Useful information and Frequently Asked Questions
Many people with disability need a lot of support to live independently in the community, but don’t want to live in a group home with other people.
Individual Living Options (ILOs) are different ways you can do this. ILOs are tailored to each person. They may take time to plan.
It’s easiest to understand ILOs when they are described with examples.
For example, it’s possible for a person with a disability to share their home with a supportive housemate. The housemate provides some support at agreed times, and pays less rent.
There is also a ‘host arrangement’. Another person, couple or family welcomes a person with disability into their home and provides some support. The host receives funding from the person’s NDIS Plan to do that.
In both these examples, people may also have daily help from support workers, or family members, a friendly neighbour or other supports that help them live their life. This is all organised as part of an ILO arrangement.
These are just a couple of the many creative ways people are working out how to live supported and well.
The above examples show that ILOs are about support. ILOs have nothing to do with funding the cost of your home, such as rent.
Even before the NDIS, there have been lots of examples of ILO-type arrangements around Australia and the world. You can take a look at some resources in the question below called “Where can I look for inspiration and ideas?”.
The NDIS makes it possible for lots more people who need support to live this way.
There are also examples in Australia outside of disability that we can use to understand how the money might work in these kinds of arrangements.
For example, in the foster care system a child lives with another person, couple or family who is not their birth family. Foster carers are provided with financial help but they are not paid a wage. There are similar examples in aged care. An older person might have a student live with them and help them in exchange for a reduced rent.
The below video explains more about ILO.
A text transcript of this video can be found here.
These are some of the different ways people are living. The NDIS has more information about this in this link.
People may have a mix of these kinds of arrangements that help make things work for a long time.
For example, two NDIS participants may live together with a co-resident. Living arrangements may also be supported through a friendly neighbour. Host families may welcome someone for a shorter period of time, allowing the person a break from their main or family home.
The NDIS calls these primary and supplementary supports. Primary means the main supporting relationship. For example, a co-residency.
Supplementary means all the other kinds of supports that will make this successful and more likely to last. For example other hosts, mentor supports, on-call arrangements, a friendly neighbour, or paid support workers.
The NDIS has shared some case studies to help participants understand how things can look. Click on this link to find them. They are at the bottom of the page and are called ‘Participant Scenarios’. The NDIS says in their ILO Guidelines “No two people will design their ILO the same way. Everyone has their own needs and ideas about what’s a safe and happy home.” They are called “Participant Scenarios” at the bottom
They have also shared more information about Primary and Supplementary supports.
These arrangements mirror how many Australians live.
They allow you to work out a system of supports that is right for you, rather than have to ‘fit in’ to an existing model.
Those involved in ILO arrangements say positive relationships are at the heart of them. They talk about how life is better through the connection, participation, and a mutual sharing of lives these living arrangements can create.
They say things like “it’s not a job, it’s more a way of life.” People with disabilities and families say things like “I didn’t want to only have paid staff in my life”.
ILOs don’t mean that a person suddenly needs less support. They are about creating different supportive relationships than paid staff working a roster of care.
For some people, an ILO can be the first step they take away from their family home.
There’s a lot to think about and organise with any ILO.
1. The first step is where the NDIS pays to plan what an ILO might look like for you.
This is called Individualised Living Options – Exploration and Design.
It is expected that exploration and design of your ILO will take a minimum of three months.
The NDIS has three different funding levels for this stage. More information about this can be found on pages 10 to 11 of their Guidelines, which can be found here.
This information is then used to prepare something called an ILO Service Proposal for the NDIS. This is where your living arrangement is described and a quote is created. This means the proposal says how much it is going to cost.
The NDIS decides whether to fund your ILO Service Proposal based on whether it is reasonable and necessary.
The NDIS has provided more information about how reasonable and necessary relates to ILO. These are on pages 8 to 14 of their Guidelines which can be found here. It is very important to read this and think about what is needed in the ILO Service Proposal.
2. The next step is to have the funding to make your ILO happen. This is called Individualised Living Options – Supports. This can be for things like to help you to
The funding will include:
You can read more about this in the NDIS ILO Guidelines here.
There are also three different funding levels for ILO - Support.
To find out about the range of housing options that are available to the people you support, register to attend one of our free events.
We will share information on many types of housing and you will have the chance to ask us your questions.
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