SIL vs ILO: Which one is right for you?

Supported Independent Living (SIL) and Individualised Living Options (ILO) are both types of funding that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides to support people with disability to live as independently as possible.

While the two types of funding sound similar and have some similarities, they are different. This can be confusing when trying to navigate the NDIS, so if you need help understanding it, you’re not alone!

That’s why we made this guide to explain exactly how SIL and ILO are different: so you can figure out which one is right for you.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly what each type of funding is, how to access it, and how each can help you live a more independent life.

What’s the difference between Supported Independent Living (SIL) and Individualised Living Options (ILO)?

With so much information to take in about them, it can be hard to pick out the differences between SIL and ILO.

Essentially, SIL funding is for people who need a lot of support at home all the time, and covers the cost of a package of paid supports they’ll get at home. ILO funding is for people with lower support needs who want to explore different options to figure out how they want to live, and covers the cost of any paid supports they choose to include in their plan.

One of the biggest differences between SIL and ILO is that ILO support packages can include informal supports in your plan, like your friends and family, to complement your paid supports like drop-in support workers.

Here’s a way of looking at things that might help you get a clearer idea of how SIL and ILO are different.

SIL funding

SIL funding helps you live more independently at home by setting you up in a shared home where you’ll have 24/7 support, and paying for those support services. It exists to help people with high support needs live as independently as possible with the support of paid workers as well as fellow residents.

Living in a SIL home means living with one or more support workers and sharing them with housemates. To use SIL funding, you’ll work with your Support Coordinator to determine how much and what type of support you need, then find a suitable SIL house where people have similar needs and goals to yours.

SIL often means moving from where you currently live into a different house and often a different suburb, so it’s best suited if you need and want to make changes so you can live more independently.

If you have questions about SIL, you’re not alone! Check out this article where we answered the common questions we get about SIL.

ILO funding

ILO funding helps you live your life the way you choose by letting you explore different home and living options and make your own choices about where you live, who you live with, and how you want to be supported. It exists to allow people with lower support needs to be in control of the way they live and what supports they use their funding on.

You can use ILO to get help in trying out different living situations, such as living with a host, living in a shared house with housemates or friends, or living alone. ILO is all about designing a support package that suits you and your needs, preferences and goals, so everyone’s ILO package will be different.

An ILO includes paid supports as well as informal supports like your friends, family or even neighbours. ILO funding can be a great option for people already in a living situation that works for them, but who just want to add some extra support to their routine.

Let’s break these differences down even further.

Supported Independent Living (SIL) Individualised Living Options (ILO)
Suitable for people who know how they want to live and how much support they’ll need Suitable for people who don’t know how they want to live or how much support they need, and want help figuring it out
Suited to people with higher support needs Suited to people with lower support needs
Provides 24/7 support in the house through a live-in support worker Provides drop-in support workers sometimes to suit your needs and goals
Share support staff with housemates Support staff work with you one-on-one when they visit
Usually provided to you in shared accommodation managed by a SIL provider Can be provided to you while living in a range of situations, usually living with a host or with housemates in shared accommodation
Includes paid supports in your support package Includes both paid and informal supports in your support package
Support Coordinator guides you through the process and helps you find a suitable house Support Coordinator helps you explore and try out different home and living options
Supports managed by SIL Provider Your ILO Provider helps you manage your own supports
Not flexible - changing your supports may require a plan reassessment, moving to a different home, or living with different housemates Flexible - you can change your mix of supports quickly when you check in with your ILO Provider
Supports depend on your needs, goals and preferences Supports depend on your choices

How does funding for SIL and ILO work?

SIL and ILO funding both work differently to most types of NDIS funding.

How most NDIS funding works How SIL funding works How ILO funding works
  • You receive your NDIS plan with dollar amounts assigned to the various categories.
  • You decide which service providers you want to go with
  • You sign on to receive supports
  • You get funding for SIL in your plan, but it doesn’t have an exact dollar amount assigned
  • You will work with your Support Coordinator and speak to all of the relevant providers (OT’s etc)
  • Your providers will work with your Support Coordinator to determine your level of support and how much the supports you need each week will cost
  • You will work with your Support Coordinator to find a suitable house
  • Your SIL provider will do up a quote for the whole house
  • You get funding for ILO in your plan, but it doesn’t have an exact dollar amount assigned
  • You will choose a Support Coordinator to help you understand and explore your options
  • You will work with your Support Coordinator to design your own support package. This happens in 2 stages:
    • Stage 1 - Exploration and Design: working out where you want to live, who with, what support you’ll need and who will support you
    • Stage 2 - ILO Supports: putting your choices into action, getting you set up in your chosen living situation, and putting your supports in place.

You can find out more about how SIL funding works here.

How do I get SIL or ILO funding?

Like all things with the NDIS, to get funding for something it needs to be deemed reasonable and necessary by your NDIS planner.

So, be prepared to explain to your planner why SIL or ILO funding is reasonable and necessary for you in your circumstances.

Every person has different goals and needs, so there’s no one-size-fits-all way to ace your planning meeting. But we have a couple of tips that can help everyone when they meet with their planner.

Be prepared

The more you prepare, the better your chances are of receiving the best funding package for you in your circumstances!

Be clear

Remember that your NDIS planner is meeting you for the first time. They don’t know you as well as you do, so make sure you give them a really clear idea of what you want, your needs, and your goals!

I have SIL funding in my plan. What’s next?

At Endeavour Foundation we offer a range of home options to help you maximise your independence. If SIL sounds right for you and you have SIL funding in your NDIS plan, we can help you find and get set up in a home that suits you.

Explore our current SIL opportunities to start living a more independent life.

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