NDIS funding categories explained

If you have an NDIS plan, you’ve probably noticed that the funding is broken up into three budgets, or ‘support purposes’ as

they are known in NDIS speak. These are core, capital and capacity building.

But what on earth does this actually mean?

That’s what we’ll go through in this blog.

An easy way to understand core, capital and capacity building

An Local Area Coordinator for the NDIS once told me a brilliant way to explain the difference between the three budgets. Here it is:

If someone needs help showering, here’s how the three budgets could help out:

Core – Could provide a Support Worker to assist with showering.

Capital – Could provide modifications (like a handrail) to the shower to make it more accessible.

Capacity building – A support worker or program to teach the person skills and ways to improve their showering or hygiene.

A deeper look

It’s important to understand the difference in the budgets - especially if you are self-managing. There are 15 support categories that sit under the three support purposes. Lost? Here’s the breakdown of what that looks like:

By knowing these categories, it makes things easier to find in the NDIS Price Guide.


A core support is an activity that helps you in your everyday life. The biggest thing to remember with your core budget is that the funding is flexible across the four support categories.

Support category (plan budgets) Outcomes framework domain
1. Assistance with daily life  Daily living
 2. Transport  Daily living
3. Consumables  Daily living
4. Assistance with social and community participation  Social and community participation


A capital support provides funding for equipment, home or vehicle modifications. The NDIS are very specific in what this funding can be used for. Capital funding is not flexible and must be used for what it is allocated for.

Support category (plan budgets) Outcomes framework domain
5. Assistive technology Daily living
6. Home Home

Capacity building

Think of capacity building as an activity that helps you learn new skills. This includes things like living independently, finding a job, or getting help with your NDIS plan.

Capacity building funding is flexible, but can only be used for services in the support category.

Support category (plan budgets) Outcomes framework domain
7. Coordination of supports Choice and control
8. Improved living arrangements Home
9. Increased social and community participation Social and community participation
10. Finding and keeping a job Work
11. Improved relationships Relationships
12. Improved health and wellbeing Health and wellbeing
13. Improved learning Lifelong learning
14. Improved life choices Choice and control
15. Improved daily living skills Daily living


If you’re lost, make sure to ask for help.

If you have Support Coordination in your plan, your Support Coordinator will know these funding categories inside and out and will be able to give you individualised advice on how you can make the most of your NDIS plan.

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