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Understanding Supported Independent Living

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

If living more independently is one of your NDIS goals, then Supported Independent Living (SIL) could be an excellent option to help you achieve that goal.


What exactly is Supported Independent Living?

Supported Independent Living (SIL) offers participants who require help or supervision to develop the core skills they need to manage daily tasks while they work towards living as independently as possible. This type of assistance can be included in a participants NDIS Plan, with the level of support and funding determined on an individual basis.

SIL may be available to NDIS participants who live independently in their own home, a private rental property, share house or Specialist Disability Accommodation. However, often SIL will support between two-to-seven NDIS participants who are sharing accommodation. In this case, SIL costs can be shared amongst NDIS participants sharing the accommodation. In shared living situations, each participant must have their own room and will usually have access to 24/7 support to help them with household or personal tasks (such as cooking, cleaning, or bathing), as well as access to a support worker who can assist participants in learning new skills as they work toward more independent living.

What levels of support does a SIL home provide?

No two disabilities are the same, which means each participant will have different support requirements. The NDIS has outlined three levels of support that SIL is funded under:

  1. Lower needs: This type of support usually doesn’t require 24/7 support but will include supervision and support of living arrangements.

  2. Standard need: This type of support requires 24/7 assistance and supervision of most daily tasks, and overnight stays by a support worker.

  3. Higher needs: This type of support is the most continual and active support required, it includes 24/7 assistance with daily tasks and positive behavioural support for those with challenging behaviours.

What support is available in a SIL home?

Some of the types of supports that can be covered by SIL include:

  • Overnight support by a support worker;

  • Assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing, getting in and out of bed, and dressing;

  • Assistance with household needs, such as preparing meals, cleaning, and doing the laundry;

  • Help taking public transport to visit friends and family, and engage more within the community;

  • Promoting participation in household and community activities;

  • Support with activities, such as grocery shopping;

  • Help managing money and household budgeting;

  • Medication assistance;

  • Assistance with daily skills development to help you live more independently;

  • Managing challenging behaviours; and

  • Additional NDIS funded services.

It’s important to note that SIL doesn’t cover the day-to-day costs of food, activities, rent, board or lodging, personal care during hospitalisation, or items covered in other sections of the NDIS Price Guide. SIL funding is not flexible, so it can only be used for the sole purpose of Supported Independent Living. And once approved, it will appear in a separate section of your NDIS Plan called “Assistance in Shared Living Arrangements – Supported Independent Living” under the support category, Core Supports.

What are the benefits of living in a SIL home?

For NDIS participants who are looking for more choice and control in their life, and to live as independently as possible, SIL is an excellent option to help them reach their goals. It can also be an excellent way to make new friends, live in a safe and central location and enjoy quality accommodation.

Participants who access SIL in a shared living situation will have the benefit of sharing the cost of rent, leaving more funds to put towards developing new skills outlined as a goal in their NDIS Plan and other SIL associated needs. There is also the possibility of sharing supports. This means, if two or more participants in a shared home require a support worker to stay overnight, the cost could be divided across the participants, rather than it coming solely out of one participant’s NDIS Plan funding.

How to find a SIL home

If you’re new to the NDIS and still in the pre-planning stage, it might be a good idea to consider if one of your personal goals is living more independently. That way you can request to have SIL funding included in your NDIS Plan. If you’re already an NDIS participant, you can request this at your next NDIS planning meeting by speaking to your LAC or National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) representative. Whether you’re new or a current NDIS participant, like all NDIS funding requests, this type of funding will be reviewed by the NDIS on a case-by-case basis.

If you have been working towards the goal of living more independently for some time, this could also help you access the funding you need to pursue it further at a time of your choosing. Make sure to provide details and evidence of this at your next planning meeting, along with your short, medium and long-term independent living goals.

Some goals you may wish to list are:

  • To live as independently as possible (medium-long term goal);

  • To learn to cook meals to live more independently (short-medium term goal); and

  • To develop more self-care skills to live more independently (short-medium term goal)

You or your Support Coordinator can contact support service providers to find out where there are SIL vacancies to activate your goal of independent living.

What service providers’ working with SIL funded NDIS participants need to know

The NDIS has designed a Provider SIL Pack to assist service providers who are working with SIL funded participants to develop a quote and the necessary supporting documentation. All providers must use the Provider SIL Pack and quoting tool when submitting quotes for services. The SIL pack contains a calculation tool and submission templates. This allows providers to detail and cost the supports needed to help participants build their capacity for more independent living.

How can First2Care help?

First2Care offers NDIS participants dedicated and professional financial management support. Our goal is to ensure you have choice and control over your NDIS Plan, without the stress. With First2Care, our team of Plan Managers can track your finances (including your SIL funding), receive and pay your invoices, and manage your NDIS plan review reporting, while you focus on reaching your personal goals, objectives and aspirations.

Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or



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