Providing Supported Independent Living

Supported Independent Living Overview

Supported Independent Living (SIL) is help and/or supervision of daily tasks to help participants live as independently as possible, while building their skills. It is the paid personal supports and is most commonly used in shared living arrangements.

SIL is one of many support options participants can receive. When considering if SIL is the best option for a participant, the following are considered:

  • the participant’s goals for their potential home and living arrangements, and the support required for daily tasks to assist in living as independently as possible 
  • if alternative supports may be a better option
  • if the participant has significant support needs that require person-to-person supports, and what supports they already receive
  • if the NDIA decides the support meets the reasonable and necessary criteria for SIL funding.

The Operational Guideline for SIL explains how decisions are made about SIL supports, providing more clarity and transparency for participants and providers.

This Operational Guideline is written in a new more accessible style. This is part of our commitment to making the Scheme easier to understand. 

SIL Consultation paper

The NDIA is working to improve SIL. We have already made some improvements to SIL processes to make them more transparent and easier to understand. 

We want to use the consultation paper to help us address sustainability concerns of SIL and make the first of many steps to create a greater focus on participant choice and control over the supports that help them reach their goals.

The consultation paper presents proposed operational and billing process improvements, focused on: 

  1. Strengthening fairness and equity by focusing on the participant roster of care;
  2. Increasing NDIA interactions with SIL participants to better focus on participant choice and control;
  3. Reducing administrative complexity through a continued commitment to engage fairly and quickly with providers; and
  4. Focusing on cost escalations utilising a data-driven price level for disability care workers in shared housing

We acknowledge this paper focuses on short-term issues. A more extensive consultation about home and living supports provided by the NDIS, including further improvements to SIL, will follow this initial paper in early 2021.

We invite registered and non-registered providers, support coordinators and industry representatives to make a submission.  

To make a submission to the NDIA on the issues outlined in the paper:

Submissions close at 10:00am AEST Monday 19 October 2020.

SIL pricing 

The NDIA is committed to improving transparency of our processes and fairness of our decision making. 

As such, we are clarifying the set price limits for SIL supports, replacing the quoting and negotiation processes that were in place until 30 June 2020.

The 2020-21 NDIS Price Guide has updated the price limits for Assistance with Daily Living supports following the Annual Price Review. 

The NDIA is conducting a review of SIL price controls and new SIL-specific price limits will be included in an updated Price Guide released later in 2020. Until this review is complete the price limits for Assistance with Daily Living will apply to SIL supports. 

The Assistance with Daily Living price limits came into effect from 1 July 2020 for SIL supports, and were applied to any open SIL quotes awaiting approval.

Existing plans containing agreed SIL quotes will continue until the end of their 12 month term, at which point the new SIL price limits will apply. 

From 1 July 2020, providers will no longer need to submit a quote for SIL pricing. 

Providers should develop a Roster of Care (RoC) using the Assistance with Daily Living price limits to help the NDIA decide the type of supports to be included in a participant’s plan. 

Providers will still need to submit the RoC to the NDIA for consideration.

Material changes to the RoC will require detailed documentation to support the changes (for example, an allied health professional report).

The rate limit used for SIL will be increased only when the relevant Assistance with Daily Living price limits are increased – in accordance with the pricing review decisions for the impact of the Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage and Award decisions and Equal Remuneration Order increases. There will be no other indexation increases applied.

The NDIA is also working to strengthen participant input into the SIL planning process. 

Before a plan with SIL supports is approved, the NDIA will directly ask the participant (or their nominee) to confirm they have had an opportunity to see and provide input to the RoC. The Support Coordinator, if in place, will also be engaged to ensure this occurs. 

These changes will mean the SIL process is more efficient and will enable providers to get paid without lengthy negotiation. 

Provider SIL Pack

The NDIA has developed a Provider SIL Pack that includes the tools and templates that providers should use to develop the participant’s Roster of Care (RoC) and supporting documents. The RoC is a critical document that helps participants, providers and the NDIA determine the type and level of supports a participant requires NDIS funding for.

The July 2020 release of the Provider SIL Pack contains an updated RoC Tool that has improved functionality to address known issues, and ensures provider rates do not exceed the ADL price limits. Updates to the guidance and template documents are also included. 

All SIL providers must use the Provider SIL Pack to make a Roster of Care submission.

The SIL Provider Pack includes the following documents:

Automatic plan extensions

When we have been unable to undertake a plan review by the time a participant’s current plan ends, it will be automatically extended by 365 days.

This creates a discrepancy between service bookings and the plan, because the SIL service booking displays a higher amount than the plan amount.

SIL providers should claim at the amount for the original (non-extended) plan and accepted quote. 

When a participant has a new plan in place, SIL providers can claim at a rate appropriate to the new plan.

Providers now have the ability to adjust the unit prices and quantities of Agency-created services bookings. This will assist with modifying automatically extended service bookings to match the original plan. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in SIL

We know participants living in SIL arrangements are at higher health risk during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, due to the SIL environment and other existing health conditions.

We are also aware that providers may require additional funding to manage the care and support of residents who are diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Two support items were made available from 30 April 2020 for participants residing in SIL properties and diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). 

These line items support SIL providers to continue to deliver services and ensure participants receive the support they need.

The support items will cover three situations when a participant is diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • They continue to reside in their normal SIL accommodation.
  • They are admitted to hospital.
  • They are relocated to alternative housing for isolation purposes or while transitioning into or out of hospital.

A participant could move through all of these situations, and funding will follow to the provider in all of these situations.

Participants living in SIL in Victoria who are required to quarantine or self-isolate are also eligible to access these supports.   

The two support items are:

  • Cleaning services: $300 to cover the cost of a one-off professional deep cleaning of a residence per participant newly diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19), with one claim allowable per participant diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Higher intensity support: $1,200 maximum daily rate to cover the cost of higher intensity support including staffing increase, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), professional laundering, and any ancillary costs directly related to the participant’s diagnosis. This item may be claimed throughout a participant’s period of infection (based on number of days from diagnosis to negative test result), whether they are located in their normal accommodation, in hospital, or isolated in alternative accommodation.

The NDIS will not cover additional administrative costs, staff sick leave, medical costs associated with a hospital stay or everyday expenses.

SIL providers can continue to claim usual SIL costs while a participant diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) is in hospital or isolated in alternative accommodation. Alternative accommodation will also be claimable through the short term accommodation support item.

The line items are available in the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue.

These arrangements are in place until 30 September 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and may implement further measures as required. 

Providers and participants should discuss and agree on any pricing changes before they are applied.

SIL providers who have a participant residing in SIL who is diagnosed with coronavirus must immediately notify the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission  . 

The Commission will inform the NDIA, and we will update the participants plan as quickly as possible to include additional funding against these new items as stated supports. 

This page current as of
23 September 2020