NDIS Supported Independent Living (SIL) Guide

As part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), participants can take advantage of supported independent living (SIL) services.

This can be a valuable resource for anyone focused on having the ability to live independently. Take a look at what supported independent living entails!

What is Supported Independent Living (SIL)?

Supported independent living is a funding option that’s available through the NDIS. The goal of this funding is to provide tailored, strategic support to people with disabilities who wish to maintain as much independence as possible.

Supported living focuses on single or shared living arrangements that ensure that participants have access to the care and support they need around the clock after moving out of a “family” home.

Here’s a look at some of the questions that must be asked when investigating SIL as a potential option:

  • What are the participant’s goals in terms of living arrangements?
  • How much daily support is needed for a participant to be able to live an independent life?
  • Are there alternative support options worth exploring that may be better?
  • Will the participant require one-on-one support?
  • What types of support are already in place?
  • Will the support needed fit the NDIA’s criteria for reasonable and necessary funding?

The NDIS actually places support levels in three different tiers. People who fall into the “lower” needs category require basic supervision of their living arrangements.

People in the “standard” needs category require assistance and supervision for most daily tasks associated with living independently. This often extends to overnight support.

Lastly, those in the “higher” needs category require active support and intervention both during the day and through the night. Supported living funding is only available to people who are 18 and over.

What Kind of Support is Covered Under SIL Funding?

There is some confusion regarding exactly how this program works due to the fact that many people confuse supported independent living funding with housing funding provided through the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

SIL funding specifically has to do with the support needed to maintain independence in a home environment. While funding covers support related to hands-on help with daily tasks, it does not cover the actual “housing” details.

Support will not cover costs associated with rent, lodging, day-to-day living expenses, food or personal-care items.

Here’s a glance at some support services that are commonly covered:

  • Assistance with personal care, dressing, showering and grooming.
  • Assistance with cooking and meal preparation.
  • Assistance with cleaning.
  • Assistance with laundry.
  • Assistance with arranging public transportation for socializing and personal visits.
  • Assistance with grocery shopping.
  • Daily skills training.
  • Instruction on how to participate in household activities,
  • Instruction on how to participate in community activities.
  • Medication management.
  • Support for managing challenging behaviors.
  • Overnight and around-the-clock care.

The defining feature of all supported living services is that participants are entitled to access to support 24 hours per day!

This is what makes this funding program so effective for allowing participants to live genuinely independent lives safely and securely.

This feature allows family members of participants to enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their loved ones are never alone.

What are the Benefits of SIL?

For participants, the benefits living with support can change lives by allowing for safe, monitored independence. This is a very controlled, measured way for people to step outside of the homes they grew up in to enjoy a taste of living on their own.

Here are some of the perks of choosing this option:

  • A sense of independence.
  • Not having to feel like you are relying on family to do everything for you.
  • The ability to live in a supportive environment.
  • More community involvement.
  • An opportunity to learn new skills related to household and life management.
  • An opportunity to learn how to share and manage costs of living.

Ultimately, people who choose supported living feel like they have more control over life!

When choosing a group setting, NDIS participants get the benefit of sharing the cost of rent. This often means having more money left over for other support options!

For NDIS participants who require overnight support, having the ability to split funding costs between several participants instead of pulling from a single package can create very deep cost savings.

What is the Difference Between Supported Independent Living (SIL) and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)?

Some people assume these programs are interchangeable. They are actually two separate funding options that sometimes intersect. While SIL covers the funding for support services, SDA covers the accommodations where services are delivered.

We can clarify the differences by talking about what an SDA provider does versus what an SIL provider does. A supported independent living provider is responsible for supplying the hands-on support needed for daily tasks.

An SDA provider is tasked with providing and/or tending to the actual dwelling. In this way, an SDA provider acts like a property manager. Keep in mind that not every participant will qualify for SDA funding.

Where Can You Use Your Supported Independent Living Funding?

One of the best parts about supported independent living funding is that it allows participants to get the support they need using very flexible accommodations. You don’t need to be in a specific type of housing to be able to tap into covered support services.

Here’s a look at some common places where your funding may be used:

  • Your private rental.
  • A home that you own.
  • A special disability accommodation.
  • Housing provided by the Department of Housing.
  • A shared or group accommodation.

The impressive level of freedom provided when selecting where to use your funding is very representative of the overall intention of the NDIS.

The goal of funding for supported living is truly to allow participants to enjoy freedom while living their best, most fulfilling lives!

One of the overarching goals within the SIL program is putting participants on a path of constantly working toward becoming increasingly capable and independent.

SIL support workers do their work with the intention of helping their clients to build up essential life skills!

Finding Supported Independent Living Providers and Vacancies

Life-changing, independence-giving services are waiting for NDIS participants! If you’re looking for options for supported independent living, it’s essential to find SIL providers or vacancies to make this goal a reality!

A good first step is to find an NDIS Support Coordinator to help you work out your funding options to access SIL services. You can also browse vacancies on your own to find what looks like a good fit based on our goals.

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