Individuals who self-direct their services are afforded a great amount of flexibility, and pay for those services with funds from a Personal Resource Account (PRA).
The PRA is a resource level determined by the individual’s assessed needs, and the dollar amount varies for each person. You can self-direct some or all of your services. If you self-direct your services, you will be assisted by a group of people who advocate for your best interests and support your success, called a circle of support. Family members, friends, staff and others can participate in the circle of support, along with your Care Manager. Circles of support can be as small as a few people, or they can be large. You are at the “center” of the circle, and members communicate on an ongoing basis to discover, discuss, and plan the best way to meet your needs and fulfill your personal goals.
Employer and Budget Authority
You may choose to exercise decision-making authority over some or all of your services. By exercising this choice, you also accept the responsibility of taking a direct role in managing these services. As noted before, you will be supported by a circle of support to do this. Employer Authority allows you to be responsible for hiring staff who will provide your supports and services. You can work with a Fiscal Intermediary (FI) that can help you by co-managing, recruiting, supervising and directing support workers, or you can handle some or all of these responsibilities yourself. The Fiscal Intermediary also supports you by providing functions such as screening potential employees and handling payroll. These are some, but not all, of the potential responsibilities.
Budget Authority allows you to take on the responsibility of managing your individualized service budget. This authority enables you to make decisions about the purchasing of supports and services included in your service plans. The Fiscal Intermediary (FI) can also provide you with: billing and payments for approved self-directed supports and services; fiscal accounting and reporting; and general administrative supports.
The above information is from the Access to Services Resource Booklet in OPWDD Front Door Presentation.