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Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Journey to Self-Directed Services

So I finally decided to switch from the Community Pathways Waiver to the Self-Directed Services. I thought about doing this before when it was the New Directions Waiver, but something in my gut told me not to. At that time there were too many unknowns and it seemed a high percentage of the budget still went to admin. stuff. Some people are surprise, I waited this long to make this change witch only makes since given that I am so independent.

Let me fall back to January to when I started this process, I had a meeting of the minds with my Coordinator from Service Coordination and a couple other people from my inner circle.  At that meeting it was decided this was right course to take, from there my Service Coordinator filed papers with DDA to request to transfer waivers.

I received my approval letter from DDA within 5 weeks; from there I went to information meeting on Self-Directed Services in February. At this meeting I learned that I would be acting as Incorporation, but also need a Support Broker and a FMA. The Support Broker helps you carry out your plan and keeps track of the budget. Where the FMA acts as the bank, they hold the money and cut the checks. The Support Broker is a volunteer, or paid position, but the FMA gets their cut right off the top of one’s budget.

In six months we had two meetings with my team and really you only have six to complete the transfer process from when I received the approval letter. In reality this is not reasonable, my friend Iyana agreed to be my Support Broker. In order for Ayana to be my Broker, she has to attend training and get a certification. This is only offered ever few months.  I also had the idea of picking a Support Broker off the list. From my emails I either got no response, or they were to busy too help me.

This brings us to current day, Ayana has been at the two days training. So far we learned after we submit my Individual Plan, DDA has 6 to 8 weeks to review it and if we have submit changes they have another 4 to 6 to review that too. So the goes my six months timeline, will I need to reapply to transfer waivers?

Also they said every new client to the Self-Direct Service gets start money to make modifications to there home, or buy stuff to be more comfortable. This sounds too good to be true, I am there is a catch.

December 27

OMG, signed my life away again to the state of Maryland in order to submit my plan for the Self-Directed Waiver. I must of signed 15 things just to submit this first draft to DDA and hope it gets approved the first time around.

I think it is interesting that you can hire a family member to be either the Support Broker, or your stuff. I feel as this is a step forward for me and Wifey, so we can be more open about our marriage. 

Kind of ironic that other services are not catching up on this, but it has to start some ware.
Just as I figured there was a big catch in order to be able to use the start up money. This can only be tapped into for a first time transition from your family home, or hospital/institution and I am way past that. Of course I could keep appealing it, but it would hold up the whole process and to me it just is not worth it.


May 4, 2017

I met with FM, I went with The Arc of Central Chesapeake Region. we were handed a big binder of documents and applications. There was a lot of forms for me and my staff to fill out.  Just because I start my waiver with the FM does not mean my staff is hired automatically and can start billing that day. So there is a gap of when your staff can get paid and there is no retroactive pay. One just has to hope they have a dedicated team as I do.  I turned in the applications on Monday, today Thursday and we are still waiting to hear back of the applications have been processed.

May 5, 2017

All is good, I just received the all clear from my FM that my staff can start their billing.  It only took two days to process the applications and background checks.

July 29, 2017

I have been on the Self-Directed Waiver now for about two months and surprisingly l got a statement that lets me know the status of my budget. When I was on the tradition waiver, the only time I heard about my budget was when I was using it up too fast. Even when I had my yearly IP meetings, nobody  offered to let me know if my budge even changed, or not

November 7, 2017

To be continued…

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