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What does ‘SIL’, ‘SDA’, ‘MTA’ & ‘ILO’ mean… and what next?

The NDIS has been designed to put choice and control back to the Participant to live as. A large part to the NDIS support puzzle is Individuals having to find their own housing and accommodation.  

Participants can get funding for Supported Disability Accommodation (SDA) or Medium-term Accommodation (MTA) both fund the brick and mortar.  Funding for Supported Independent Living (SIL) covers the supervision of daily living tasks in a shared living environment for those who require 24-7 paid support.   What this means is that a SIL will only cover the supports someone will need.  The new kid on the block in NDIS world is Individual Living Options (ILO).

This stemmed from Western Australia about 20 years ago. Back then they were called Personalised Residential Supports (PRS) and were seen as an alternative to cluster homes and group homes using a mixture of formal and informal support (family & friends).   Move forward to 2020 and ILO was included in the NDIS price guide.

What is a SIL provider?

SIL providers recruit and train support workers to complete rostered shifts in a shared living space.

They make sure all staff support Participants in a safe way, that are goal orientated and capacity building.   Staff are trained supervised and performance managed.  SIL providers have and are accountable for the health and wellbeing of a person across all life areas.  This does depend on the person living with a disabilities informal network such as friend and family.

What is an ILO?

 Individualized Living Options – (ILOs) are a way the NDIS can fund flexible and personalised home and living support packages for Participants. ILOs enable Participants to explore and design different options for how they live, where they live and who they live with.  this could mean sharing a house with loved ones, friends, partners, or housemates, living with host family or on their own with individualised supports.

What is an ILO provider?

An ILO provider can help explore and design what a participant wants as their living arrangement, focusing on their choice and needs. The second stage an ILO provider can support is the implementation, ongoing monitoring and redesigning.  Think of them as a mix between a case manager and a support coordinator.  An ILO provider can also be a SIL provider which means they may have the support workers to support the person arrangements.

My thoughts?

I think it important to understand that SIL, ILO, MTA or SDA are all essential.  NDIS supports Participants to have reasonable and necessary services, choice and control.  We need to remember that not all people live with low complexity and can live in the community with drop in and out service and an informal network. Some Participants have high physical and psychosocial complexities with no informal network, and not all people will be eligible for all funding types.

 The NDIA estimates that only around 6% of all Participants will ever be eligible for SDA. We need a mixture of ILO, SIL MTA and SDA as people’s complexities change over time.  The scheme and people working within the scheme need to be open-minded about the changes and complexities is someone’s life.

Each option has been designed to support participants in different ways. As is the aim of the NDIS, this is another level offered to the individual for their own choice and control. That’s why at the end of the day it is completely up to the Participant to select the option that is right for them.