Like all government initiatives, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) comes with its own alphabet of initials and abbreviations.
Once you have made the transition to the NDIS, there are two terms you really need to understand: SLA and SDA. Let’s cut though the confusion. In plain language, here is what they are about.
Q: What exactly are an SLA and SDA?
A: An SLA is a Service Level Agreement. It is an agreement between you and your provider (such as Achieve Australia) specifying the delivery of the disability supports you require.
An SDA is a Specialised Disability Accommodation Agreement. It specifies the cost of the housing occupied by a person with disability, as well as ongoing costs such as maintenance.
Q: Why do I need to sign these agreements?
A: Once the NDIS was introduced, the Government stopped directly funding Achieve Australia services. That funding is now directed to each individual like you or your family member requiring support. This in turn means Achieve is now required to charge the NDIS for the services it provides to you.
In order to comply with these new NDIS business rules, we had to put in place new agreements between you and Achieve Australia to cover disability accommodation, services and supports. These two new agreements the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and Specialised Disability Accommodation Agreement (SDA Agreement) mentioned above.
Achieve Australia is committed to meeting the highest industry standards and is therefore basing its agreements on the standard contracts issued by NSW Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC).
Q: Do I need both an SLA and an SDA?
A: Yes, if you require both disability accommodation and Achieve’s support services. The SLA covers your services and the SDA your accommodation.
The NDIS aims to maximise your choice by separating housing from support. This allows people to change their support provider without moving house. It also enables housing funds to be attached to individuals – so they can move without losing their housing funds.
However, the NDIS is not responsible for the creation, ownership or management of housing stock for NDIS participants. The NDIA only makes housing payments to the provider – organisations like Achieve Australia – while a participant is living in the dwelling.
Your Specialist Disability Accommodation Agreement (SDA Agreement) specifically covers the cost of the housing. In addition to this funding, you are expected to make a Reasonable Rent Contribution.
Achieve Australia is required to collect this Reasonable Rent Contribution which the NDIS has set at 100% of the Commonwealth Rent Assistance supplement and 25% of the maximum Disability Support Pension. As with the NDIS, Achieve Australia collects these funds on a fortnightly basis.
Q: I thought everything was covered by the NDIS. So why will I be invoiced by Achieve Australia?
A: The NDIS covers reasonable and necessary supports for people with disability.
Under the rules of the NDIS, people with disability are still expected to make a regular contribution to their everyday cost of living. Achieve Australia has committed to bill the absolute minimum amounts set by the Scheme rules.
Under these rules, Achieve Australia must collect a contribution for transport, everyday cost of living and accommodation services, activities in which a person participates, and cost of tickets and other expenses related to everyday activities in our day programs.
Q: If I sign these Agreements, am I locked in to Achieve Australia’s services?
A: Not at all. We understand that people’s personal goals and needs can change over time, and your supports may need to change to enable you to achieve these goals.
The NDIS and Achieve Australia maximise participant choice by separating housing from support (so you can change your support provider without moving house) and having housing funds attached to individuals (so you can move without losing your housing funds).
Q: What action do I need to take now?
A: Sign your Service Level Agreement and Specialised Disability Accommodation Agreement and return them to Achieve Australia.
If you have not received an SLA and SDA, or have received the agreements but want to ask questions before you sign, please contact Achieve Australia immediately by calling 1300 22 44 38 or use the Get In Touch button below.