SDA Pricing and Payments

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) refers to accommodation for participants who require specialist housing solutions to assist with the delivery of supports that cater for their extreme functional impairment and/or very high support needs. SDA does not refer to the support services, but the homes in which these are delivered. SDA may include specialist designs for people with very high needs or may have a location or features that make it feasible to provide complex or costly supports for independent living.

SDA Price Guide

Like other parts of the NDIS, SDA employs a market-based approach by making funding available to participants who meet the criteria for SDA, a participant can then source the supports they choose from the market. For SDA this means that the NDIS provides funding through a participant’s plan and the participant (often with additional support such as a support coordinator) then finds and applies for the best SDA option for them.

The SDA Price Guide is a summary of NDIS prices that will apply for SDA. It is designed to assist providers to understand the prices for SDA under the NDIS.

The SDA Price Guide should be read in conjunction with a number of other documents, including the SDA Rules, the SDA Operational Guidelines, the SDA Guide to Suitability and the NDIS Terms of Business for Registered Providers.

SDA Pricing and Payments Framework

In November 2015, the Disability Reform Council (DRC) endorsed the SDA Pricing and Payments Framework (the Framework). The Framework provided guidance and instruction on how SDA pricing was to be developed, and for whom, and in what circumstances, SDA funding would be provided.

Download the Specialist Disability Accommodation Pricing and Payments Framework (DOCX 60KB)

As outlined in the Framework, the DRC will review the Framework in its third year of operation. The DRC will set the terms of reference for this review.

Undertaking reviews is a standard form of good governance and occur across a significant number of existing government programs. The review will consider whether the pricing formula remains adequate and is continuing to produce benchmark prices which reflect the costs of providing SDA, including providing a rate of return attractive to investors.

The intent of the SDA pricing approach is to stimulate growth in the supply of high quality and fit-for-purpose SDA. The timeframe for the pricing has also been aligned with the expected investment horizon of institutional investors (20 years).

The NDIS is a legislated commitment of all governments requiring agreement of all governments for any change. The SDA commitment forms part of the legislated framework.

Further information regarding the terms of the review will be provided closer to that time.

Development of SDA Benchmark Pricing and Payments

Over the period January 2016 through to March 2016 the NDIA sought the views of the public through calling for written submissions and hosting extensive public consultations in each state and territory. The NDIA also sought the views of State and Territory governments.

This process of consultation included publishing the SDA Position Paper on Draft Pricing and Payments on 1 April 2016 and calling for further feedback from all stakeholders on the proposed draft prices and approach.

Feedback provided on the SDA Position Paper resulted in adjustments and highlighted areas for further clarification.

The SDA Pricing and Payments Decision Paper (the Decision Paper) was published on 1 June 2016. The Decision Paper set out the NDIA’s final decisions in relation to initial SDA Benchmark Pricing and Payments.

In March 2017 The National Disability Insurance Scheme (Specialist Disability Accommodation) Rules 2016 (SDA Rules) were registered. The SDA Rules were agreed by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments and are now the central authorising document for SDA.

The SDA Rules deal with the criteria for when a participant will have SDA included in their NDIS plan, the dwellings that can be used for SDA and the payments that will be paid to registered providers of SDA. Most of the requirements and obligations in relation to SDA are set out in the SDA Rules.

The Rules also allow the NDIA to further specify a number of requirements such as design categories for dwellings, other features that affect prices, and SDA prices. These matters are further outlined in the SDA Price Guide described above.

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