NDIS and Medicare therapy

Functional Capacity Assessments & Reports

Functional Capacity Assessments & Reports, and Other Assessments by H-L Therapy

Assessments & Reports

Nirma writing therapy reports at H-L Therapy


H-L Therapy provides functional capacity assessments and reports, biopsychosocial assessments, risk assessments, and mental health assessments by accredited and mental health-accredited social workers. The H-L Therapy social workers who provide clinical assessment services are experienced and trained in conducting a range of discipline-specific, interdisciplinary, and mental health assessments, whilst using up-to-date, evidence-based assessment instruments. 

The assessments provided by H-L Therapy include:

Holistic Functional Capacity Assessments 

Social Workers are considered by NDIS as one of the most appropriate treating allied health professionals to conduct functional assessments and provide the standardised assessments that are considered the best practice in evidence. Social workers are specially named by NDIS in relation to people with psychosocial and ‘other’ disabilities.  

Our clinical social work assessors have extensive experience, knowledge, and skills in conducting functional capacity assessments.  They have been trained in a wide range of assessment instruments, mental health, and discipline-specific tools and the NDIS principles of ‘reasonable and necessary’ for cross-validating their assessment results to ensure the evidence base and validity of their recommendations tor NDIS.  

Our Functional Capacity Assessments are offered for:

  • Adults with mental health presentations who would like to access NDIS and look for evidence to support their NDIS application.
  • Adult NDIS participants with psychosocial disabilities,
  • Adult NDIS participants with other disabilities who struggle with emotional wellbeing, interpersonal relationships, and community participation.

When is Functional Capacity Assessment required?

Functional Capacity Assessments may be useful when a person is applying for NDIS and requires to provide evidence of the functional impact of disability in order to access National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Many NDIS participants also require Functional Capacity Assessment when it is requested by NDIS in support of their standards reviews, reviews of circumstances or during the time of life transitions. For example, when embarking on changes in housing or care arrangements.  The participants are also often asked to undertake a Functional Capacity Assessment when there is a concern that their challenges are not sufficiently addressed or when there is a need to verify the complexity of the situation so that funding can be increased.

I thought that only occupational therapists can complete functional capacity assessments?

Occupational Therapy is the best known profession that can offer functional capacity assessments, but they are not the only profession with the skills and expertise in this area. Other professionals, named by NDIS as preferred providers of functional capacity assessments include social workers, nurses, physiotherapists, audiologists, psychologists and a number of other professions.  

When is it useful to organise a functional capacity assessment by a social worker?

Social Workers are specialists in psychosocial and systemic complexities. People who experience them may benefit from having their situation assessed by a social worker rather than any other professional whose expertise lies primarily in physical and occupational function. 

Functional capacity assessments by H-L Therapy social workers document the full extent of the complex interplay between physical, psychosocial, cultural, environmental and systemic factors and their effect upon the functional capacity.  Examples of psychosocial and systemic complexities, in which social workers specialise, include trauma, grief and loss, behaviours of concern, challenges related to emotional regulation and community participation, complex interpersonal factors (i.e., abandonment, abuse, neglect, domestic violence), cognitive capacity, decision making issues, housing related challenges and systemic factors such as prejudice, discrimination and systemic access issues.

How are social workers trained?

To be able to practice a social worker, one requires a minimum a bachelor level of qualifications and many social workers have also completed discipline specific post graduate qualification in social work. mental health or other related fields.  The standard training for the social work profession is regulated by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).  It is a high standard university training of a minimum 4 years full time,  The training provides an in depth knowledge in the area of psychology, sociology, communication studies, social economics, social policy, research, health, mental health, multidisciplinary and culturally affirming practice approaches as well as many other practical, clinical and theoretical approaches, which equip  social work practitioners to work in a wide range of practice settings such as disability, rehabilitation, health and mental health.  In addition to this, some social workers have also passed special credentialing with the AASW and become accredited mental health social workers who are Medicare Providers.  They are especially skilled in providing mental health counselling for people with mental illness and psychosocial disabilities. 

In the course of their employment many social workers conduct complex psychosocial and functional assessments in a wide range of practice settings, and many undergo specialised training in conducting functional capacity assessments and using functional capacity assessment tools relevant to NDIS.  

Do H-L Therapy social workers have training in conducting Functional Capacity Assessments for NDIS?

All social workers at H-L Therapy are specifically trained and skilled in conducting holistic strength based functional capacity assessments for NDIS.  Alicja, / the Principal Therapist at H-L Therapy who is an accredited mental health social worker has over 20 years of experience in conducting functional assessments across aged care and disability settings.  She is also the training provider in this area, teaching social workers and other professionals the skills of conducting functional capacity assessments for NDIS participants.

What is being assessed during the Functional Capacity Assessment?

The purpose of the functional assessment is to assess functional capacity, strengths, challenges, and risks across many different areas.  For example, physical health, mental health, decision-making capacity, motivation, emotional regulation, social interaction, community engagement, communication, daily activities, self-management, housing, finances, formal and informal networks, care arrangements, systemic and environmental issues, the impact of culture, spirituality and many others.

We extend our assessment beyond the physical health and daily living function to provide a holistic evaluation of the person within the context of their family and environment, as well as in relation to other psychological, social, spiritual, cultural, and systemic factors.  By assessing the situation from a holistic perspective we are able to demonstrate how psychosocial disability or else impacted emotional wellbeing can significantly affect the person’s function even in situations when there are minimal challenges in relation to physical health or function.

The Functional Capacity Assessment:  Cost and duration

The Functional Capacity Assessment are usually conducted over a period of 4 hours and may consist of 2-3 assessment appointments.  The Functional Capacity Reports take at least 15 -20 hours to complete as they are big documents of  20–35 pages on average. H-L Therapy charges are capped at 14 hours and any additional time spent on completing the full assessment is absorbed by our business.

Accordingly, the total cost for the Functional Capacity Assessment by H-L Therapy is $2716.

For privately paying clients, who would like to access NDIS but do not have the NDIS funding as yet, the payment in installments can be negotiated.  The full report would be released once the final installment is received.

Bio-psychosocial Assessments

Bio-psychological assessments include assessments of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors, personal strengths, and barriers to therapy. For example, some assessed factors may include medical and psychiatric history, diagnosis, substance use, type and effect of medication, ability to self-administer medication, mental health assessments and observations, personal history, family history, social connectivity in the community, individual goals, and steps to progress with the goals. The bio-psychosocial assessments often include a visual representation of family and systemic networks in the form of genograms and ecograms.

Mental Health Assessments 

Mental Health Assessments can be similar to biopsychosocial assessments but contain more detailed information describing the results of mental health status examination, and descriptions of how the mental health status is affecting the person’s everyday function in such domains as personal care, activities of daily living, general social interactions with others and within the community. In addition to this, Mental health assessments also highlight the risk to the person’s wellbeing and that of other people, and  recommendations on how to best mitigate these risks.


Any question about our services?

The person does not require to be a long-term H-L Therapy customer to book a specialised H-L Therapy assessment.

Our specialised functional, biopsychosocial and mental health assessments and reports are provided upon request. They are either stand-alone or in addition to two standard reports required within the duration of each NDIS plan.

The two standard reports that are usually completed by the H-L therapist during each NDIS Plan period summarise the person’s unique situation, his or her strengths, barriers, risks, and goals. They include:

Therapy Plan Reports 

Therapy Plan Reports are written within the first three weeks of the NDIS therapy program. This type of report summarises the issues and therapy modalities, goals, steps, and processes to measure goal progress

Therapy Review Reports 

Therapy Review Reports are being written in support of the NDIS plan reviews. They discuss the progress with goal achievement and recommendations for therapy needs to inform future NDIS funding.

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