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16 November 2021

NDIS support categories explained.

You’ve got your NDIS Plan…great! Whether you’re new to the NDIS or have been receiving NDIS supports for some time, it’s a good idea to get to know the various NDIS support categories.

The funding in your NDIS Plan is divided into three budgets which are sometimes called NDIS support categories or NDIS budget categories.

Depending on your individual needs, you may receive funding in one or more of these categories. Today we’re going to explore these three funding categories so that you can confidently put your NDIS Plan into action.


NDIS funding categories.

The three main NDIS funding categories, which are sometimes called support budgets, are Core supportsCapital supports and Capacity Building supports. The NDIS defines the types of services and supports that you can purchase from each category.

Good to know:

  • NDIS funding can only be spent on reasonable and necessary disability-related supports. It can’t be spent on ordinary living expenses
  • Some support categories are flexible, which means you can spend the money from that category on any reasonable and necessary support that meets NDIS criteria
  • In some cases, you can only purchase specific supports that are stated in your plan
  • Some supports may require a quote or supporting documentation from a treating professional like a doctor or occupational therapist.


Core supports.

NDIS Core supports fund activities that help you in everyday life. Core supports are the main NDIS support category and most NDIS participants will have Core supports in their NDIS Plan.

Examples of Core supports include getting help with self care activities such as showering, domestic activities such as cleaning, and consumable items like continence aids and Home Enteral Nutrition.

This area of your NDIS Plan has four support categories:

  • Assistance with Daily Life: Includes making household decisions, personal care, cooking and cleaning.
  • Assistance with Social and Community Participation: Includes activities or courses that help you connect and socialise with others. Art classes, sports coaching or vacation camps with mentoring, skill development, peer support or capacity building components are covered here.
  • Consumables: Helps you cover everyday items and services. These could include interpreting and translating services as well as continence and nutrition-related items.
  • Transport: Helps cover costs associated with specialised schooling or education programs, reaching a place of employment or participating in recreational or community activities.

Your Core supports budget is the most flexible NDIS funding category and in most cases, you can use your funding across any of the following four support categories. However, there are instances where you do not have flexibility in your funding, particularly for transport funding.


Capital supports.

Capital supports fund more expensive assistive technology, equipment, home modifications or vehicle modifications. This budget can also include financing one-off purchases such as specialist disability accommodation (SDA).

Capital supports are the least flexible NDIS budget category. Your budget for this support is restricted to specific items identified in your NDIS Plan.

Most items are ‘quotable’, which means that participants must negotiate a price in a service agreement with a provider and obtain a written quote before purchase.

The NDIS Assistive technology, home modifications and consumables code guide contains information about how participants can use Capital supports funding and the types of supports that may be considered reasonable and necessary.


Capacity Building supports.

NDIS Capacity Building funding is for activities that will support you to become more independent and learn new skills. The activities should be connected with your goals. Examples may include living more independently, finding a job, or getting help to manage your NDIS Plan.

There are nine sub-categories for Capacity Building funding:

Click on the links above for more details about each.

Capacity Building funding can only be used to purchase approved supports that fall within the above list.

Top tip: The Improved life choices category is where the NDIS can add additional funding to your plan so you can work with a plan manager like Leap in! If you would like extra support to manage your NDIS Plan, all you have to do is ask for plan management at your plan meeting, plan review or anytime by contacting the NDIS. There is no cost to you for plan management.


How Leap in! can help you make the most of your NDIS Plan.

Now you know all about the three main NDIS support categories, you’re probably wondering how to make the most of your NDIS Plan.

That’s where Leap in can help!

Our experienced plan managers are here to answer your questions and provide support.

Our award-winning plan management app makes it easy to manage your NDIS funding in real time, keep your spending on track and know if you are underspending or overspending in any budget with alerts to notify you when you are.

Call us on 1300 05 78 78 or sign up to Leap in! plan management today.


Originally published 02 November 2018, updated 16 November 2021.


Further reading.

Capacity building budgets: A closer look.

Core supports budget: A closer look.

Capital supports budget: A closer look.

Top 5 reasons why people don’t spend their NDIS budgets.