Does the NDIS pay rent?

A frequently-asked question by National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants is can the scheme help pay the rent. The short answer is no.

While the NDIS can help participants live independently at home or in assisted facilities, it does not pay the rent.

NDIS participants and their families can discuss their home and living goals as part of their planning conversation.

A participant’s plan will include the supports the NDIS will fund as well as the supports the participant will need to access through the housing system.

Most participants will continue to access housing in the private market by owning or renting, or through social housing.

However, NDIS participants are responsible for day-to-day living costs including rent, groceries, utilities, telephone or internet costs etc, not the scheme.

This is the same for general household items such as a bed, fridge or cooking utensils, but there are some limited circumstances where the NDIS may make a contribution to these costs.

There are different types of home and living support the NDIS can fund. These include:

  • Support that build people’s capacity to live independently in the community, supports to improve living skills, money and household management, social and communication skills and behavioural management
  • Home modifications to the participant’s own home or a private rental property and on a case-by-case basis in social housing
  • Support with personal care, such as assistance with showering and dressing
  • Help around the home where the participant is unable to undertake these tasks due to their disability, such as assistance with cleaning and laundry.

Examples of participants who may require home and living support include, but are not limited to:

  • Participants whose living arrangement is no longer suitable for their disability-related needs.
  • Participants who have restricted or limited mobility and are limited by their accommodation and unable to carry out day to day activities or have difficulties accessing facilities e.g. bathroom, kitchen, toilet, inside and outside of their accommodation safely.
  • Participants who have a need for specialist home and living solutions to provide a basis for the provision of suitable care – for example an adult participant with complex behaviour support needs.
  • Participants who have somewhere to live, but their quality of life would be significantly improved by moving to alternative suitable accommodation or accessing additional support.
  • Participants who are currently in health care facilities who are unable to return to their pre admission accommodation setting safely when discharged from the health care facility.
  • Participants who are currently living in any other accommodation that is temporary, unsafe or unsuitable and mainstream services / community supports are unable to provide a suitable alternative due to the participants disability related needs.

Supports funded by housing and other systems:

  • Social and community housing. State and territory governments are responsible for social and affordable housing. Subject to waiting periods, state/territory government programs will support most people to find affordable housing in the general rental housing market.
  • Homelessness and emergency accommodation services
  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance, a payment through Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services) that assists eligible participants with the cost of housing
  • The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) that is creating additional affordable rental properties.
  • The NDIS may also contribute to the cost of accommodation in situations where the participant has a need for specialised housing due to their disability.

Home and living supports request form

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is working to give its participants more options for how they can set up support in their home. NDIS participants are encouraged to complete a Home and Living support request form if they have an aligned home and living goal that is not able to be met through mainstream, informal, community or other support.

The NDIA will review the information provided in this application and any other supporting documentation provided. The NDIA will use this information to identify appropriate home and living funding support options that may assist the participant to pursue their goals.

Click here for more information

Assistance with daily life

Assistance with daily life is a support category in your core support budget. It’s for assistance or supervision of personal tasks during day-to-day life that enable the participant to live as independently as possible. These supports are provided individually to participants and can be provided in a range of environments, including your own home.

Click here for more information.

Home modifications

Home modifications are changes to the structure, layout or fittings of your home, so you can safely access it and move around comfortably. The NDIS can fund home modifications to make a participant’s home accessible. The scheme can also help participants live independently with supports such as personal care to help with showering or dressing, or assistance with preparing meals and cleaning.

Visit Home modifications explained for more information

Individualised living options

An individualised living option (ILO) is an NDIS support that lets you choose the home you live in and set up support in the way that best suits you. An ILO is a package of support that can help you live how you want in the home environment you have chosen.

For more information, visit About Individualised Living Options.

Supported independent living

Supported independent living (SIL) is help or supervision with daily tasks in your home to help you live as independently as possible, while building your skills. It is the paid personal support and is most commonly used in shared living arrangements. It includes things like having a person to help with personal care tasks, or cooking meals.

Visit here for more details.

Short term accommodation

Short term accommodation, including respite, is funding for support and accommodation for a short time away from your usual home. It covers the cost of your care in another place for up to 14 days at a time. You might have a short stay with other people, or by yourself. It’s often funded when your usual carers aren’t available, or for you to try new things.

For more details, visit Short Term Accommodation or Respite | NDIS.

Medium term accommodation

Medium term accommodation gives you somewhere to live while you are waiting for a long term housing solution. It is only funded if you’re waiting for your disability related support and have a confirmed long term housing solution. The NDIS usually funds medium term accommodation for up to 90 days.

Click here for more details.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology (AT) is the equipment you might need to help you with everyday tasks. AT may be equipment or systems to support a person with a disability might use to reach their potential at home, in the community and the workplace.

See Assistive technology explained for more details.

Specialist disability accommodation

Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is a range of housing designed for people with extreme functional impairment or very high needs. SDA homes are constructed to be more accessible for you. They enable better or safer delivery of other supports you may need. SDA usually involves a shared home with a small number of other people.

Click here for details.

SDA Finder

The SDA Finder is an interactive tool to help you search for SDA vacancies that meet your needs. The SDA Finder is updated weekly with vacancies from across Australia. You can refine your search results by location, building type, SDA design category, number of residents, price and more.

Access the Finder here.

Living in and moving out of residential aged care

In September 2020, the Australian Government released the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Strategy 2020-2025. The Younger People in Residential Aged Care Strategy doesn’t mean you have to move out of residential aged care.

It is there to support you to learn more about the other home and living options available to you, and support you to make informed choices about where, and how you live.

You can find out more here.

Information for providers about home and living support is available at Housing and living supports and services.

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