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What Is The Difference Between SDA And SIL In NDIS?

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Understanding The Difference Between SDA And SIL In NDIS

Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be complex, especially when understanding the different types of support available. Two critical components of this scheme are Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) and Supported Independent Living (SIL). While both are integral to assisting individuals with disabilities, they serve distinct purposes and cater to different needs. 

Understanding these differences is crucial for individuals seeking the most appropriate support for their specific circumstances. We aim to clarify these options, helping you make informed decisions about your or your loved one’s care under the NDIS.

Differences Between SDA and SIL

Understanding the differences between SDA and SIL is fundamental in navigating the NDIS. SDA pertains to specialised housing solutions for those with significant functional impairments, focusing on physical accommodation needs. 


In contrast, SIL addresses the support services required for daily living and skill development. While SDA emphasises specialised housing environments, SIL concentrates on assisting within a person’s living arrangement, whether specialised or not. 


These distinctions highlight the NDIS’s commitment to offering diverse, tailored support options, ensuring individuals receive the appropriate care and resources aligned with their unique circumstances and needs.

STA Accommodation NDIs Melbourne

The Target Audience

SDA is aimed at individuals with profound disabilities requiring specialised living environments, while SIL caters to those needing support for daily tasks but can live in non-specialised settings. This differentiation ensures that resources are appropriately allocated, matching the level of care with the individual’s specific living and support requirements.

Support Focus

The focus of SDA is on the living environment, providing accessible and safe housing. SIL, however, emphasises support services for daily activities, skill building, and community integration. Each caters to different aspects of living with a disability, addressing varied needs from physical accommodation to personal development and social participation.

Funding and Flexibility

SDA funding is specific to accommodation costs, separate from other NDIS supports. SIL funding, conversely, is versatile, covering various support services. This separation allows for tailored care in both housing and daily support, offering individuals the flexibility to choose services that best align with their living arrangements and personal objectives.

Understanding SDA

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is designed to provide specialised housing for individuals with severe functional impairments. SDA focuses on offering tailored accommodation solutions, including modified homes and apartments, to meet the unique needs of its residents. 


This type of funding is not directed towards support services but rather the physical environment, ensuring safety, accessibility, and comfort for those with high support needs. SDA is a transformative aspect of the NDIS, enabling individuals with profound disabilities to live in environments that are both accommodating and conducive to their well-being.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for SDA, individuals must demonstrate extreme functional impairment or high-intensity support needs. This includes requiring assistance with daily activities, personal care, and community participation. An occupational therapist assessment NDIS assessment is generally required to ascertain eligibility and determine the level of support needed.

Key Services

SDA’s primary role is to provide customised housing options like fully accessible and modified homes. These settings cater to specific disability-related needs, ensuring high levels of support, safety, and security. Trained staff in these facilities are adept at managing complex care requirements and fostering a secure and supportive living environment.

Funding for SDA

Funding for SDA is allocated by the NDIS and covers the cost of suitable housing and necessary modifications. This funding is distinct from other NDIS supports, ensuring that individuals who require both SDA and SIL receive them as separate components in their plan, reflecting the tailored nature of SDA accommodations.

SDA Specialist Disability Accommodation Melbourne

The Role of SIL in the NDIS

Supported Independent Living (SIL) under the NDIS is designed to assist individuals who need support to live independently. Unlike SDA, SIL focuses on daily support services, helping with tasks like meal preparation, personal care, and household management. It aims to enhance the individual’s ability to lead an independent life, offering flexibility and promoting social integration. 

SIL is particularly beneficial for those who can manage living in a non-specialised environment but still require consistent assistance to perform everyday tasks, fostering independence while ensuring necessary support is readily available.

SIL Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for SIL involves needing help with daily activities such as meal preparation and personal care. SIL funding, determined by the NDIS, is designed for individuals who require support for independent living but may not have extreme functional impairments. It emphasises choice and control over the support received.

Services Offered by SIL

SIL services encompass daily living support, skill development, and community participation. It allows individuals to select their support workers and plan activities, focusing on enhancing independence. SIL aids in developing skills for independent living and encourages engagement in community activities, supporting personal growth and social integration.

Funding for SIL

SIL funding, provided by the NDIS, covers the cost of support workers and services necessary for daily living and skill development. This funding is tailored to the individual’s needs, offering flexibility in service utilisation. Participants have the freedom to choose their support workers, ensuring their daily activities align with personal goals.

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