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How to get SIL funding

Supported Independent Living (SIL) could be a beneficial addition to your NDIS plan if you require 24/7 support with daily living. However, not everyone who needs SIL will get it funded from their first plan.

Date posted: Author: Nick van Zanten

There is some good news, though: if you think SIL will help you achieve your goals, you have the right to request it. If you want to learn more about getting SIL funding, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll explore the steps you need to take.

Are you eligible for SIL?

First thing’s first: you need to check if you meet the NDIS's eligibility criteria for SIL funding.

Generally, Supported Independent Living is granted for people who…

  • Require around-the-clock support (ongoing support needs throughout the day and night).
  • Need help with daily tasks like personal care, household chores, and accessing the community.
  • Want more independence and have the potential to enhance their independent living skills.

The Assessment Process

1. Request a review

If you're already an NDIS participant, request a plan review to discuss adding SIL supports. Get the ball rolling on this by completing a change in circumstances request. Important: don’t submit this without evidence (more on that below)!

For those who are new to the NDIS, the initial planning meeting will offer you a chance to outline your support needs. Here are some tips to prepare for your first meeting. If you are unhappy with the plan you receive, you can request a review of the plan within three months of receiving it.

2. Gather documentation

Long-time participants will know how important evidence is for the NDIS. This is because the NDIS needs to see a clear need for any requests. The best way to provide quality evidence is via NDIS service providers.

An allied health professional (like an Occupational Therapist or Psychologist) can conduct assessments of your skills and support needs to justify your request for SIL funding.

3. Submit the request

Once assessments are complete and you have the necessary report(s), it’s time to submit the change in circumstances request!
Remember: at any point in the process, you can ask for help. Ask your loved ones to help out. You can also ask your Support Coordinator or Psychosocial Recovery Coach, if you have either.

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What the NDIS considers before granting SIL funding

When deciding whether or not to add Supported Independent Living to a person’s plan, the NDIS considers several things.

Severity of support needs

The NDIS will consider if your disability significantly impacts your daily life, and the extent to which you need continuous assistance.

Support goals

NDIS plans are designed around goals. Goals like ‘develop independent living skills’ or ‘boost participation within your community’ will be seen as relevant to SIL. You can change your NDIS goals quite easily, though this won’t automatically grant you new supports or funding.

Is it reasonable and necessary?

The NDIS will decide if SIL is the most cost-effective and suitable way to meet your needs. To do this, they will compare it to other support options.

Key tips for SIL funding

Strong support networks

Work closely with your Support Coordinator. If you don't have one, the NDIS or your Local Area Coordinator can help you find one. They play a crucial role in organising the assessments and advocating for your needs. Plus, they can take care of all the paperwork!

This is also true of Psychosocial Recovery Coaches (PRC). You may have funding for a PRC instead of a Support Coordinator.

Detailed documentation

As we mentioned, solid evidence is a must. Reports from allied health professionals are essential in backing up your request for SIL funding. Letters of support from others, like your GP or your support work agency can help, too.

Realistic expectations

The NDIS review process takes time. Being patient is key.

What happens after SIL funding is approved?

Once your request is approved, you can start looking for a SIL provider!

Your SIL provider will work with you to set up supports. First, there will be a support plan created that is tailored to your needs and goals. You’ll also have a chance to explore housing options. Some funding will allow you to be the sole occupant of the home (other than support workers, of course), while other funding will allow you to find the perfect housemates!

Remember: Seeking SIL funding is a process

Getting SIL funding requires thorough preparation and support from others. Building a strong support network and having detailed documentation will improve your chances of success.

Additional Resources:

The NDIS empowers people with disability. If you believe SIL would help you achieve your goals, don’t delay - take the first step. If you'd like to learn more about Supported Independent Living, you can get in touch via email live@ld.org.au or call 08 8256 9800.

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