Supported Independent Living helps NDIS participants with high care needs to get the support they need.
Cooking for yourself, taking a bath, and tasks as simple as dressing are things not everyone can manage.
Supported Independent Living
SIL is a support provided by NDIS that promotes independence to your day-to-day life. If you have high support needs, this will help you build your skills so you can live independently in the comfort of your own home.
And if you’re in Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), you already have access to Supported Independent Living.
With Supported Independent Living, support workers are available 24/7, depending on what tasks and the level of assistance you need.
For instance, a support worker can help cook your breakfast. Another can come in the afternoon to help you get dressed for a stroll, and overnight support is also available.
Read more: How to Find a Disability Support Worker
If you require assistance during most of the day, SIL is the best support for you. However, the NDIS funding does not include payment for your groceries and rent.
Living with Roommates
What’s more exciting is the fact that you’ll be living with roommates (but the services will still be funded individually).
Apart from yourself, you’ll live with one to six other NDIS participants in shared accommodation. Of course, everything will be taken into consideration by your NDIS planners or Local Area Coordinators (LACs), so that all of you can work on your common goal — to live independently.
You can still apply for SIL even if you live with your family, but other supports may suit you better.
How to Apply for SIL Funding
When you get your NDIS funding, you will have a meeting with an NDIS planner or an LAC. Here, they will assess what type of support you need based on your goals, level of independence, age, what daily tasks you need assistance with, and if you need SIL supports.
SIL funding is normally given to participants with medium to very high support needs. If you get SIL funding, you’ll most likely receive funding for a support coordinator, too.
How a Support Coordinator Can Help
Support Coordination maximises your plan, helps you engage with the community, and connects you with NDIS accredited supports and carers. They can also connect you with informal supports. As long as it builds your skills for independent living, our support coordinators are there to help you with it.
They are also great at assisting you when applying for SIL funding too. Based on your needs, they connect you to the appropriate SIL Provider, ask for the right amount for services, or find other community services and groups that can help you best with living independently.
Applying for Supported Independent Living can be quite tricky. It’s best to have someone help you along the way.
Once you find an SIL provider, they will help you with other requirements to get Supported Independent Living Funding.
These supports come in different forms. They could be housing managed by an SIL provider or people who visit to assist with your personal tasks, such as budgeting, community involvement, public transportation to medical appointments, or grocery shopping.
Once you have chosen an SIL provider, they will prepare a Roster of Care (RoC) and Service Agreement for you.
Roster of Care
This document is prepared by SIL providers which serves as a proposal to the National Disability Insurance Agency for your SIL funding.
It divides a week into 30-minute blocks and indicates the support you need at a given time with the corresponding budget your NDIS plan should pay for.
Your provider will make sure that you are happy with your roster, you receive the right support, and the document is adaptable once your needs change.
Your Roster of Care will then be submitted for SIL funding approval.
Once your SIL funding is approved, a Service Agreement will be made between you and your provider. This will include the supports you need, how your provider will provide them, the cost of their services, and the duration of support.
Where to Find Them
Your support coordinator will help you find the SIL provider that will give you the most supportive home environment. But if you do not have the budget for support coordination, you can still search for SIL providers online.
Other Housing Options for You
If Supported Independent Living supports are not for you, there are other home and living supports the NDIS can pay for.
If you cannot move around or safely access your own permanent home because of your disability, then home modifications may be for you. These include certain renovations, installation of assistive technology, or other modifications that can help you be independent.
Individualised Living Options (ILO)
ILO allows you to choose your ideal shared living environment — either with family, friends, or hosts. Based on your choice, the NDIS will design a package that allows you to have all the support you need.
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)
Specialist disability accommodation covers a range of housing options for participants with extreme functional impairment. This funding encourages the market to design houses where people with these conditions can still live independently.
Conclusion: Is Supported Independent Living Right for You?
If you need a high level of day-to-day support, then living in Specialist Disability Accommodation may be right for you. If that’s the case, you should apply for Supported Independent Living.
Daniel G. Taylor is a mental health speaker. Daniel teaches people affected by mental health personal development principles so they can reach their goals and achieve their potential. He lives with bipolar disorder and has developed a lot of tools and strategies for staying well long term. He’s the author of “Staying Sane: How to Master Bipolar Disorder for Life” and a contributor to “Mastering Bipolar Disorder: An Insider’s Guide to Managing Mood Swings and Finding Balance” edited by Kerrie Eyers & Gordon Parker (Allen & Unwin, 2010).