What Is Supported Independent Living (SIL)?

Asha Neil

Written on 3 October, 2022
The supported independent living fund doesn't just enable people with disability to live independently. It also helps them become active members of the community and achieve a good quality of life.

Supported independent living (SIL) aids National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, overseen by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), in their quest for independence.

Keep reading as we delve into SIL: who qualifies, how the funding can be utilised, and strategies for disability providers to tackle its inherent challenges.

What Is SIL? 

Supported independent living (SIL) aids NDIS participants with very high support needs in their quest for independence. Many SIL recipients require constant, 24-hour assistance, while others need only regular daily support.

SIL is more than assistance; it's a transformative journey towards empowerment and autonomy.

What Is the Goal of SIL NDIS Funding? 

SIL funding is designed to help NDIS participants live independently.

However, the NDIA also considers whether SIL funding will assist a participant in:

  • Pursuing their goals

  • maintaining or improving their functional capacity

  • reducing the amount of person-to-person support needed

  • and improving or facilitating their ongoing community engagement.

In other words, SIL funding must help a participant not only with independent living but also in being an active and empowered member of the community. It should also play a role in minimising the overall amount of supports they require.

While SIL isn't designed to ensure participants remain in their permanent homes, the NDIA takes their preferences into account.

Which Supports Are Included in SIL?

SIL funding is provided to help participants with personal care and daily life. For example, it could be used for:

  • Assistance with household tasks

  • Dressing and personal hygiene

  • Menu planning and cooking

  • Daily tasks such as cleaning

  • Transport, e.g. for going to a healthcare appointment, work or social event

  • Training to develop essential skills

  • Overnight support

SIL funding cannot, however, be used to pay for day-to-day expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, bills and groceries. Nor can it be used for home modifications.

How SIL Fits into NDIS Plans

SIL, distinct from core and capacity-building supports in NDIS plans, cannot overlap in funding; it's funded exclusively through a designated SIL budget, not the participant's core support funds.

SIL providers draft a proposed care roster, outlining SIL services tailored to each participant's specific needs, including standard, high intensity, overnight, and irregular support.

The NDIA reviews and approves this roster, subsequently allocating the necessary funds to the participant’s NDIS plan.

In addition to SIL funding, recipients also get funding for support coordination. This ensures the participant’s satisfaction with their care roster and overall SIL service.

Dive deeper into SIL funding intricacies by exploring our detailed guide.

Who Can Receive SIL? 

The NDIA evaluates several criteria before approving SIL for an NDIS participant: potential to achieve SIL goals, cost-effectiveness, participant preferences, and possible alternatives.

For instance, the NDIA may opt for home modifications or assistive technology—covered under specialist disability accommodation funding—if these are deemed as effective as SIL.

In some cases, the NDIA might choose to fund both specialist disability accommodation and SIL, tailoring support to the participant’s unique needs.

In essence, SIL adapts to each participant, symbolizing the NDIA's commitment to personalized, effective support.

Simplifying NDIS & SIL Funds Management for SIL Providers

The services funded by supported independent living significantly impact the daily lives of people with disabilities. 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 simplifies this.

The ShiftCare scheduler enables assigning specific tasks and NDIS participants to support workers' rosters efficiently. This ensures effortless tracking of hourly claims and spending. Our real-time spending monitor tracks your funds meticulously. Stay informed about both regular and irregular support funds with ease.

Try ShiftCare for free and transform how you manage disability services.

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