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Getting SDA in your Plan

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Getting SDA in your Plan

Whether you are a family member, a support co-ordinator or an allied health professional (occupational therapist) engaged to assess a person’s suitability for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), this guide shows you the 5 steps to getting SDA into a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Plan.


Some things to know before you start

  1. SDA is the housing or home (bricks and mortar). It is separate to the support a person with a disability gets to live in that home. Eg. SIL - supported independent living, ILO- individual living options, or flexible in-home supports.
  2. In line with the important NDIS principles of choice and control, SDA funding is paid to the person with a disability (separate to SIL funding) under Capital Supports in the individual’s plan.
  3. Once SDA is in a plan, people can lease SDA housing or a room in a group home from a registered SDA Provider (who has a compliant and enrolled dwelling with the NDIA), like Compass Housing. Rent payable is capped at 25% of the Disability Support Pension plus 100% of any Commonwealth Rental Assistance. This will usually be significantly less than market rent. The balance of the rent is provided via the NDIS. 
  4. It can take a long time to get SDA into a plan (up to 12 months) so start early. SDA is usually assessed for inclusion at existing plan reviews.
  5. You can get SDA in a plan to be able to use in the future. This is particularly important if the health of the person with the disability, or their carer (parents) starts to deteriorate.
  6. If the person already has an NDIS plan you should be able to submit a change of circumstances application. No need to start from scratch! More information: www.ndis.gov.au/participants/reviewing-your-plan-and-goals
  7. You don’t need to have identified a particular house to test for SDA eligibility. But you can see the modern homes Compass Housing provides and our vacancies here - www.compasshousing.org/SDA-vacancies

  8. Few people with a disability are eligible for SDA. It is for people with a permanent disability who have very high support needs and require specialised disability housing.. Only 6% of people eligible for the NDIS are eligible for SDA.

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9. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is making a huge investment by approving SDA. That’s why the process is extensive and you need to be thorough and address every assessment criteria.

10. Understand the criteria used to assess whether any NDIS support warrants funding. The support must:

  • assist a participant to reach their goals and aspirations
  • facilitate the participant's social and economic participation
  • represent value for money, relative to benefits achieved and costs of alternative supports
  • be good practice and is likely to be beneficial to the participant
  • consider what’s reasonable for parents, carers, informal networks and the community to provide
  • be most appropriately funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.


Some inspiration

While the process of getting SDA into a plan is detailed, it is worth the end goal of the person with a disability living more independently in a highly supported way.

Read stories of others who have done this on the NDIA website

Residents in our SDA homes are thriving and gaining new skills and independence. Read our resident stories here. 


More information

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The 5 steps to getting SDA in an NDIS plan

It is a good idea for your Support Coordinator to engage an Occupational Therapist who is experienced in writing SDA reports as it is highly specialised.

Check if your existing NDIS plan - or the person in your care's plan - already has funding for Support Coordination and Therapeutic Supports to allow for the necessary assessments and exploration of suitable housing alternatives to be made.

More information for Support Coordinators on additional considerations when performing a support needs assessment for someone including SDA in a plan is on the NDIS website here.


The NDIS will only fund supports (including housing) that relate to the goals in a person’s NDIS plan.


Think about then document your goals. Here’s some examples of goals.

  • To move out of my parent’s home and live independently
  • To have more choice and control over where I live and who I live with
  • To be able to join in social activities

Document the answers to these questions.

  1. Where do I - or the person with a disability - want to be and what life could look like? Eg. Where will I live, what will I be able to do and who will I be with? 
  2. What are my housing preferences? For example, I'd like a big backyard because I love being outdoors everyday or I'd like to live in a group home to be with other people. 
  3. What support networks do I have? Who is in my, or the person with a disability's, life - and what is their role?

More information

WA Individualised Services has a templates and question cards.


To gather the evidence to communicate how SDA will help the person to meet their goals and improve their life.

Note: It is NDIS policy that you can test eligibility prior to having a house.


  • Familiarise yourself, and the allied health person working with you, with the NDIS rules and the eligibility requirements.
  • Outline the most appropriate housing design category, building type and location.
  • CRITICAL STEP! Obtain Allied Health reports that use evidence-based assessments that refer to the NDIS legislation and the “reasonable and necessary” assessment in Section 34 of the NDIS Act. The Summer Foundation lists the assessments that the NDIA will accept HERE

To provide evidence in the right way to assist in being granted SDA funding/getting SDA in an NDIS Plan.


  • A support coordinator will likely do this part.
  • Tell the person’s story – what has happened before and how SDA will help them with their life and housing goals.  
  • The evidence required are the Allied Health reports, vison and goals, support map, carer statements, behaviour support plans and incident reports.






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