch on the NDIS Participants’ plan funding.  The benefit is to maximise the most out of your funding and providing less stress and more time to focus on your goals.

Home – Improved Living Arrangements

If you have NDIS Funding, you may be eligible to have supports that are appropriate for your circumstances in applying for finding accommodation and living arrangements.  The supports can include helping with applying, rental agreements, tenancy obligations and making sure where you are living is appropriate.

Increased Social and Community Participation

The primary role of this support is to strengthen an NDIS Participant to take part in skills-based learning to develop independence in accessing the community.  Examples of this could be training in public transport or a social group to help participate in the community and build relationship skills.

Finding And Keeping A Job

This support will help you through the many options, preparations and opportunities required in finding work.  From assisting with writing a resume, engaging in work experience and finding a provider who can assist with obtaining employment.  There is also assistance with school leavers to transition to work available.

Improved Relationships

There are two key roles of Specialist Behaviour Intervention Support and Individual Social Skills Development.

Specialist Behaviour Intervention Support would be a specialised assessment where there could be behavioural concerns that need addressing whereas Social Skills Development is where development is needed for social skills in social activities within the community.

Improved Health and Wellbeing

Primarily exercise and diet advice to manage your disability falls within this category.  This support is to help build skills and independence.  If directly related to disability, a dietitian could be engaged to create a healthy eating plan.  Either to increase or maintain physical mobility, a personal trainer or exercise.  Physiologists can also be engaged.

Improved Learning

When finishing school, there is the provision for assistance to transition through to further education.  This would enable the NDIS Participant to have a provider assist in organising and even a support worker to attend a class, however, it does not cover the fees of the class itself.

Improved Life Choices

Improved Life Choices is about NDIS Plan Management and the financial support to do that, which is to help you manage the money in your NDIS Plan.

Improved Daily Living

This category covered the engagement with a therapist and/or professional such as a registered nurse, physiotherapist, or occupational therapist to name a few.  It also covers Early Childhood Intervention supports for children under seven years.

It is important to note that Capacity Building does not have the flexibility that Core does.  You are not able to move your NDIS Funding from one category within your Core supports to another because categories are aligned with your goals that are identified in your NDIS Plan.

NDIS Plan Management + A Team You Can Trust!

Canny Plan Management’s team are available to discuss the options for the use of your NDIS Funding and to also provide the applicable National Disability Insurance Scheme information to our NDIS Participants to help them make an informed decision about their supports and the use of their NDIS Funding.

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can form part of your support network!

Pictured, Christine Friel wearing an oat coloured cardigan over a dark coloured dress. Standing next to an orange circle.

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