The Complete Guide to SIL NDIS (+ FAQ’s)
The aim of Supported Independent Living funding with the NDIS is to empower people with disabilities to live as independently as possible and actively participate in all aspects of life. This approach not only enhances your quality of life but also contributes to a sense of dignity, self-worth and overall well-being.
If you’re applying for Supported Independent Living funding through the NDIS you’ll need to produce a comprehensive plan outlining your support and housing needs with the help of your Plan Manager. Your plan will then be assessed by the NDIS to ensure it meets all criteria before funding is allocated.
At Maple, our aim is to help you with this complex process and ensure you have all the valuable information and guidance to help you to make informed decisions about accessing SIL support. This guide covers eligibility criteria, the process of accessing SIL support, the types of services and accommodations offered, and how SIL promotes independence and community inclusion.
What is SIL?
Supported Independent Living, also known by the acronym SIL among the disability community, is a form of funding offered by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). If you are not familiar with SIL it is a support that encompasses the assistance with and/or supervision of daily tasks to help you live as independently as possible, while you build up your skills.
When you receive SIL funding from the NDIS, a support worker can help you with everyday tasks such as personal care, meal preparation, household tasks, shopping, recreational activities, attending medical appointments and more.
What is SIL in disability?
Supported Independent Living is not solely about the support worker popping round to complete your tasks for you, it is designed to provide people living with disabilities the autonomy to move out of their codependent home and learn to live a more independent lifestyle.
This type of support typically takes place at home, whether you are in your own home or one you share with other NDIS participants. A team of round the clock in-house staff can help you and work with you to discover techniques to build everyday skills yourself so that you can learn to live more independently.
If you need support while living with people who are not NDIS participants then another form of support might be better for you, such as assistive technology, home modifications, personal care supports or individualised living options.
Who is eligible for SIL?
If you are 18 years or older, an Australian citizen, have high support needs and require a significant amount of support throughout the day, you are most likely to be eligible for SIL funding. Of course, each individual’s needs are completely unique, which is why the NDIA needs to assess every single application thoroughly to make sure you receive the best support possible.
When you apply for SIL funding, everyone involved will consider the following:
- Your individual circumstances and needs
- Your goals and preferences
- Your independence, living skills and capacity-building skills
- Whether you could benefit from modifications to your home or assistive technology
- Whether you require significant one-on-one support
- Any other living options that might be better suited to your needs
- What is value for money
You can work with an allied health professional such as your Occupational Therapist to develop the information needed to determine whether SIL is the best support for you. Supported Independent Living is only one of many support options and different options will suit different people.
How does SIL funding work?
When you become an NDIS participant you will go through a planning process with your NDIS planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC). Before your official planning meeting, where you will identify your goals, you should start to think about the types of support you would highly benefit from.
During the planning meeting you and your planner will determine what supports are best suited to your situation and whether SIL is something that is reasonable and necessary to help you to work towards your goals. If it is decided that SIL would be the best support for you, then your provider will develop a Roster of Care; this includes the number of hours and support workers that you and your housemates will require.
The roster of care is then submitted and assessed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). If it all looks good and the NDIA accepts and approves your roster of care, then your SIL provider can claim the necessary funds from the NDIS to deliver the supports you need.
What is an SIL provider?
Just like Maple, a Supported Independent Living provider is a professional organisation that specialises in providing the supports you need to live an independent life in collaboration with the NDIS. If you and your NDIS planner decide that SIL is the right fit for you, you can work with your Support Coordinator to find a suitable SIL provider.
You should discuss your goals for your potential living arrangements with a range of different providers. There are many different SIL providers across Australia and it’s important that you find the one that will help you to reach your goals in the best possible way.
Maple Community Services is a family-owned and operated business that delivers support nationwide. We are a team of highly experienced experts from all walks of life, who are here to provide you with all the support you need, no matter your limitations or abilities. We’d love the opportunity to discuss your housing and support needs.
How can individuals apply for SIL?
During your planning meeting with your LAC you will work together to determine whether SIL funding is a right fit for you. Once you have found your SIL provider, you will then work with them to make a Roster of Care. This document is an Excel spreadsheet developed by the NDIA that helps to identify the support needs of you and your housemates and the support ratio of workers to participants.
If you and your provider are happy with the Roster of Care it is then submitted to the NDIA for evaluation. The NDIS will then consider what reasonable and necessary support funding is appropriate for you based on the Roster of Care. As the Roster of Care needs to take into account the needs of your housemates as well, sometimes some adjustments need to be made. Once the Roster of Care is fully agreed, SIL funding is released to your plan.
How does SIL support individuals with disabilities?
Supported Independent Living aims to empower individuals living with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives within your communities. While receiving the necessary assistance to meet your unique needs, we want to help you build skills, make choices about your daily activities and actively participate within society.
The NDIS has outlined a criteria that all NDIS funding must meet before it is allocated to participants. Some of that criteria includes:
- The support must help you to work towards your personal goals outlined in your plan.
- The support must assist you to reduce the barriers you face when participating in the social and economic activities of your choice.
- The support must be proven to be effective and beneficial to you through evidence of similar circumstances.
- The support must take into account what is reasonable to expect of families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide.
This means that the whole basis of the funding is centred around promoting autonomy and independence for people living with disabilities.
What types of services and accommodations are covered under SIL?
Supported Independent Living funding can go towards any of the following providing it meets the NDIS criteria. You can find the Supported Independent Living Guidelines on the NDIS website. SIL funding can help with:
- personal care
- building skills such as meal preparation, cooking, cleaning, and developing a routine
- developing social skills
- behavioural support plans
- Supervision, personal safety and security while in your own home or out in the community
- Accompaniment for medical appointments
- managing medications
- Community access that is not routine or regular such as completing personal tasks
- Accessing the community such as therapy sessions or visiting family and friends
However, SIL funding doesn’t include day-to-day living costs such as:
- Rent and lodging
- Utility costs such as gas, electricity, water, telephone or internet bills
- Vehicle expenses
- Household budgeting
- Travel costs for holidays etc.
It also doesn’t support you while in any medical facility or receiving health services such as hospital visits or palliative care as this is covered by the health system. The same applies if you are in custody or serving jail time, the justice system will be responsible for those supports.
You can download the Supported Independent Living Information Pack from the NDIS website to learn more about what SIL is and how to access the funding. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts at Maple Services to find out more about us as providers and how we can help you access funding.