Did you know that Supported Independent Living (SIL) providers do not need to be registered? You might not be familiar with the term SIL, think of what we used to call group homes. That is not to say that SIL is just for groups because it can be for just one person.

What if you or someone you care about is living in supported accommodation but isn’t happy? Can they move?

Absolutely yes but it will take some time and effort. Here is a brief rundown of some of the possible steps but keep in mind that each person is unique, where they live may have a huge impact on their choices and not everyone needs all of these steps. Here we go.

A person with a NDIS plan needs to find somewhere they want to live. At the start of the NDIS, it was the other way around as one would get approval first and then find the provider. These days, you find the provider first.

To find a SIL provider, you can google SIL and have a look at each organisation’s website as they might list accommodation vacancies. You might like to call them. Depending on where you live, there might be some type of listing that you can search. The Housing Hub can be helpful, see https://www.housinghub.org.au/

When you do find a SIL provider (if that is what you are looking for), then you need a Roster of Care completed. That tells the NDIS how much funding is required for your support. Tip: make sure the Roster of Care includes enough individual time for you and isn’t just 24 hour care under SIL. Second tip: phone the NDIS to make sure the Roster of Care is taken off their email list and added to your record (it is emailed in by the provider as one of the forms is in excel format and is needed electronically).

An Occupational Therapist is helpful in so many ways when it comes to the NDIS, especially for housing. An OT who is familiar with the NDIS will know all about what they can do to help you with the process. Top tip: find an OT who understands your needs and ask them for help.

So you have found a SIL, most likely have got an Occupational Therapy Functional Capacity Assessment (long title but so useful) and now need to ask the NDIS for the funding. If you are moving, this is when you need to have a Change of Circumstances and Request for Review form completed. These 2 forms will trigger a review.

You might have other reports submitted to support your application, all depends on your disability specific needs.

One document that is really useful is a Statement of Lived Experience. That is something a person with a disability or their family might write to let the NDIS understand what you are going through and what this change might mean to you. You can put in anything you like to tell them how you feel and think about the situation. You can write it on any piece of paper or have someone help you write it. My suggestion is to write your name on it, sign and date it.

What about support? Do you need a disability advocate? Do you have a local NDIS or LAC office that you can visit for help? At the very least, it may be useful to pop in or call the NDIS regularly to find out how your application is progressing.

There is lots more to say about housing but hopefully, this is enough to get you started.