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.

Keep reading as we break down who can receive supported independent living (SIL), what exactly the funding can be used for and how to overcome some of the challenges it presents for providers.

What Is SIL? 

Supported independent living helps NDIS participants who have very high support needs to live independently. Many SIL recipients need 24-hour assistance. Others, however, only require regular daily support to continue living independently.

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, i.e. their ability to actively participate in daily life with less support

  • Reduce the amount of person-to-person support they require

  • Improve, or at least facilitate, their continuing connection with the community, family members, health services, education and the workplace

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.

It's also important to remember that the purpose of SIL isn't to enable a participant to continue living in their permanent home. However, the NDIA will consider participants’ preferences.

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

Supported independent living is separate from core supports and capacity-building supports, even if the tasks and goals may at times overlap. As such, SIL cannot be funded through a participant's core supports budget. It can only be funded through the dedicated SIL budget.

The SIL provider is responsible for creating a proposed roster of care that plans out the SIL service delivery based on the amount and type of support the participant needs. In addition to standard support, the roster of care can include high intensity, overnight and irregular support.

The NDIA will then approve the roster of care and allocate an appropriate amount of funding to the participant's NDIS plan.

Recipients of SIL funding will also receive separate funding for support coordination. The support coordinator will make sure the participant is happy with their roster of care and SIL service delivery. 

For further information about SIL funding, read our detailed guide.

Who Can Receive SIL? 

The NDIA will consider several things before approving supported independent living for an NDIS participant. These include how likely the initiative is to meet the goals of SIL as listed above, in addition to value for money, the preferences of the participant and potential alternative options.

For example, if the NDIA believed that home modifications and assistive technology could achieve the same impact as supported independent living, they could fund that instead. These modifications fall under specialist disability accommodation funding. 

Alternatively, the NDIA might decide to fund both specialist disability accommodation and supported independent living.

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