Supported Independent Living (SIL) Funding Explained

Asha Neil

Written on 3 October, 2022
The supported independent living fund empowers people with disability to live independently in their own homes. Applying for and claiming funding, however, can be a complex process.

What Is NDIS Supported Independent Living (SIL)?

The supported independent living fund is designed for NDIS participants with very high support needs. It is used to help them with independent living in their own home, by providing supports for:

  • Personal care

  • Household tasks

  • Public transport, e.g. for assisting medical appointments

  • Daily tasks and activities

  • Facilitating a continuing connection with the community, family members and employment and/or studies

SIL cannot, however, be used to pay for rent or other daily living costs.

SIL, SDA and Core Support: Three Very Different Funds

SIL is not considered part of a participant's core supports, even though many of the services overlap. As such, it cannot be funded through the core supports budget. It can only be provided where it is part of the participant's NDIS plan.

SIL is also often confused with specialist disability accommodation (SDA). This is when funding is provided for housing modifications and assistive technology. It's possible to receive SDA alongside SIL funding or instead of it.

Our detailed guide to supported independent living explains more of the goals of SIL funding. In a nutshell, however, it enables an NDIS participants to live independently, participate in the community and work towards their goals.

NDIS SIL Eligibility: The Path to Achieving SIL Funding

Participants need to work with SIL providers and an NDIA planner to apply for SIL funding. There are several stages to the process.

1. Planning Meeting

The aim of the planning meeting is to decide whether the participant should apply for supported independent living. This doesn't mean the participant will definitely receive SIL funding, however. That decision will be made later on by the NDIA.

The planner and the participant will discuss:

  • The participant's circumstances, needs, age, goals and preferences

  • Their independence and living skills

  • The person-to-person supports the participant needs

  • Alternative home and living options, including SDA

  • Which housing options would represent value for money

2. Selecting an SIL Provider

If the planner and participant agree that supported independent living is the best option, the participant will then search for an SIL provider to work with. A support coordinator can help the participant connect with their provider.

3. Roster of Care

The SIL provider will create a roster of care based on the support services the participant will need. To do this, they must create a roster that splits each day of the week into 30-minute segments. They will then determine what support the participant (and any SIL-eligible housemates) will need in their daily life during each segment.

The participant needs to confirm that they're happy with the roster of care before the application can proceed.

4. The National Disability Insurance Agency's Decision

Finally, the provider will submit the roster of care to the NDIA, who will consider the application. Once it's been approved and the funding level has been confirmed, the participant's NDIS plan will be updated.

What Factors Affect a Participant’s SIL Quote & NDIS Funding Level?

The NDIA will allocate funding that corresponds with the amount of support it believes the participant needs. It reaches this decision based on the submitted roster of care and any evidence provided by medical professionals.

The roster of care can include:

  • Standard supports

  • High intensity supports, i.e. supports in which the participant's complex needs mean they require assistance from a support worker with additional qualifications

  • Overnight supports, which can be split into sleepovers (up to two hours) and active overnights

  • Irregular supports for unplanned situations, e.g. participant illness or cancelled plans

  • Programs of support

The NDIS price guide lays out how much providers can charge for each of these services. These prices will also determine the SIL quote allocated by the NDIA.

When announcing how much funding a participant will receive, the NDIA splits it into four categories:

  1. The annual fund for the regular SIL plan 

  2. The annual SIL fund for irregular SIL supports 

  3. The total value for the SIL plan

  4. The estimated fund for weekly SIL supports (excluding irregular support)

How Can Supported Independent Living Providers Claim for Services?

Providers can submit either weekly or hourly claims for regular SIL service delivery. Irregular SIL support, however, has a separate claims process. All of these are done via PRODA.

Weekly claims are the simplest option, although they require having a well planned-out service agreement that details the typical weekly schedule of services. When claiming weekly, you can simply claim for the same amount every week.

With hourly claims, meanwhile, you need to claim for each hour of service provided. Since most SIL recipients live in shared accommodation, you’ll have to carefully track which client receives support at every moment.

Simplifying NDIS & SIL Funds Management for SIL Providers

The services funded by supported independent living make an enormous difference to the daily life of people with disability. They create a supportive environment for participants to live in the accommodation of their choice, actively participate in the local community and build the life they want.

At ShiftCare, we know that applying for and claiming SIL funding can be a drawn-out process. Our NDIS management software is designed to simplify this by helping you track funds usage and quickly file claims.

With our scheduler, you can assign multiple NDIS participants and tasks to a support worker's roster. As a result, you'll easily be able to track spending for hourly claims. Plus, our NDIS funds management feature will monitor spending in real-time, so you can stay on top of regular and irregular support funds alike.

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