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How Does SDA Work?

If you are a service provider working for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), you must have heard the term SDA. If you don’t know what it means, we are here to answer all your questions about it.

What Is SDA?

SDA stands for Specialist Disability Accommodation. It is funded by NDIS for the participants who have high-level needs. This support is individualised to fit the participant’s needs; it allows them the modifications in their apartments and houses, they can also choose to live alone or with others in this accommodation, and they have access to their other NDIS support to help them meet their goals.


Fronto Advisory provides advisory services related to NDIS, SDA, Aged care, etc. If you are wondering how to become an SDA provider in Australia. Contact us, and our professional advisors will help you through the process.

What Does SDA Not Cover?

Being a service provider for NDIS, you should know what supports are covered under the program. NDIS funds are to be strictly paid for specific things, and participants cannot use these funds to pay for something that is irrelevant to their goals and health. Since you are the service provider and the participants might allow you to manage their funds, you need to ensure that the funds are only spent on relevant things, so your participants don’t run out of them.


Funds provided for SDA cannot be used to pay rent or buy a house or apartment ownership. Participants will have to pay this on their own, while SDA only pays for the things they might need while living within that house. The eligibility criteria for SDA are also different from other NDIS support. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) only allows this funding for people who have complex needs that cannot be fulfilled by their existing support. So make sure that you manage your participants’ funds accordingly.

How Does Payment Work?

When NDIS has allowed funding for SDA in the plan, the participants can start looking for SDA providers who can help them find suitable accommodation for their stay. As an SDA service provider, you must have appropriate and relevant knowledge of the topic and guidelines of NDIS so you can guide the participants well.


Once the participants have decided on the place they would like to stay, the initial process is done. Participants have to sign an occupancy agreement with the SDA property provider. NDIS directly pays the payment to the SDA providers, and participants do not have to concern themselves with it. 

What SDA Funding Covers?

As we said earlier, SDA funding cannot be used to pay off rent or buy property for the participants. What SDA can provide funding for may differ from participant to participant and the SDA provider they are engaged with, but here are some common things that are covered in the SDA funding.


  1. Home modification and assistive technology to help the participants become more independent.
  2. Accessible tools for cooking.
  3. Smart technology such as voice activation of lights and window covering etc.

Difference Between SDA And SIL

Participants often get confused between the two, and if you are a new service provider, it is normal for you to be confused as well. SIL stands for Supported Independent Living, and it is the support that is provided while the participant stays in his home. They can have a support worker assist them in their daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, etc. Whereas Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is about the home itself, participants can have modifications to fit their needs. That is the main difference between these two funds provided under NDIS to make independent living accessible for the participants.

Looking For Advice?

Understanding the support funded by NDIS is essential for service providers. Participants can only come to you for help if you are a new provider. It is better to gather as much knowledge as you can about the program and try to provide the best possible support to the participants.


If you want to know something else about how to become an SDA provider, reach out to us at Fronto Advisory, and we will be sure to help you with your questions.

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