Supported independent living and the NDIS

Supported independent living can help people living with a disability to do daily tasks and increase their self-reliance while living in a home setting.

Under Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (the NDIS), supported independent living can be allowed for adults with higher support needs – people who require help for tasks throughout the day and night – who are living in a home-like setting.

Often people who receive supported independent living supports are in a group home with other people living with disabilities.

Supported independent living activities include jobs that help people to be independent or learn new skills. This could include funding for a carer to help with tasks such as getting dressed or having a shower, or cooking and eating meals.

Supported independent living and the NDIS can help you to live your own life and achieve your goals, while still receiving the care you need, allowing you to live the life you choose.

What is supported independent living?

Supported independent living activities can include a range of work that increases the capacity of the person living with disability.

This could include:

  • Support for day-to-day life tasks, such as cooking, personal care and help around the home if that is not possible due to their disability
  • Capacity-building initiatives to live in the community, including dealing with money and budgeting skills, social and communication skills, household management help
  • Home modifications to make it easier to get around in the property, if in a rental or private residence or in a case-by-case basis for social housing
  • Household assistance tasks such as cleaning or laundry, when the person living with a disability is unable to do this due to the nature of their disability.


Who can receive supported independent living?

People living with a disability who are participants in the NDIS are able to apply for supported independent living services as part of their funding arrangements.

That means the NDIS will pay for carers to come and help them with the tasks they need within their group home.

Supported independent living funding is not automatic, however, it has to be planned and approved. The process involves working with a support coordinator funded by the NDIS and an NDIS planner to figure out if supported living arrangements are appropriate. They can also links you with the relevant health professionals to complete any relevant assessments as evidence to submit to the NDIA for supported independent living consideration.

Then, to find the right services, some people get help from a support coordinator or research the service providers themselves.

When might supported independent living be an option?

You might consider supported independent living if your goal is to be more self-sufficient while still accessing help day to day.

This may be the case if your current living arrangements are not suitable due to your disability, for example, that it is challenging to access the kitchen or toilet, or go outside.

Living in a home with other people in a shared living arrangement may enable a higher quality of life and more suitable accommodation.

Who pays for supported independent living?

If the NDIS approve your application for supported independent living, the NDIS will pay for the support services to care for you in your accommodation setting. It must meet the NDIS funding criteria that the assistance is reasonable and necessary.

The NDIS does not pay for rent, utility bills or mortgage payments, or help you to find a home. Housing and accommodation are not funded through supported independent living.

States and territories are responsible for social and affordable housing but, depending on where you live, there are often waiting lists for this accommodation.

The Australian Government funds Commonwealth Rent Assistance to help with the cost of renting, and the National Rental Affordability Scheme to build more affordable housing.

How does supported independent living work?

Working with a supported independent living service provider, together you will create a roster of care to determine what help you need and when you need it.

It will outline the different support, and who and when it will be provided. Generally, the roster is written in half-hour blocks. The roster will also set out the type and ratio of support and the pricing.

Once everything is approved by you and the NDIS, you can engage a service provider.

How much does supported independent living cost?

Supported independent living costs are paid by the NDIS for people living with disability who are approved for the services.

The NDIS operates under a regulated set of pricing arrangements and price limits that determine the level of payment for each service. Service providers are subject to strict guidelines for their support and claims.

Supported independent living providers

There are supported independent living providers around Australia who can help people living with a disability to do things for themselves in their own home.

Established supported living providers, such as Ability Options, are experienced in assisting people to live independently, and create a home that is uniquely yours. This is all for  our vision for you to find somewhere that is more than a home, with a life that is your choice.

Your independence can come from our support. We’ve helped many people living with disabilities to lead happy, healthy, independent lives. Let us help you to create your own home environment with supported independent living.

At Ability Options, our mission is to support people who need assistance to achieve their aspirations and inclusion in the community. We are a registered provider of supported independent living services. Find out more.

Do you know someone who could benefit from our services?

Refer them to Ability Options to help them get the support they want and deserve.

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