Are you up to date on the Government’s plan for improvements to home and living supports?
28 Apr, 2022

Are you up to date on the Government’s plan for improvements to home and living supports?

One of the supports that is funded by the NDIS is supported independent living (SIL). SIL allows participants to be able to live as independently as possible with some help of daily tasks. It is one of the supports that assists participants to truly have their autonomy while gaining new skills. This allows people with disabilities to have more of a choice in where they live and who they live with as they can choose the appropriate amount of support they need.

As of this month, significant changes that have been announced regarding supported independent living supports through the NDIS. The minister of the scheme, Linda Reynolds has stated that in order to improve the experience for participants based on the feedback received they have created a few short- and medium-term improvements. These were created to improve the existing supports for participants.

The changes highlighted include:

• Simplifying claiming processes – a new and simpler weekly claiming process will make it easier for participants to negotiate directly with providers about the supports they are looking to receive/how they are looking for them while also reducing administrative burden

• Transition approaches – new and transparent transitions will be introduced to manage material changes to existing or new SIL supports

• Unplanned exits payment – a new SIL payment will be introduced to providers to lessen instances of a participant having to leave a shared accommodation without significant notice and awareness

The benefit of these changes is that participants can build more trust with their SIL providers as well as the NDIS for better assistance. With the weekly claiming, participants should have some more direction about how their funding is being used and visibility to navigate the services they are receiving and how they are being charged for them.

The NDIA is also making more of an effort to assist both SIL participants and providers. They have mentioned they will commence publishing metrics specific to home and living decisions. As participants with complex needs need to have consistency with their living arrangement, this looks like a step in the right direction for providers/participants alike to better understand what is happening in the industry.

They also will be providing a point of contact to explain the home and living funding decisions. This gives participants a chance to understand the system a bit better, and advocate obtaining any more information they need or identifying changes if they do not agree with the decision.

A final note of the significant changes is the establishment of obtaining easier information on individualized living options (ILO). Currently, being able to find clear information on the ILO pathway has been a struggle for both participants and providers. By the agency promising to develop a clearer pathway it could greatly reduce the stress participants and providers face with navigating the supports that go along with SIL.

These changes are great and definitely feel like a step in the right direction. However, we must continue to get participant feedback and note queries to ensure the experience is assisting all in the best way possible.

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