Understanding Supported Independent Living (SIL) and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

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If you are looking for accommodation assistance, there are a number of different housing solutions and supports available to consider for your unique situation. Supported Independent Living and Specialist Disability Accommodation are two options that are often incorporated into NDIS plans. If your plan includes one or both of these options, it’s important that you have a good understanding of what you can expect from your accommodation support.

What is Supported Independent Living (SIL)?

Supported Independent Living (or SIL) refers to help with or supervision of daily tasks that aim to develop an individual's skills and encourage them to live as independently as possible. If you have a disability and are unable to live independently or with your family, SIL gives you the opportunity to receive the support you need in shared accommodation. 

Challenge Community Services’ shared accommodation provides houses with 3 to 5 bedrooms and will look to place individuals in accommodation with people who are of a similar age and share similar interests. It’s an opportunity to access the support you need, enjoy independence and make new friends.

People who live in supported independent living can receive day-to-day or weekly support with tasks including cleaning, cooking, social and medical needs, banking, grocery shopping, attending appointments, and help with personal care (such as showering and dressing).

SIL gives you the option to choose the level of support you need, from individual supports and shared supports to irregular supports (unplanned or unexpected supports, such as having a support worker help at home if a participant is unable to make their day program activities).

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)?

Specialist Disability Accommodation (or SDA) refers to accommodation for people who require specialist housing solutions that cater for high support needs or extreme functional impairment. SDA refers to the home, apartment or unit an individual would live in. SDA is not funds towards support services, but to the home in which the supports are delivered, the bricks and mortar.

Occupants will either live independently in their home or with others, depending on their unique needs. They will also be able to choose the housing solutions appropriate for their individual circumstances.

Funding through NDIS is only available to a small proportion of participants with very high support needs who meet specific eligibility criteria. SDA funding is intended to cover any disability-related housing expenses that are above the ordinary costs of housing and does not refer to person-to-person support services.

So what’s the difference between SIL and SDA?

One of the supports that may be funded for some participants who have an extreme functional impairment or very high support needs is SDA. This refers to the specialist housing solution that they can access that also assists them in receiving the services that cater to their high support needs. An SDA accommodation may be specifically designed for people with high needs or be located in an area that makes it feasible for them to access complex or costly supports that help them to live independently.

On the other hand, SIL refers to the onsite supports and daily living services that help develop the skills of individuals to live as autonomously as possible.

If you require both high needs accommodation and daily living support, SDA and SIL will be funded separately in your plan. This gives you more choice, because you can reside in accommodation suited to your needs and access the supports of your choice.

Having the funding separated means that you can change your support services without moving from your SDA funded accommodation. If you do choose to move, you will need to reapply for your SDA funding.

Challenge Disability Services has residential group homes throughout NSW, and are quickly expanding with more. For more information on our accommodation and supported living options, click here.

Or to view our current supported independent living vacancies, click here.

If you would like more information on Challenge Community Services accommodation services,
please give us a call on 1800 849 017 or email disabilityservices@challengecommunity.org.au 

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About Challenge Community Services

Over 60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disabilities. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 800 staff, 85 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, Challenge Community Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.
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