What is Self-Direction and How Does it Work?

woman and CMA resident walking together

Self-Direction, as defined by Applied Self-Direction, is “a model of long-term care service delivery that helps people of all ages with all types of disabilities maintain their independence at home.” This is on their terms, with the kinds of services and support that they want. It is funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, overseen by the office for people with developmental disabilities (OPWDD), and is available in every state.

There are the Two Basic Types of Self-Direction

Employer Authority and Budget Authority, each of which performs different functions.

  • Employer Authority gives individuals the right to hire, manage, and change the staff employed to support them.
  • Budget Authority gives the individuals some additional rights. The money comes from their personal resource account (PRA); they can establish the hourly pay of those hired to provide services for them and also have the ability to purchase goods.

Community Mainstreaming Associates Offers Self-Directed Services

Community Mainstreaming Associates (CMA) offers Self-Directed services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). Self-Direction at CMA is unique from anywhere else that provides this service. OPWDD and Self-Direction services can be confusing and overwhelming. However, we have created an internal culture and process that helps families feel connected, heard, and supported.

We recognize that as a Fiscal Intermediary (FI), we need to be a vital part of your circle, and we are committed to being solid partners in your efforts to build your life goals. To Self-Direct, you must have a FI and a Support Broker in place. CMA offers both services and the ability to bring in a different Broker of your choice. We believe in the ability to choose your services, including everyone on your team.

CMA Offers Support Broker and Fiscal Intermediary Services

Both assist individuals with Budget Authority, but in different capacities. The support broker supports families in creating a self-directed plan. They also work closely with a fiscal intermediary who helps a self-directed person manage their money.

CMA as a Fiscal Intermediary

self-direction resident and staff member

We use software that allows you to see your plans and updated budget balances in real-time, along with a dedicated person responsible for overseeing and responding to your needs.

An FI will help you understand your budgetary responsibilities. We are responsible for the fiscal management of your budget, staff training, payroll processing, Medicaid and state billing, etc.  As a member of your Circle of Support, we are involved and responsive. 

CMA’s Support Brokers

A Support Broker is hired to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to assist them in self-directing. In addition, they are there to help them establish their network of friends, support teams, and services. A support broker will also assist with setting up their personal resource account and connecting them with a fiscal intermediary.

They work with you and your family to create a person-centered plan that spells out what you want your life to look like.  In addition, they are responsible for creating a yearly budget and a staff action plan that describes precisely what your staff should do to help you achieve your goals.  

At CMA, we meet with our support brokers monthly to establish and maintain a teamwork approach and assist everyone with the fast-paced world of Self-Direction.

See how Community Mainstreaming Associates‘ can assist you and your family with self-directed services.