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If you’re confused by the range of home and living supports available through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), don’t worry, because we’re here to help with this easy-to-follow guide!

Home and living supports can help you choose who you want to live with and where you want to live. Funding can also be provided for reasonable and necessary home modifications and assistive technology, as well as formal supports, to help you achieve your goals. The different types of home and living supports available through the NDIS are: 

  • Short Term Accommodation (STA) – funding for a short stay away from home
  • Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) – which supports you while you wait for long term accommodation
  • Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) – funding for speciality housing if a mainstream home isn’t suitable
  • Supported Independent Living (SIL) – ongoing in-home assistance (up to 24 hours per day, seven days per week)
  • Individualised Living Options (ILO) – a mix of tailored formal and informal in-home supports
  • In-home supports delivered by a support worker

Here’s a breakdown of each type of home and living support available in the NDIS and the criteria to apply for them.

Short Term Accommodation (STA)

STA funding covers the cost of support and accommodation for a short time away (up to 14 days at a time) from your usual home. You can use it for a short stay with other people, or for time alone, and if you’re not sure what’s funded, just ask us!

STA funding can be used for respite to support you and your carers, and give them a short break from their caring role – which may help to maintain your current living situation. It can help you to enjoy time away with others, make new friends, build new skills, and achieve plan goals.

It can also be used to support you if there’s an unplanned breakdown of your formal or informal supports.

STA can include:

  • short term support at a retreat to try new things, develop new skills, or meet new friends
  • short term support with a group of people who may have similar needs and interests, and who enjoy participating in a group setting
  • overnight or weekend support away from home in a hotel – for example, if you’re going to participate in a sporting event which is a plan goal and you require accommodation and other supports while you’re there.

The NDIS can fund up to 28 days of STA per calendar year, which can be used flexibly – but you can’t claim more than 14 days in a row. If you want to access more than that, you’ll need approval from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Who’s eligible for STA?

The NDIS will fund STA if it relates to a goal in your NDIS plan, like preparing to live independently or making new friends, and/or if it lets you access value for money supports within the scope of your Core Supports budget.

When the NDIA decides if a support is value for money, it considers if other supports would achieve the same result at a substantially lower cost. If a suitable, less expensive alternative is not identified, the support may be considered value for money and approved.

STA also has to meet the reasonable and necessary criteria, which we explain here.

Does STA need to be stated in a plan or included as a goal?

If STA isn’t stated in your NDIS plan, but you have funding available in your Core Supports budget, you can use it – where it meets the NDIA’s reasonable and necessary criteria. That includes for STA.

Medium Term Accommodation (MTA)

MTA can let you find a place to live when you haven’t yet found your long term home. You might be funded for MTA if you’re moving out of a healthcare setting, like a hospital, or waiting to move into SDA.

The NDIA typically funds MTA – which doesn’t include the cost of food – for up to 90 days, and it must be included in your plan. If it isn’t, you can request to have your plan changed or adjusted.

Who’s eligible for MTA?

To be eligible for MTA, you need to have found – or be looking for – long term accommodation. For more information about MTA, click here.

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

If you have very high support needs, it could mean you may need to live in a specially designed home that meets your access requirements. If you do, SDA will be a stated support listed in your plan, which means funding has been allocated for a specific support or service, and you can’t use that funding for anything else.

SDA housing includes accessible features to help residents live more independently and allow other supports to be delivered better or more safely. Funding is paid directly to your SDA provider to cover the building and maintenance costs, and you’ll need to pay a reasonable rent contribution and other day to day living costs, such as electricity bills.

Who’s eligible for SDA?

To be eligible for SDA you must have an extreme functional impairment or very high support needs, and meet the SDA needs requirement and the NDIS funding criteria. Find everything you need to know here.

Supported Independent Living (SIL)

SIL funding is designed to provide you with the support you need to assist you to complete daily tasks and build your skills.

It covers a range of supports in and out of home, like cleaning, cooking, personal care, or support to go shopping.

In addition to funding for your ongoing SIL supports, you may also be able to claim 10-15 days of ‘irregular SIL supports’ each year, for those times when you need a little extra help. Funding for ’unplanned exits’ may also be provided if you need to immediately exit SIL accommodation due to a death or breakdown in your support relationship.

Who’s eligible for SIL?

Whether you live alone or with others, you may be able to access SIL funding if the NDIA considers the supports to be reasonable and necessary for you. Remember, the funding is for the support you receive, and not for rent or other day-to-day expenses, like utility bills and groceries.

Individualised Living Options (ILO)

ILO funding gives you choice and control to live the way you want and in a living arrangement that suits your needs and preferences, but with tailored supports that help you to achieve your goals.

You may decide to share your home with friends or housemates, live with a ‘host’ who’ll provide informal supports, or live on your own with the support you need. ILO supports work with other funded supports and services, as well as with informal supports.

You’ll first need to work out where you want to live, who you want to live with, what support you’ll need, and who you want to provide that support. Then, you can work with your support coordinator or Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to put your supports into place.

Remember, ILO funding doesn’t pay for your accommodation, just the supports delivered to help you live there.

Another thing to know is that ILO supports can involve nonstandard arrangements, like an agreement with roommates to subsidise rent in return for them providing informal supports to you. These arrangements then need to be documented in your NDIS plan.

Using your ILO funding, you can explore different ways to live and then design your supports to help you live the way you choose. Find out more here.

Who’s eligible for ILO?

Click here to see how the NDIS decides if it can fund you for ILO.

Assistance with Daily Life

Assistance with Daily Life is a support category in your Core Supports budget. It’s for assistance or supervision of personal tasks during day-to-day life that help you to live as independently as possible. Examples might include assistance with household cleaning or yard maintenance, or with attending medical and other appointments.

These supports are provided individually to participants and can be provided in a range of environments, including in your own home.

Applications for Assistance with Daily Life funding are assessed on a case-by-case basis and will be included if the request is considered reasonable and necessary and the support will help you to achieve your goals.

Home modifications

Home modifications are changes that are made to the structure, layout or fittings of your home, so you can safely access it and move around comfortably. The NDIS can fund home modifications to make a home accessible.

You may need home modifications if you:

  • have safety concerns or difficulty moving around your home
  • have trouble with personal care, like using your shower
  • can’t use the rooms you need to use in your home
  • have difficulty achieving your goals in your home because of your disability
  • need changes to your home so your carers can support you safely.

Click here to find more information about home modifications.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology is the equipment you may need to help you with everyday tasks. Perhaps you want to buy an iPad to help you to communicate better, or modified cutlery for a child who’s learning to cut up their own food? Maybe you need a new wheelchair, a handrail or a washing line to assist you to live more independently?

Whatever assistive technology you have in mind, you may be wondering if the NDIS will fund it, and where to turn to next. Click here for more information.

Talk to your support coordinator or LAC about exploring your home and living options

If you want to explore home and living options, the NDIA will start by getting some information from you. You might be asked to complete the ‘Supporting evidence form – home and living’, or to request a change to your plan. You can find out more about that on the home and living supporting evidence form page.

Based on the information you provide, the NDIA will consider your request and, if it meets the NDIS funding criteria, the Agency will determine how much support you need to explore and design your home and living support package. The NDIA will communicate with you through the plan reassessment process before it’s approved and added to your plan.

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My Plan Manager acknowledges the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

My Plan Manager acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders both past and present.
© My Plan Manager 2020
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