The NDIS funds various home and living supports including:
- assistance with daily life in the home
- home modifications
- short-term and medium-term accommodation
- assistive technologies
- independent living options (ILO)
- supported independent living (SIL)
- specialist disability accommodation (SDA).
Supported independent living (SIL) is generally for people with higher support needs who require some level of assistance at home all the time. SIL consists of funding for paid personal supports and is most commonly used in shared living arrangements to help participants live as independently as possible, while building skills. Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is specialised housing designed for people with extreme functional impairment or very high support needs, and usually involves living with a small number of other people. See NDIS Home and Living Supports for further information on accommodation support.
As at 31 December 2021, among participants with a psychosocial primary disability, about 1 in 80 (1.3% or 685 people) were accessing SDA, and almost 1 in 20 (4.6% or 2,437 people) were accessing SIL packages.
Supports outside the NDIS accessed by participants with a psychosocial primary disability
There are supports outside the NDIS important to the well-being and quality of life of NDIS participants, and which the NDIS tries to connect participants with. These are classified by the NDIS as:
- Informal supports such as friends, family and other people that participants know in their community
- Community supports such as community groups religious groups and other activities in a participant’s area
- Mainstream supports such as the health and education systems and other government services available to all Australians.
As at 31 December 2021, almost all (95.1%) participants with a psychosocial primary disability had accessed mainstream supports such as health and other government services, a similar finding to that for other participants across the Scheme (95.3%). The proportion of participants with a psychosocial primary disability who accessed community supports (41.9%) was slightly lower than other participants across the NDIS (46.5%). The proportion of participants with a psychosocial primary disability who are recorded as accessing informal supports such as friends and family was much lower than other participants across the Scheme (76.0% compared to 94.7%).
Employment services for people with a psychiatric disability
Employment services was the most accessed category of service by users with a psychiatric disability under the National Disability Agreement (NDA). Disability Employment Services (DES) are not part of the NDIS and are operated by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS). Supports greater than what may be reasonably provided by an employer or the provisions of the DES are able to be funded by the NDIS.
DES is made up of two parts. Disability Management Services (DMS) helps jobseekers with disability, injury or health conditions find a job and can also provide occasional support in the workplace. Employment Support Services (ESS) provides assistance to jobseekers with permanent disability to find a job, and regular ongoing support in the workplace to keep a job (for more information see Disability Employment Services).
According to the DES caseload data at 31 December 2021, jobseekers with a psychiatric primary disability comprised 40.1% of jobseekers (126,100 cases) across the DES, second only to the proportion of jobseekers with a physical disability (43.5% or 136,776 cases).
Within the ESS arm of DES, jobseekers with a primary psychiatric disability comprised the largest proportion of cases among all primary disability groups, forming 42.0% of the caseload (70,040 cases) on 31 December 2021.
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You may also be interested in: Specialised supports for people with disability.