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What is SIL and what does it stand for?

If you or someone you know has a disability, you might have encountered the term ‘Supported Independent Living’ (SIL). A lot of people ask us, “what is SIL?” so we thought we’d explain it in a handy, easy-to-read blog post.

Date posted: Author: Sarah Sayer, Intake and Retention Officer

Join us as we explore this unique and hugely beneficial NDIS support.

What is SIL?

SIL is a type of disability support provided in Australia under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It’s designed to help people with disabilities live as independently as possible in a shared living environment.

How does SIL work?

SIL is made up of the following key elements:

Shared accommodation

People who receive SIL support live together in a home with typically 2-4 other residents.

Round-the-clock support

Staff are available 24/7 to help residents with daily tasks and support them to develop life skills.

Individualised plans

Each SIL resident has a personalised support plan designed around their specific needs and goals. Plans are reviewed as needed in partnership with the client.

Who is SIL for?

SIL funding is not provided to every NDIS participant. Specifically, SIL is for those with higher support needs and who need help with tasks throughout the day and overnight. Staff in a SIL house might help a resident with:

  • Personal care (showering, dressing, etc.)
  • Household tasks (cooking, cleaning, etc.)
  • Community participation
  • Medication management
  • Developing independent living skills

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What are the benefits of SIL?

Where do we start? SIL has so many benefits! Among these are:


SIL environments foster greater independence and decision-making. You see, the staff in a SIL home work alongside clients to help them achieve their goals, contributing to greater self-reliance. Staff also empower clients to make their own decisions, giving them a stronger sense of autonomy and control over their lives.

Skill development

SIL assists with building skills for daily living, promoting increased self-reliance. With ample space for hobbies and activities, there’s room to explore new interests at home. Plus, clients can choose a home that’s close to what matters most, whether it’s a community club or a volunteer role they love.


The nature of shared living creates opportunities for friendships and a sense of belonging. We all know how important connections are for wellbeing. Living with SIL housemates is truly like having another family!

Choice and control

In keeping with the spirit of the NDIS, clients have input into every element of their SIL supports. They decide what is included in their support plan, have a say in their living arrangements, and design their ideal lifestyle. Importantly, clients are encouraged to have this choice and control – it’s all about building that ability.

Safety and security

The 24/7 support available in SIL offers peace of mind for both participants and their families. Plus, SIL homes are usually close to hospitals, so help is close at hand.

Is SIL right for me?

To determine if SIL is the right type of support, the NDIS conducts an assessment. They look at your needs, goals, and the level of support you need.

If you’d like some help to access SIL, your first port of call should be an NDIS planner or Support Coordinator. We put together an article on accessing SIL funding which has a lot more information.

SIL offers people with disabilities a way to live more independently while receiving personalised support. It promotes choice, inclusion, and the opportunity to engage fully in the community.

If you have questions about SIL or other NDIS supports, here are some helpful resources:

Please note: This blog provides general information. Always consult with the NDIS or a Support Coordinator for personalised advice about your situation.

If you'd like to learn more about Supported Independent Living, you can get in touch via email or call 08 8256 9800.

“Let me commend the Lighthouse Disability staff for the exemplary work that they do and for how well they interact with the clients.”

Angela, External Provider

“Lighthouse Disability is a great place to work. It’s been clear since day one that the focus is always on the person that we are supporting.”

Nick, Staff Member

— Gill, Parent of a Client

“Lighthouse Disability is a positive organisation to be part of. They make my life easier.”

Gerry, Client