What is Specialist Disability Accommodation and how can it work in your NDIS plan?

If you have an NDIS plan, or someone in your family receives NDIS funding, you may have heard about Specialist Disability Accommodation and the challenges around obtaining SDA funding. To make things a little simpler, we’ve answered some key questions about receiving, using and planning for SDA.

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation?
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is funding provided to support workers with functional or mobility impairments and support needs. Today, a very small proportion of NDIS participants are allocated – in fact, only 6 percent of all NDIS participants receive SDA. The amount of SDA funding differs depending on each individual’s support needs and requirements.

The purpose of SDA is to provide individuals with an NDIS plan with choice and control over who they live with and which living arrangements they choose. SDA is becoming increasingly important as thousands of young Australians with a disability are being placed into residential aged care due to a lack of funding and living options.

How many SDA places are available?
Unfortunately, there is an undersupply of SDA places for Australians. A study by The Conversation has revealed that the existing supply of SDA will need to grow by 60% to effectively accommodate all 28,000 people who are eligible for SDA. On top of this, many individuals who are currently living in residential aged care and require funding have been denied SDA.

The NDIA has responded to the lack of SDA places, saying that new SDA buildings are being planned and built and that the NDIA will continue to monitor the need for SDA.

How do NDIS participants find Specialist Disability Accommodation?
Individuals receiving SDA funding can receive extra support hours to find a suitable living arrangement. Participants can either seek existing accommodation or use their funding to pay for new accommodation.

Are there different types of SDA funding?
SDA funding can be used to help Australians living with a disability build a new house or renovate an existing building. These funding types can be further differentiated by on-site overnight assistance (accommodation for overnight support).

How can an NDIS participant receive SDA funding?
Currently, there are strict requirements participants must meet before they’re granted SDA. When a person is organising their NDIS plan with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC), they can request funding to reach their housing and living goals.

Besides SDA, what’s the next best option for housing related supports?
There are a number of housing related supports including core supports, capacity building supports and capital supports. Core supports can provide assistance with daily tasks in the home and community access, capacity building supports can provide assistance through a support coordinator to help participants explore all their housing options, while capital supports can cover funding for home modifications and assistive technology.

Despite SDA not being provided in many NDIS plans, NDIS participants can use other NDIS funding types to seek and receive the right in-home support.

If you’re looking for disability support to help reach your lifestyle goals, Mable can connect you with local, motivated support workers who meet your unique criteria. To see who offers disability support in your area, search on Mable today.