The NDIS provides a range of funding to support people with disabilities to live more independently, through the SIL and SDA funding packages. In this article we’ll explore the difference, and give you an understanding of SDA, or Specialist Disability Accommodation.

First, what’s the difference between SDA and SIL

SDA stands for Specialist Disability Accommodation, while SIL stands for Supported Independent Living.
Both SIL and SDA are different types of disability accommodations. If you have an NDIS plan or are planning to apply, you should be aware of both types of services and how they differ in detail in order to ensure you get the best funding for your needs. While the two terms may appear similar at first glance, their applications are quite different. 

What is Supported Independent Living 

According to the NDIA, “Supported independent living is help or supervision with daily tasks to help you live as independently as possible, while building your skills.” 

Supported independent living means having help or support from others for daily activities, like personal care or meal preparation. The aim of SIl is to help you live as independently as possible, while developing your skills.

Supported Independent Liveing (SIL) is for people with higher levels of support requirements, who require some level of assistance from others all the time.

Elliot Lane Apartments

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation?

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a funding stream within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which aims to increase the availability of purpose built, accessible housing for people with disabilities. SDA aims to enable people with disabilities to live independently, safely and comfortably in their homes.

The NDIS provides funding for new builds which are specifically intended to meet the specific requirements of individuals with extremely high levels of need or severe disabilities. These new builds usually offer a wider variety of features and options than current housing stock, including larger living spaces, specialised kitchen equipment, fully accessible bathroom facilities, ramps and lifts, and private bedrooms. They are often situated far away from other dwellings and community centres, allowing these individuals to live independently and maintain privacy.

SDA funding is not available to all NDIS participants. In fact only 6% of NDIS Participants receiving SDA in their NDIS Plans. When a person is eligible for SDA, the NDIA will include the cost of the house or building in their NDIS Plan. The costs associated with purchasing a home, building a new home or renovating an existing one, and paying for appliance and fixture installation are factored into the funding. SDA will not pay for any services or support that the individual may require in that home.

Elliot Lane Apartments

What are the 4 SDA accommodation categories?

Improved Liveability

Properties designated under the ‘improved liveability’ are designed for people with intellectual, cognitive, and sensory impairments. Improved lighting and tactile environmental controls are an important element of this category.


This level of SDA is designed to keep people safe who may have some behaviours of concern, that could put them or those who support them at risk. They are also designed to reduce the need for repairs and ongoing maintenance. Building standards for robust SDA housing includes secure windows, doors, and external areas, as well as high impact wall lining, soundproofing, and laminated glass. 

Fully Accessible

Fully Accessible SDA aims to provide a suitable environment to support  with significant functional impairments. These properties include modified kitchen and bathroom benchtops to allow access from either sitting or standing positions as well as wheelchair access throughout the entire home. 

High Physical Support

As the name suggests, this category is designed to provide an environment which allows people with significant physical disabilities the support they need, to live as independently as possible.

Our SIL and SDA services

Tulgeen has been providing accommodation support for people with disabilities for many years. We currently provide a range of both SIL and SDA services in Bega, NSW. Get in touch with our team via our contact page, or head over to our Accommodation pages to learn more about our services.

Learn more

To learn more about the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and the way it funds disability accommodation supports through SDA and SIL packages, head over to the NDIS website.

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