One of the most common questions we hear at brokerages is “What can I use my support services funds for?”
Each customer enrolled in a brokerage has a certain benefit level (an amount of support services funds to which they are entitled and may use to purchase needed services). Before any support services funds can be accessed, we first must look for natural supports in the community. This means we look to services like Vocational Rehabilitation, school districts, the Oregon Health Plan, Independent Living Resources and other organizations who offer services to individuals with disabilities first. This allows for maximum benefit to you, the customer and ensures the appropriate use of brokerage services, a taxpayer funded program.
All services purchased with Support Services dollars are what is known as a “social benefit”. A social benefit is a service “solely intended to assist an individual with disabilities to function in society on a level comparable to that of an individual…who does not have a disability”. The benefit can never:
- Duplicate services and benefits otherwise available to citizens, regardless of disability (such as paying for a college class since people with or without disabilities must pay college tuition.)
- Provide financial assistance with food, shelter or clothing
- Replace any other service that is available elsewhere in the community (also known as “natural supports”) like Vocational Rehabilitation or services from a school district
- Exceed the amount in the authorized Individual Support Plan.
To read more about specific types of support services options, check out the list below. Your Personal Agent can assist you with better understanding services available to you.