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Key Terms for
Self-Directed OPWDD Services

Budget Authority: Gives the individual control over the money allocated in their personal budget to buy the supports and services they need to live in the community.  

Consolidated Supports and Services (CSS): Funds within the HCBS Waiver that were used prior to 10/1/2014 to pay for individualized, self-directed services. These services were to be created, implemented, and monetarily controlled by the person who received them.

Developmental Disability (DD): A signifi cant disability that begins before age 22 that can limit a person’s ability to function independently. Some examples of DDs are: cerebral palsy, autism, and intellectual disability (formerly referred to as mental retardation). People with DDs require coordinated support throughout their lives.
Developmental Disabilities Regional Offi ce (DDRO): The regional offi ces of OPWDD are responsible for determining eligibility, conducting the intake process, and helping to coordinate and oversee programs, supports, and services within their region.

Employer Authority: Employer Authority allows individuals to exercise the right to hire, manage, and change the people employed to support them.

Family Support Services: The Family Support Services Program helps families who are caring for a relative with a developmental disability at home. These services are state funded and include Family Reimbursed Respite, Recreation, Counseling, Training and Information and Referral Services.

Fiscal Management Services (FMS) or Fiscal Intermediary (FI): These are non-profi t organizations authorized by OPWDD to assist individuals with the management and payment of their self-directed budgets.

Front Door: Refers to the process of applying for OPWDD services for the fi rst time for individuals with developmental disabilities for whom eligibility for services has not yet been determined. Or, for individuals whom OPWDD has determined eligible for services, but who have not received any services for a year or more.

Home and Community Based Services Waiver (HCBS): Medicaid-funded supports and services for people with developmental disabilities that allow them to live at home and remain engaged within their community. The federal government waives traditional state Medicaid income requirements so that the Medicaid money may fund waiver services. The waiver is a grant that the state applies for with the federal government.

Individual Directed Goods and Services (IDGS): As of 10/1/2014, this is a new HCBS waiver service that allows individuals who choose to self-direct their own budgets to purchase the goods and services they need to achieve their goals.

Individual Service Plan (ISP): A personal plan written by an individual with developmental disabilities that summarizes the supports and services he or she needs to achieve his or her personal goals.

Medicaid in relation to HCBS: A person must apply and be enrolled in Medicaid in order to be eligible for HCBS services. Medicaid eligibility for these services is NOT determined by an individual’s parents’ income and assets. It is determined by the individual having a documented developmental disability.

Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD): New York State agency that funds and oversees Medicaid waiver services for people of all ages with developmental disabilities.

Other Than Personal Services (OTPS): This is the part of an individual’s budget that is state-funded only; NOT funded by the federal government. A person can opt to use up to $3000 per year in OTPS funds.

Person-Centered Planning: Supports and services that are based on an individual’s interests, preferences, abilities, and desires that meaningfully increase their presence in the community.

Personal Resource Allocation (PRA): The yearly budget assigned to an individual that pays for their self-directed services. This budget is based on the service/supports plan. The service/supports plan is based on an individualized assessment of needs, preferences, wants, and abilities.

Self-Directed Services: The type of services an individual with a developmental disability has when he or she chooses have control over and make choices regarding his or her own supports, services, and budgets. 

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