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Functional Assessments

Why do you need a functional assessment?  

A functional assessment is a comprehensive review of your abilities and needs in order to establish how your condition is impacting your ability to engage meaningfully in your life, including the ability to perform your daily activities. 

Functional assessments are used to guide therapeutic and supportive intervention goals, to ensure that you can be as independent as possible. Some instances where a functional assessment may be useful include:

  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Centrelink applications for Disability Support Pension
  • Applications for Total Permanent Disability Insurance
  • Individualised Education Programs (IEPs)

More about the NDIS

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was created to provide funding for supports and services to those with permanent and significant disability. It provides the opportunity to achieve goals of increased participation, improved capacity and greater independence. The NDIS is currently in the process of being rolled-out across Western Australia. However, a diagnosis of a disability or chronic condition alone is not necessarily enough to be accepted into the scheme.

Acceptance for the NDIS is based on how your condition or disability affects your daily living and participation both at home and in the community. Occupational therapists can provide functional assessments, which form part of an NDIS application and can assist with planning for funding allocation. A functional assessment and report from an occupational therapist can help to demonstrate how your disability/condition affects you daily. Some of these may include;

  • Daily living activities (showering, dressing, grooming, eating)
  • Mobility (getting around your home and the community safely)
  • Cognition (memory skills, thinking and planning abilities)
  • Life activities (home maintenance, budgeting, shopping, transport)
  • Participation in community activities

NDIS participants may also benefit from occupational therapy sessions in the clinic, home, work, school and community environments for participants under the NDIS. These therapy sessions may include intervention, retraining and task adaptation to work towards capacity building and engagement in activities of daily living to achieve your goals. Occupational Therapists can also provide advice regarding the prescription of assistive technology, equipment and aids such as; impairment, seating and positioning aids, recreational aids, and home/workplace modifications.

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