Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI 02908, 401-456-8072
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Self-Directed Supports for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
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What are Self-Directed Supports?

Self-Directed Supports are a way for you, along with your family or people you know and trust, to have more control in deciding how to spend your Medicaid long term care support dollars in ways that work best for you.

What are the benefits?

With Self-Directed Supports, you, along with family or others you trust: 1) Set your own goals; 2) Decide your own schedule and activities; 3) Choose your own support providers. You can choose people who know you and how to support you well; 4) Get more "bang for your buck" - more of your support dollars go directly to your support needs and less to agency overhead costs.

How does it work?

With Self-directed Supports, you will choose an agency to be your Fiscal Intermediary. The Fiscal Intermediary sets you up as an employer and manages the dollars approved for your use by DDD. They manage payroll, workers' compensation, and background screening for your employees. They receive a small fee from your budget. You do the rest.

What is my role?

You decide what you want to do and what help you will need. You will write an "Individualized Support Plan" for approval by DDD. You find, hire, train, and supervise your support workers - and fire them if you need to. You decide how much to pay your support staff within the limits of your budget. You sign time sheets and submit them to the fiscal intermediary for payment.

Who can help me?

The Fiscal Intermediary will help with money management and will register the support staff you identify as your employees. There are independent plan writers who, for a fee, can assist you to design and write your Individualized Support Plan. You can also ask family or friends to help design or write your plan. Family or friends can also help recruit and supervise your staff, or you can use your budget dollars to hire someone to coordinate your supports.

What other things should I consider?

While self-directed supports allow for more control and flexibility, it puts more responsibility on you. You need to be clear about what you want, or have others around you who can help you make decisions. If a support worker quits or doesn't show up, you need a backup plan. Before choosing Self-Directed Supports, talk with others who are using this model.

If I try Self-Directed Supports, can I change my mind?

Yes, you can always change your mind. Inform your Fiscal Intermediary and your DDD social worker of your decision. Then, you will need to identify a provider agency. Before beginning service, the agency will need approval from DDD. Is is best to plan any change with plenty of lead time.


Frequently Asked Questions

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