Individual and Family Fact Sheet
Self Determination Orientation
What is Self-Determination?
Self-determination is a national movement about rights and personal freedom. It is an approach to service delivery that supports people with disabilities to live the lives they desire. Self-determination helps people, their families and friends determine their future, design their own support plans, choose the assistance they need to live full lives and control a personal budget for their supports. Individuals may use their individual budgets to hire their own staff, to purchase supports from an agency, or may select a combination of these approaches.

How do I Get Started Determining My Individual Supports and Services?
Getting started is easy. If you decide you want to design your own supports, tell your case manager or support broker that is what you want to do. Your case manager or support broker will work with you to develop your Circle of Support, help you make a personal plan for your future and help you to determine what supports you need. No matter where you live or work, you can tell your case manager or support broker you want to have more control over your supports.

What Are The Benefits Of Self-Determination?
In Connecticut, self-determination has enhanced the lives of many individuals. When people create the quality of life they desire, they tend to be happier and more satisfied with the supports they receive. Self-determination offers the freedom to decide how you want to live your life, authority over your resources and supports, and control over the supports you need to live a full life. When you direct your own supports, you also assume greater responsibility for your choices and decisions. Self-determination is most successful when it is a partnership among people with disabilities, the people closest to them, their case manager or support broker and their support providers.

What Is A Circle Of Support And How Do I Get One?
A Circle of Support is a group of people you invite to be part of your life. They will partner with you, help you develop a personal plan, help you make decisions and support you in your life choices. The members of your Circle should include people you feel comfortable with, people whose opinions you value, people who have supported you and people who could help you make your dreams happen. You may have family and friends who already support you. They are the beginning of your Circle. Talk to your case manager or support broker to assist you in developing and expanding your own Circle of Support.

What Is A Personal Plan?
A personal plan can also be referred to as a Person-Centered Plan or an Individual Plan. It is your plan that describes steps you need to take now to get you to your dreams. Everyone has dreams, but unless you put your dreams into action, they may never come true. Your plan will establish a direction you want to go, determine the supports you need to get there and help identify who will support you to reach your dreams.

Who Will Help Me To Manage My ISA And Individual Budget?
You are your own best support, but others will assist you when you need them. Talk to your case manager or support broker and your Circle of Support to help you with any issues, concerns, or problems you may have. Together, you can work out almost any problem. Fiscal Intermediaries (FI) will assist you to manage the financial responsibilities that are part of your ISA.

What If I Need Money To Support My Plan?
Once you have a plan and your Circle of Support is working with you, your case manager or support broker will help you to develop a budget. Funding could come from resources you already have, or you may need to explore other sources such as family, work, DDS, and others. Member of your Circle may be able to provide some of the support you need without any financial assistance. Some of your support may need funding. If DDS funding is required, your needs will be evaluated, including evidence of previous requests for DDS residential and/or day services. If the funded services are reimbursable under the Medicaid Waiver, you will be asked to enroll in the Waiver. Your case manager or support broker will assist you to determine your eligibility for the Medicaid Waiver. He or she will also let you know if money from DDS has been identified to support your plan. Once money is available, your case manager or support broker will help you develop an ISA including your budget.
What Can I Spend My Money On?
Your personal money can be spent on any support you need. However, if you receive financial support from DDS, there are certain items and services that you may not be able to buy with those DDS funds. Your case manager or support broker will provide you and your Circle of Support with guidelines that include examples of allowable expenses, restricted expenses and a reasonable range of rates you might expect to pay for supports and services.
Will I Get To Continue My Supports From Year To Year?
Your ISA can be renewed or continued each year, but you will need to review your plan and determine what is working and what changes you may need to make. Sometimes, your needs may change and you may require less or more support. Your Circle of Support will assist you to make decisions so that you can lead a self determined life.

Is Self Determination For Me?
Self determination may be for you if you want a primary role in designing, selecting, directing and evaluating your supports. It is up to you and the people closest to you to make the decision about how you want your supports to be provided. You may also want to talk to other individuals and families who have experience with self determination. If you still have questions, contact your case manager or support broker.
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