How we identify and describe a support

Step 1: How do we identify and describe a support in your plan?

The first step in deciding what reasonable and necessary supports we can fund is to properly identify and describe the support.  This is an important step. We need to be clear on exactly what support we’re considering, before we can decide if the support meets the NDIS funding criteria in Step 2.

When we assess your support needs and identify what supports to consider in your plan, we use:

  • the information you give us at your planning meeting
  • any assessments or other information we have
  • the Typical Support Package for people aged 7 years and older.

We identify a support as the service, item or equipment you need to help with your disability support needs. We think about:

  • what the outcome of the support will be
  • how the support helps with your disability
  • whether the support meets the NDIS funding criteria.

How do we describe supports?

We can describe the supports in your plan as one of the following:

  • Flexible: Under the law for the NDIS, this is when we describe the support generally. You have greater flexibility over what disability supports you can buy within the description of the support. 
  • Fixed: Under the law for the NDIS, this is when we describe the support specifically. It means you must buy the support in the way we have described in your plan.  We sometimes call this a ‘stated support’. 

You must act according to your plan, and buy supports according to how we described them in your plan. This means you can’t use the funding in your plan to buy supports that fall outside the description of the support in your plan. 

So if we describe the support as fixed, you must comply with how we describe it. This includes how the support is provided. For example, we will sometimes require the support to be provided:

  • by a particular service provider
  • by a particular qualified person
  • through a particular delivery mode or method, or in a special way.

We describe most supports as flexible when we can. When supports are described as flexible, you will have greater flexibility over the support you can buy that falls within the description of the support in the plan. When supports are described as fixed, you will have less flexibility.

We divide your supports into 3 different budgets:

  • Core Supports – supports for everyday activities
  • Capacity Building Supports – supports to help you build your skills and increase your independence
  • Capital Supports – supports such as assistive technology, vehicle modifications, home modifications and Specialist Disability Accommodation.

Each budget is divided into a number of support categories. Support categories have more detail about what supports you can buy with your funding. When we describe your supports as flexible, you can usually choose what supports you buy within the descriptions for each support category .

Your Core Supports budget is the most flexible. You can usually use your funding across all the support categories except transport in the Core Supports budget if:

  • we described the supports as flexible
  • you have the same plan management options for your Core Supports.

Learn more about the support budgets and support categories in your plan .

When we decide whether to describe supports as fixed or flexible, we consider:

  • how much the support costs 
  • if the support will help reduce the cost of supports over time,  for example providing more supports early so you don’t need as many supports later in life
  • any risks with supplying the support, for example if the support would create risks to your health and safety or if it doesn’t comply with state or territory laws 
  • if you need a particular support to pursue your goals or to use other supports in your plan effectively 
  • if you need a specialist support, for example if your support must be delivered by a qualified person, or in a special way 
  • if you were eligible for the NDIS under the early intervention criteria. 
This page current as of
20 April 2021
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