Keen to get out and about, learn new skills and participate more in your community? The great news is, the NDIS can help by providing funding under the support category, ‘Assistance with Social and Community Participation
What is Assistance with Social and Community Participation?
Assistance with Social and Community Participation (Support Category 4) is a funded support category you may find in your NDIS plan, under Core Supports.
It’s how the NDIS categorises supports that help you become more active in the community. Sound pretty broad? That’s because it is! This means there are lots of activities this category can fund, so long as they are considered to be reasonable and necessary and relate to your NDIS goals. Assistance with Social and Community Participation covers things like a support worker accompanying you to a concert, you taking up a sport, joining a social club, or even learning a new hobby. Basically, anything that helps you become more involved in your community. And because it’s a Core support, it’s flexible, so you have the added option to pay for supports and activities from either Assistance with Daily Living (Category 1) or Consumables (Category 3) in your plan.
What sort of activities can you do?
Assistance with Social and Community Participation covers a bunch of activities. This is great as you get so much freedom over your supports, but it can also make it hard to know where to begin. Here are just some ideas for what’s possible:
- Taking up tango dance classes
- Making ball buddies at your local soccer club
- Embracing your inner artist with painting or pottery classes
- Rocking out at a concert with your support worker
- Taking in some fresh country air at a camp with fellow peers
- Frying up a feast with friends at cooking classes
“I’ve learnt you can do so much more with your NDIS funds than you might think. I’ve taken up cooking classes and yoga and have developed new skills and made new friends. There’s lots of community participation activities available, so find something that interests you and go for it!”
Sylvia – Customer Admin Officer and NDIS participant
Your social and community goals
While there are many out of the box things you can pay for with this funding, they need to relate to the goals in your NDIS plan. So, if one of your goals is to build your social skills, all of the examples above are relative – provided the classes you attend are in a group setting. This creates an opportunity for you to make friends and develop important connections. It’s useful to keep broad goals that can apply to lots of activities to increase your options and explore new things!
How are these supports funded?
- Assistance with Social and Community Participation is a Core support (Support Category 4). Because Core support budgets are flexible, you don’t need specific funding to access it – you can use any Core budget that’s included in your plan.
- Increased Social and Community Participation (Support Category 9), which is geared to help you increase your skills within social and recreation activities, such as coaching or camps. This is a Capacity Building support, so you can only spend it on these specific types of activities. But if you want to become more active in the community and specialise in an activity, consider using funds from Increased Social and Community Participation in your plan. This way, you can use funds from your Capacity Building budget without using up all of your Core budget.
Getting more choice with plan management
Many of the providers that offer classes, courses and activities that can be covered by Assistance with Social and Community Participation are not NDIS registered. The benefit of you having us as your plan manager is you gain access to these unregistered providers (as well as registered providers), opening up the pool of providers you can choose from. This isn’t possible if the National Disability Insurance Agency manages your funding. We can also help you understand what’s possible with your funding, so feel free to reach out for ideas on how to use your budgets.