NDIS Core Supports
NDIS Core Supports
What are Core Supports?
Core Supports is one of the main categories of funding under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The other categories are: Capital Supports and Capacity Building supports.
Core Supports is support that enables a participant of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to complete activities associated with daily living, enabling them to get support with current disability-related needs and helps them to work towards their short-term goals as well as meet their long term objectives. This support empowers those with disabilities who have a host of challenges to develop foundational life skills and take control of their lives.
Core supports is split into four categories and is the most flexible part of your budget across all four of the following categories:
Assistance with Daily Life is designed to help participants live their best lives, with as much autonomy as possible. It can help them to meet the costs of hiring someone to supervise or support them with any activities in their daily routine (for example help with toileting, meal preparation, cleaning or assistance with garden maintenance). The support is not limited to the home though – it can be accessed in the community, in a social or work setting, at school or university, or even at a hotel while holidaying. Examples of this type of support include: Assistance with self care activities such as showering or getting dressed, or help getting to an appointment.
Consumables can help with the costs of buying everyday items, like assistive products for personal care or safety, continence aid, low-cost Assistive Technology, interpreting and translation education or services, assistance pets (including pet insurance and other supports). This sub category also ‘covers ‘off the shelf’ items like nutrition products, colostomy bags and dressing aids.’ https://planpartners.com.au/funding.
Assistance with Social and Community Participation helps participants to engage in the community and in social and other activities related to their goals. Participants can receive this support in a number of different settings in the community, including in a centre with group or interactions with individuals, at school, TAFE, university or other educational facilities. Examples include access to social groups or recreational activities.
Transport – It is widely accepted that transport is the critical enabler of core supports for participants to achieve their goals. ‘It is about assisting participants to access the community and to maintain or increase their independence’ said Minister Robert (https://www.ideas.org.au). Access to transport is undoubtedly often a requisite for work, social, education and health related purposes, especially for those with a disability for which public transport may not be an option. As the Commission reported in ‘the Submission for Consistent, Fair and Equitable Transport Funding for NDIS Participants’ Plans in Queensland’, ‘access to transport is often poor for people with a disability.’ In March 2020 the Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Stuart Robert announced that there would be ‘flexibility in the covering of transport costs from core support budgets.’
Assistive Technology is part of the Capital Support budget which also deals with Home Modifications. Assistive Technology includes specialised technology or equipment as well as items for mobility, personal care, communication and recreational inclusion. There are many examples of Assistive technology. These include: smart devices, wheelchairs, apps, pressure mattresses, standing frames, bathing and toileting equipment, personal readers and vision equipment, vehicle modifications and even the cost of acquiring a guide dog.
What core supports can be used for NDIS?
The NDIS offers funding to participants to invest in a range of supports aimed at ‘increasing their independence, inclusion, social and economic participation’. https://abilityoptions.org.au Without adequate support the participant cannot truly participate in the way that other Australians can, which is one of the primary goals of the NDIS, to bridge this gap.
In an NDIS plan, the description under core supports will refer to two or more of the previously mentioned support categories (Assistance with daily life, Transport, Consumables and Assistance with social and community participation). For more information about the NDIS you can visit: https://www.ndis.gov.au/
Understanding the flexibility of Core Supports
It is important to remember that Core support budgets are flexible across the four subcategories. In fact, the versatility of core supports is one of the best things about it, because NDIS participants can chose how to spend their funding for core support which is not only practical but also gives the individual a heightened sense of purpose and control.
The core support budget must be used for core supports though, it cannot be used to fund other kinds of support (namely capital or capacity building).
What is an example of this flexibility?
An NDIS participant might have a core support budget of $4000. This individual could choose to spend $1000 just on Transport, with the remaining $3000 allocated to Consumables. It is his or her choice.
Alternatively, this NDIS participant may decide to spend all $4000 on Daily Living. While the NDIS participant has complete control over how they use their core support funding across the four core support subcategories, they cannot spend any of these funds on assistive technology, finding a job or any other capital and capacity building supports.
For more information on how to best make use of Core Supports, visit https://www.first2care.com.au/post/ndis-core-supports-explained
Written by Emily Garrett-McKeon
Patricia O’Brien, Lanie Campbell, Tanya Riches, Getting NDIS Ready – A Literature Review, PHN Central and Eastern Sydney, Centre of Disability Services, University of Sydney (2016)
Submission for Consistent, Fair and Equitable Transport Funding for NDIS Participants’ Plans in Queensland, Transport, Development and Solutions Alliance (2018)