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  • Writer's pictureDeb Banning

What is Functional Capacity or Reduced Functional Capacity?

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

What is Functional Capacity?

As Body Agility is a nationally registered NDIS Provider, we will take a look at this term from the perspective of the NDIS disability requirements.

Essentially, functional capacity is the ability to carry out tasks in a variety of everyday situations. If you experience difficulties with undertaking tasks, you may have 'reduced functional capacity.' If you are unable to effectively participate in or complete a task, you may have 'substantially reduced functional capacity.'

If you are seeking to receive NDIS funding, you will need to meet each of the following disability requirements:

  1. have a disability from an intellectual, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairments or to one or more impairments attributable to a psychiatric condition

  2. the impairment(s) are, or are likely to be, permanent

  3. you are likely to require support under the NDIS for your lifetime

  4. your impairment(s) affect your capacity for social or economic participation

  5. the impairment(s) result in 'substantially reduced functional capacity' to undertake, or psychosocial functioning in undertaking, one or more of the following 'life skill areas:'

    • communication

    • social interaction

    • learning

    • mobility

    • self-care

    • self-management.

If you have permanent condition on the NDIS 'List A Medical Conditions,' you are likely to meet the NDIS disability requirements with regard to your functional capacity.

If you have permanent condition on the NDIS 'List B Medical Conditions,' your functional capacity is considered variable and further assessment of your functional capacity is generally required. Body Agility can assist you with this - please read on. :-)

What is Substantially Reduced Functional Capacity?

If you have a disability, you may have 'reduced functional capacity' if you can't:

  • Participate in activities or tasks without the support of assistive technology / assistive equipment (other than commonly used items) or home modifications; or

  • Participate in activities or tasks without the assistance of another person; or

  • Participate in activities or tasks even with assistive technology, assistive equipment, home modifications and/or assistance from another person(s).

The NDIA Requirements for Substantially Reduced Functional Capacity

The NDIA determines the difference between reduced and substantially reduced functional capacity by focusing on everyday functioning within the six specific life skill areas listed above.

The NDIA recognises that people will usually have both functional strengths and weaknesses. It isn't necessary to have substantially reduced functional capacity in all six areas. You only need to have substantially reduced capacity in one of the life skill areas. The NDIA considers what a person can and also what they cannot do within each life skill area.

A person is likely to have 'substantially reduced functional capacity,' if they are usually unable to function without support for most activities, within at least one of the six life skill areas. Source: NDIA

How To Get A Functional Capacity Assessment

Body Agility can provide rapid and high quality Functional Capacity Assessments (FCAs) and General Assistive Technology Recommendation Reports (GATs) for prospective and existing NDIS Participants. Our FCAs have been audited and have been found to be of the highest quality and standard.

Our FCAs are also rapid. We provide our quality assured Functional Capacity Assessment Reports within 14 days of your assessment appointment. Additionally, we have no wait times for your assessment appointment due to our unique operating model.

At Body Agility, our Therapists are highly qualified and experienced in assisting people of all ages who have physical, sensory, or cognitive problems, to maximise their functional capacity, independence and wellbeing for daily living.

We can work with you to help you to:

  • Develop fine motor skills (ie: effectively grasp and release items, writing, playing, etc)

  • Improve cognitive skills, problem solving and memory / attention span

  • Improve hand - eye coordination (ie: playing games, driving safely, etc)

  • Master life skills such as bathing, getting dressed, drinking, brushing teeth, cooking and feeding yourself.

  • Improve sensory processing and visual perception.

We can also:

  • Recommend equipment and assistive technology to improve daily living, capacity building and independence (ie: wheelchairs, 4-wheel walkers, splints, bathing / showering equipment, ramps, hand-rails, dressing devices, communication aids etc).

  • Recommend home modifications to improve daily living, capacity building and independence and increased mobility in and around your home.

  • Provide assessments and interventions covering areas such as mobility and gait analysis, functional task analysis, falls risk assessments, manual transfer plans and manual task risk assessments, general musculoskeletal and neurological assessments, exercise programs, coordination / balance assessments, postural and seating assessments (for assistive technology prescription) and much more.

Body Agility Can Help You

Body Agility are nationally registered NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) providers of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, exercise physiology, therapy assistance and personal training. Experience the Body Agility difference and experience exceptional care and customer service. We take the time to understand your NDIS Goals, to fully understand your condition, and to create a tailored Treatment Plan to help you achieve your goals.

What are YOUR goals? We can help. Contact us now, we have capacity to provide services to you immediately, right across the broader Perth region with home visits, or at one of our clinics / gyms or studio - or via video consultation (telehealth). We'd be delighted to hear from you.


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