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How the NDIS and Occupational Therapy can assist you

How the NDIS and Occupational Therapy can assist you.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy assists people in participating in the activities they find meaningful. An ‘occupation’ is the overarching term used to describe the everyday things we do in our life, and also describes who we are, and the different things we do in order to live and create a meaningful life in the community. For more details, Occupational Therapy Australia have a great video that explains different types of occupations here.

Why do people use Occupational Therapists?

Clients of all ages and abilities use Occupational Therapists (OTs) to improve independence, manage day to day tasks, and to achieve life goals. Occupational Therapy offers support related to performing numerous tasks, including showering, living at home independently, cooking, shopping, working, learning, hobbies, taking care of yourself or others, social events + more. Many clients and NDIS participants engage in Occupational Therapy because it assists them in achieving their goals in the tasks that have meaning and matter most to them.

To better enable participants to participate in occupations they find meaningful, OTs complete ongoing assessments to understand what activities participants can do, the activities they want to do, if they have any current limitations, the goals they want to accomplish, and provide advice on how they can do something more easily, and safely.

How can National 360 help you to access Occupational Therapy services for your client or loved one?

National 360 can help you or a loved one with our mobile Occupational Therapy services. Our teams of local OTs across Australia visit participants in their home, school, workplace or at other community locations to provide the support and care they need. In addition to providing services in the community, we also have clinics in selected locations if participants would prefer to come to us.

National 360 also help participants to access Occupational Therapy by offering the service via Telehealth. Our effective Australia-wide telehealth model includes therapy sessions, assessments, development of treatment programs + more – All you need is a phone, computer, iPad/tablet, and our therapists can connect with you via simple platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Does the NDIS fund Occupational Therapy?

The NDIS provides people with disabilities individualised funding to support and improve their lives, and there are three different types of funding: Core Supports, Capital Supports, and Capacity Building Supports. Occupational Therapy services typically fall under Capacity Building Supports.

The main Capacity Building Support category that funds Occupational Therapy services in NDIS plans is the Improved Daily Living Category (Category 15). This category is for assessment, training, or therapy for participants to enhance their skills, community participation, and independence. This category can be used for not only Occupational Therapy, but other therapy services including Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, and Early Childhood Intervention – all services offered at National 360. In addition, Occupational Therapy is especially beneficial for this category of capacity building as OTs can provide reports for areas such as Assistive Technology and Home Modifications – both helpful for plan reviews.

To learn more about the supports and services funded by the NDIS, visit the NDIS website here.

Who is eligible for NDIS funding for services like Occupational Therapy?

To be eligible for NDIS funding, participants need to meet the below criteria:

  • Age requirements:
    • Aged between 7-65 years old
  • Residence requirements:
    • Australian citizen, permanent resident, or Protected Special Category Visa holder
    • Live in Australia
  • Disability requirements:
    • A disability caused by a permanent impairment
    • Usually need disability-specific supports to complete daily life activities
  • Early intervention requirements:
    • Need some supports now to reduce your future need for support
    • Need some support now for your family to build the skills to help you

For further information about NDIS funding eligibility, visit the NDIS website here.

What is a Functional Assessment and why do you need them?

Functional Assessments are an assessment that can be completed by an OT to determine a participant’s level of function, their strengths & weaknesses, and how they participate in their home or in the community on a daily basis. OTs use this information to identify where a participant may require additional support in order to achieve their goals. These assessments can be completed before you are a NDIS participant (for your first NDIS planning meeting), or once you have already received a NDIS plan.

After a Functional Assessment has been completed by an OT, they can then make recommendations on therapy goals and can also provide recommendations regarding Assistive Technology, Home Modifications, and other social and community participation goals. Additionally, in their Functional Assessment, an OT can make recommendations for other services that would be beneficial for a participant, such as Behaviour Support, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy and Support Co-ordination + more.

Functional Assessments can range in duration, and depending on the participants needs, an assessment could be completed in one to two session, or across multiple.

Once the Functional Assessment has been completed by an OT, they will create a lengthy report summarising the participants current functional abilities and include all their recommendations for support going forward. The Functional Assessment is then shared with the NDIA for consideration of ongoing NDIS support funding at your Plan Review Meeting.

Client Stories

Occupational Therapy and the NDIS - Client Story - Cath


Kirsty, one of our Occupational Therapists, made a huge impact on her client Cath’s life!

When Kirsty first met Cath in 2019, she had not left her bed, showered, or been outside her bedroom for over two years. This was due to severe contractures on her left side. With one leg fixed permanently in a bent knee position, and the other out straight. Cath’s nursing home staff couldn’t even raise her bedhead without causing nausea and pain.

Since working together with Kirsty, Cath has had her first bath and has gone outside for the first time. She is now working hard with National 360’s multi-disciplinary team to tolerate sitting upright, bending her left leg and is ready to use her wheelchair for community access!

Special mention to Cath for her hard work and dedication to achieve her goals, and to our Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology specialist, Jayden, for the ongoing mentoring and support to make such a big difference to Cath’s life!

Occupational Therapy and the NDIS - Client Story - Justin


When National 360 first met Justin at the end of 2021 he had some difficulties living independently in the community due to his mental health. Matthew, one of our fantastic Occupational Therapists, has been working with Justin on a number of his goals to be independent in his day-to-day life – one big goal he has was to cook a Stir Fry by himself!

As you can see, he achieved his goal! It has been amazing to see Justin grow in confidence and in his ability to engage in tasks that have meaning to him. Since then, Justin & Matthew have been working on a new set of goals. One of his new goals includes translating his new cooking skills to a variety of new meals.

Occupational Therapy an the NDIS - Client Story - Social Builder Group

Social Builder Groups

Our VIC South East and Northern Regional teams have fantastic Social Builder Groups running in their local clinics where participants not only build great LEGOs, but also build on their cognitive & social skills 😊

These clients meet weekly each term to take turns in the role to help build the LEGO. Throughout this process, they work on a variety of goals such as fine motor skills, social skills, core strength, how to resolve conflict and support each other when the frustrations increase to build their LEGO. Our participants have loved this group and has been a great way to meet other children their age and develop their skills while getting the most out of their funds.

Contact Us & Learn More

If you would like to learn more about our Occupational Therapy services, click here for more details, and for all our locations across Australia, click here.

If you would like to make an enquiry about Occupational Therapy services, fill out the form below, or call our Customer Service team on 1300 340 440.