A Comprehensive Guide to SDA Eligibility for NDIS Support coordinators

January 12th, 2024

For NDIS support coordinators, understanding the intricacies of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) eligibility is crucial. This detailed guide breaks down the key criteria and considerations, making it easier to assess whether clients qualify for SDA support.

Understanding SDA Eligibility

The NDIS has set out a number of different categories under which NDIS participants may be eligible for specialist accommodation, you can explore these below.

1. Extreme Functional Impairment or Very High Support Needs

SDA eligibility requires that participants demonstrate either extreme functional impairment or very high support needs.

Extreme Functional Impairment

  • This pertains to participants who have a significant physical impairment.
  • It includes those who need substantial assistance with mobility, communication, or self-care.
  • The impairment should be such that it severely limits their ability to participate in daily activities without intensive support.

Very High Support Needs

  • Participants with a history of long-term stays in institutions, or at risk of being institutionalized, fall under this category.
  • It includes those who require 24/7 support due to the nature of their disability.
  • Consideration is given to those who might not have family or informal supports available.

2. Specialist Disability Accommodation Needs Requirement

Participants must meet specific SDA needs to be eligible.

Specialist Housing Solutions

  • SDA housing is designed to cater to specific disabilities, providing custom solutions like modified bathrooms, reinforced walls, and emergency power solutions.
  • The housing should be able to reduce the need for person-to-person supports and increase independence.

Addressing Participant’s Disability-Related Housing Needs

  • Eligibility is contingent on whether other housing options are unable to meet the specific needs caused by the participant’s disability.
  • The SDA should cater to these unique needs more effectively than mainstream housing.

3. NDIS Funding Criteria

The funding for SDA under NDIS is subject to certain criteria to ensure appropriateness and necessity.

Reasonable and Necessary Support

  • The SDA must be deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’ considering the participant’s overall plan.
  • It should align with the participant’s goals, capacity building, and social participation.


  • The SDA should represent value for money, considering the benefits it offers against the costs.
  • It should be a cost-effective solution compared to other supports.

As an NDIS support coordinators, your role in determining SDA eligibility is vital. This guide offers a comprehensive look at the criteria, ensuring you have the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions for your clients. Remember that each participant’s situation is unique, and personalised consideration is key.

For further guidance or assistance in navigating SDA eligibility, visit the NDIS official guidelines or reach out to us at Harmilla. Our expertise can help you ensure that your clients receive the appropriate accommodations and support they need.

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