Supported Independent Living is just one type of mental health support services to help you live autonomously as possible within your home. This type of assistance can be valuable for people who are over the age of 18 and require more support than what an informal support person could provide.
If you are eligible for the NDIS, you will likely be able to use your funding towards this service from an NDIS provider who can work with you to build your skills and to find assistance, such as a mental health support worker. This article will explain what Supported Independent Living (SIL) is and everything you need to know about this service.
What Is Supported Independent Living (SIL)?
Supported Independent Living is a service created by the NDIS in Australia to describe their funding supports that help people with disabilities to live independently. It is often utilised by multiple NDIS participants who live together, with the support provided to each individual to the level of assistance that’s right for them.
This includes 24-hour assistance or supervision with daily tasks. These activities include cooking meals, maintaining the home, personal care, accessing the community, etc.
Supported Independent Living funding can be used for the following:
- A private rental
- Your own home
- Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)
- A Department of Housing home
- Shared accommodation
What Are The Benefits Of SIL?
Whether you live on your own or in shared accommodation, it is important that you or your loved one feels confident and supported in your day-to-day life and can live your life on your terms. The benefits of SIL are an increased certainty in feeling safe and secure in your own home, improved housekeeping and life management skills, and that you can remain active in your community by maintaining friendships and regular contact with people and businesses.
Working with your Support Coordinator is important as you can share your goals with them and outline the type of lifestyle you wish to have and what living your best life means to you.
What Level Of Support Does SIL Provide?
Regarding supported accommodation, there are three levels of support available. If you live with other people in a supported living setting, their level of support will be assessed as well.
The three support levels that SIL provides are:
- Lower Needs. This is a level of supervision and support that is not provided 24/7 as the person has a higher level of mobility and autonomy.
- Standard Needs. This level of supervision is 24/7 support and can include assistance or supervision of most daily tasks and can include overnight sleepovers.
- Higher Needs. This level of supervision requires assistance for individuals who need help managing challenging behaviours. This could include the management of complex medical needs such as ventilation and active support 24/7, including overnight support.
How does Supported Independent Living Funding Work?
In your NDIS plan, you can have SIL included, which allows specified funding under the NDIS support category called Assistance with Daily Life. Whilst this is technically a Core support, you will have to check how much of your flexible Core budget you can use to access it. The amount of NDIS funding for SIL is determined by the level of support you need and is also calculated from the amount quoted from a SIL provider.
Working with a Support Coordinator is important as they will help you apply and secure the right level of SIL funding and are a great way to create your housing goals. They can also recommend a SIL provider and coordinate the documentation related to your application.
How Does SIL Become Included In My Plan?
If you think that Supported Independent Living could help you in leading a more self-determining way of living, then we recommend taking these steps:
- Occupational Therapy Assessment. Having an Occupation Therapist come to assess you allows them to determine the level of support that you need, and they can confirm if you are eligible for SIL funding.
- Support Coordinator Contact. Reach out to your Support Coordinator, as they can refer you to the housing options that are the most suitable for you.
- Supported Independent Living Quote. Once you’ve identified the SIL provider that is best for you, contact them for a quote.
- Change In Circumstances Form. Give the SIL provider quote to your Support Coordinator, and they will submit a change in circumstance form to the NDIS alerting them that you require SIL accommodation.
- NDIS Review. The NDIS will review your documents and review all the evidence that supports the change in circumstance. This includes the quote from the SIL provider and making the decision as to whether it is reasonable and necessary. The NDIS will work directly with the SIL provider during this process.
- If all of the above is correct and the NDIS determines that you are, in fact, eligible for SIL accommodation, your application will be approved.
If you have an existing NDIS plan and, if a plan reassessment has not happened by the time of your current reassessment date, it will be automatically extended by 365 days. If you have existing SIL services in your plan, this will also be extended to ensure continued support is available.