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Funding & Disability

Supported Independent Living

Supported Independent Living (SIL) gives a person choice about where and how they live. It provides a person with the opportunity to use their skills or learn new skills to live more independently and participate in their community.  

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What are Supported Independent Living services?

Supported Independent Living (SIL) services provide a means of supporting a person who wishes to live in their own home or in a flat by themselves or with others. The person usually needs a level of support or supervision that is beyond what is provided by personal support and household management services. SIL is not intended to be a 24-hour support service.

These services may also be appropriate for people who wish to move from their parental home or residential care into a supported independent living environment. SIL services are also available to people who wish to stay in their own home but require more support because of increased needs.

Who is eligible for supported independent living services?

People who are eligible according to the Ministry of Health definition of disability may be able to access SIL. An assessment of needs is required by a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) agency. Options for supported independent living are discussed with the person.

How is the support provided?

People receive services and support that meet their individual needs and preferences. The goal of SIL services is to help a person to take command of their life and to have a central role in deciding the types of services and supports they want. This information is written in an Individual Plan, which outlines goals and aspirations.

The support required to meet the goals in the Individual Plan is then documented in a Supported Living Package (support package). The support package focuses on those goals that are needs based and funded by the Ministry of Health, and this is sent to NASC for funding approval.

A key worker, also known as a Community Support Worker, is responsible for a person’s Individual Plan.

How does a person obtain SIL services?

Following an assessment by NASC a person will be referred to an organisation who provides the type of SIL services the person needs. The referral will be based on the support needs identified through NASC. The referral outlines ways that the person can be supported i.e. assisting a person to find an appropriate living arrangement, assisting a person to develop skills so they can cope with day-to-day situations at home and in the community, and providing contact with the person to help them maintain independence and a life-style of their choice.

The Ministry of Health has contracts with community based organisations to provide SIL services.

Can a supported independent living provider also provide accommodation?

In some situations organisations have entered into tenancy arrangements with Housing New Zealand for a house in the community. If a person lives in this house they can be charged rent, or a board payment. These payments are not part of the support package determined by NASC.

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