Brokerage Support Services
Brokerage Support Services are in-home or other personal supports that assist an individual to live in their own home or with family or friends and to fully participate in community life, including work. Support services are based upon people have choice and control over life goals and services. Each individual will receive an individual plan and will be able to select and monitor the providers of desired services.
Foundations of Brokerage Support Services
There are two (2) important foundations of Brokerage Support Services:
1. Staley Lawsuit Settlement Agreement
This agreement is the outcome of a lawsuit filed against the State of Oregon in 2000 and outlines specific conditions for the development and implementation of support services throughout the state over a multi-year period. The ARC of Oregon Staley Home page provides copies of the original and modified settlement agreements, frequently asked questions, and other information.
Parties to the Settlement have also published A Roadmap to Support Services to help individuals wanting services to understand and access them.
Annual reports provide status and outcome information related to support service implementation.
A major goal of Brokerage Support Services is to give an individual and their legal representatives as much choice and control as possible. This choice and control is exercised in such key areas as plan development, use of available financial resources, and the selection and monitoring of service providers.
Access to Brokerage Support Services
Access is through local County Developmental Disability Programs. Service Coordinators in these programs determine eligibility for support services and make referrals to the agencies that help develop and monitor the actual support services provided.
Questions about obtaining support services can be directed to the appropriate Community Developmental Disability Program (CDDP).
Brokerages and Personal Agents
To obtain support services, individuals are first enrolled in a Support Services Brokerage. The primary job of a Support Service Brokerage is to help an individual plan, arrange, and monitor supports needed to stay at home and use the community. Support Service Brokerages are governed and certified by standards outlined in state administrative rules
. These rules also describe the seven key functions
brokerages are to perform. Support Service Brokerages are assigned specific geographic areas in the state and a maximum number of people each will serve. See Support Service Brokerage List .
Brokerage organizations employ staff (Personal Agents
) who help enrolled individuals develop an individual support plan, obtain available resources necessary to implement the plan, select people or organizations to provide specific support services, and monitor and evaluate the outcomes of delivered services.
Each Brokerage is required to have a Policy Oversight Group, responsible for guiding the organization. The membership of the group is at least 50% self advocates and family members.
Individual Plans, Budgets, and Supports
Individual Support Plan
All Brokerage Support Services must be developed through a person centered planning process. This process begins with each individual defining the kinds of life activities desired and the help needed to obtain their life goals within the community. Individuals are assisted, if desired, by a circle of support consisting of family, friends, and selected professionals.
Through this process, a person may choose to get services through the existing service system, or may choose to go elsewhere for assistance by employing qualified individuals, co-workers, or friends.
Brokerage Support Services do not provide cash directly to individuals with disabilities, their spouses or families. Instead, Personal Agents will work with individuals to develop a precise budget based on the agreed upon service plan. Part of the process will be identifying the resources that individuals already have and how those resources are being used to meet needs. The budget will also identify available Support Service funds and how they may be used. Agencies or individuals designated by the individual will act as employees or contractors to provide desired services and paid for within the individual budget.
Individuals receiving Brokerage Support Services are eligible for certain annual benefit levels
for funding support services. The amount of funding available to an individual will vary depending on the individual’s eligibility for certain Federal funding or other specific circumstances.
The individual budget can only be used for certain types of expenses. The State has identified the range in usual and customary costs for each of these services. It is the responsibility of the Personal Agent to help each individual identify and use the most cost effective provider of needed services.
Qualified Providers of Brokerage Support Services
Personal Agents help individuals to identify and arrange for potential providers of supports and services set out in their plan. Arrangement for desired services may involve the use of written agreements with service organizations or independent contractors. Often individuals choose to hire people as their own employees to provide services. Sometimes services are delivered through a business that is available to the general public as a whole. Brokerage staff helps individuals decide what options are best in the selection of support service providers.
Any provider of a support service customer must meet specific provider qualifications
depending upon the type of business as an employee, general business, independent contractor, or provider organization. People interested in becoming providers may contact the Support Service Brokerage
in their area to obtain more information about becoming a support service provider.
The State has identified usual and customary rate ranges and rate policy for each type of service purchased. Independent Contractors and provider organizations are expected to establish rates for all supports they wish to make available for individuals in support service.
Federal Funding of Brokerage Support Services
Support services are provided under a federal Medicaid waiver as an alternative to placement in an institution or Intermediate Care Facility For Persons with Mental Retardation (ICF/MR). The Support Services For Adults Waiver also defines quality assurance standards.
Oversight of Brokerage Support Service Implementation
The Staley Implementation Group oversees the implementation of support service. This broad-based stakeholder group reviews key implementation plans and policies, discusses issues related to support services, and reviews service data and quality assurance information. Information on the membership of the Staley Implementation Group and minutes of meetings can be accessed at the Arc of Oregon Web site.