SDA Vs SIL: Which One Is The Best Accommodation Option For You

December 28, 2023    |    By Madeeha Usman    |    8 min read
SDA Vs SIL_ Which One Is The Best Accommodation Option For You

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the very first national programme in Australia that is geared at assisting persons who have some kind of impairment. The program gives financial assistance on an individual basis to those who are disabled and have a demonstrated need for it. If you already have an NDIS plan or are considering applying for one, you have undoubtedly been familiar with the phrases SIL and SDA. According to the available statistics, over 4.3 million individuals in Australia are living with some sort of impairment.

Within the next five years, the program's goal is to give financial assistance and other services to an estimated 500,000 people in Australia who are living with a major and persistent handicap. Both SIL and SDA are categories of distinct approaches to accommodating individuals with disabilities. The abbreviations SIL and SDA stand for "Supported Independent Living" and "Specialist Disability Accommodation," respectively. Participants in the NDIS can exercise choice over the kind of support and services they receive. In addition, it is necessary to be aware of the numerous distinctions that exist between these two choices. Let’s go through the two accommodation plans so you can decide which one is the best for you or your loved one.

What is Supported Independent Living (SIL)?

You will get support through a program called Supported Independent Living (SIL), which will assist you in living as independently as possible. If you have a disability and live alone or with a group of people in a shared home, Supportive Independent Living (SIL) will offer you the assistance you need. SIL allows you to experience the benefits of freedom, make new friends, and get the required support. People who reside in SIL receive daily assistance with a variety of tasks, including personal care, such as showering and dressing, household tasks, such as shopping, meal preparation, and cleaning, medical needs, behaviour and social skills, clinical support, including the administration of medication and medication management, and other needs. Check out the Benefits of Supported Independent Living for PWDs in Australia.

What is Supported Independent Living (SIL)_

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation(SDA)?

Individuals who require specialised housing solutions due to high support requirements or extreme functional impairment may be eligible for specialist disability accommodation, also known as SDA. The Special Needs Act (SDA) funding is not intended to cover one-on-one support services; rather, it is designed to cover any disability-related housing expenses above and beyond the typical housing costs. Only a small fraction of NDIS participants who have extremely high assistance needs and who satisfy certain eligibility requirements are eligible to receive funding through the program. Read more about Specialist Disability Accommodation and how it works.

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation(SDA)

What is the Difference Between SDA and SIL?

SDA is an abbreviation for "specially designed accommodation," which can refer to either already existing housing or housing that has been renovated to satisfy the high requirements of people who require considerable care. On the other hand, support and services for daily living can be referred to as SIL, which stands for Supports and Services for Independent Living, and they are offered to a group of people who are in need with the goal of helping them improve their personal skills and live as independently as possible.

If a person is qualified, they may receive both SIL and SDA benefits. If an individual requires daily living assistance for daily tasks and mainly designed or modified housing, then their NDIS plan will finance SDA and SIL separately. SDA is for specialised daily assistance, and SIL stands for specially designed or modified housing. They have the freedom to live in the accommodation that best meets their requirements and to get the SIL support of their choosing, thanks to SIL financing being kept separate from SDA money. Because the funding is kept separate, the individual can alter the support services they get without relocating from their SDA-funded accommodation. It is important to remember that if they decide to move, they will be expected to submit a new application for the SDA support they receive.

Advantages of SIL and SDA

Supported Independent Living (SIL) and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) both provide individuals with functional disabilities with their own set of benefits that are exclusive to them. The following are some of the advantages:

The following are some advantages of SIL:

  • It gives people more freedom and control over their day-to-day activities, which leads to increased independence.
  • In comparison to SDA, it provides a living environment that is more adaptable and has a lower level of structure and support.
  • Provides a heightened feeling of both liberty and seclusion
  • It may be less expensive than SDA.

The following are some of the advantages of SDA:

  • Individuals who have major functional impairments and have high assistance needs are provided with this service.
  • Provides facilities and specialised equipment that are tailored to the requirements of individuals with various types of disability
  • It can offer a greater amount of support and structure than SIL does, which may be required for certain people.
  • To participants who qualify, funding from the NDIS might be made accessible.

In the end, deciding between SIL and SDA will come down to your unique requirements and preferences, as well as whether or not you are eligible for financing through the NDIS. Therefore, it is necessary to talk with your support team as well as the manager of your NDIS plan to identify which choice is the most appropriate for your circumstances.

How can one become qualified for funding from the SIL and SDA?

You could be eligible to get financing for SIL services through the DSOA program or the NDIS.

Access to SIL financing is determined by standards established by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which are based on what is appropriate and essential in terms of support. Eligible individuals must demonstrate that they satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • Show that you are unable to function without support around the clock. To diagnose these problems, an Allied Health practitioner must prepare a Functional Assessment Report, often known as a FAR.
  • It is important to provide support coordinators with a report titled "Identifying Housing Solutions."
  • When determining eligibility for SIL or SDA, the informal assistance of a family member, carer, network member, or community person is also taken into consideration.

The support must be valuable, effective, and individualised for the individual to receive the benefits of having such services.  

The Most Valuable Resources  for SIL and SDA

Are you eager to get started yet stumped on how to get things rolling? You can study the fundamentals of SIL and SDA, as well as the distinctions between the two, from a variety of high-quality materials that are now available on the internet. The following are some of the most impressive examples:

The Most Valuable Resources for SIL and SDA

1. Guidelines for Accessibility and User-Friendliness

The official accessibility and usability standards offer information on how individuals with disabilities can access websites and applications more effectively. You can find many of these rules online or by contacting the relevant local government offices.

2. Tutorials available online

Not only are there formal rules, but there are also a great number of online tutorials that can assist you in acquiring a deeper comprehension of SIL and SDA as they pertain to disabled people. These tutorials often provide step-by-step instructions for configuring accessibility choices inside a platform or application, as well as recommendations for best practices for testing and verifying your work.

3. Accessibility Software and Service Providers

Investing in software solutions that are specifically built for accessibility needs is something you should think about doing if you want to become fluent in SIL or SDA in a short amount of time. These software tools often come with an intuitive user interface that enables users to quickly adjust accessibility parameters such as font size and colour contrast to produce a user experience that is compatible with their needs.


The world of disability is full of acronyms and specialised vocabulary, both of which can easily lead to confusion. Despite this, it is necessary to get an understanding of the distinctions between Supported Disability Accommodation (SDA) and Supported Independent Living (SIL) to become empowered and make decisions that are based on accurate information concerning the level of care and support that you or a loved one requires.

It is always best to engage with a competent professional to ensure that you understand the various funding choices and how they could affect the care and assistance that you or your loved one can get. Because deciding which is suited for you or your loved one is a complex decision, it is always best to work with a qualified professional. Regardless of the path you decide to take, it is crucial to keep in mind that people with disabilities have the freedom to pursue their goals regardless of the racial or economic background of the person pursuing those goals.

Therefore, if you are looking for a service provider who is registered with the NDIS, your quest is over. In Australia, Care Assure is an NDIS-registered service provider that provides both SIL and SDA to people who need them. Our staff puts in a lot of effort to provide high-quality support services and to help people with disabilities who require assistance from the NDIS achieve the goals that they have set for themselves.

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