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Brokerage Basics

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What are Support Services?

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 the principles of self determination. 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. The following are common questions about Support Services:

  • Am I eligible for services?
  • How do I enroll in services?
  • How long must I wait to get Brokerage Services?
  • If I enroll in the Brokerage, will I still have a county case manager?
  • Can I choose which brokerage I work with?
  • What is a Personal Agent (PA)?
  • Can I switch PAs?
  • What services will I receive once enrolled?
  • What is a benefit level?
  • What is an ISP (Individual Support Plan)?
  • How long does an ISP last?
  • Do I have a choice in who provides my direct services?
  • What do I do if I'm not happy with my services?
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    Am I eligible for services?
    To be eligible for services, you must be an adult Oregonian (age 18 or older) with a confirmed diagnosis of an intellectual/developmental disability and/or mental retardation. You must not currently live in a state or county-funded comprehensive services home. In addition, you must be signed up at your local county's Developmental Disabilities Program. As of October 2011, it also became necessary to be enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (also known as being Medicaid eligible).

    If you are not currently signed up at the County, click on the county you currently live in for contact information so you can schedule an intake meeting: Marion | Linn | Yamhill

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    How do I enroll in services?
    As stated above, you must experience a developmental disability, be signed up with your local County Developmental Disabilities Program and you must be Medicaid eligible. See above for contact information on enrolling at the county first.

    Once enrolled at the county, you will be given the choice of services available to you. Often, Support Services is the one that you will be able to receive first. If you choose Support Services, your name is placed on a list to come to a brokerage in your area. There is an order of enrollment, based on your current situation, that the counties follow to decide when each person will enroll.

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    How long must I wait to get Brokerage Services?
    Everyone who is eligible for Developmental Disability services as an adult (over 18 years of age) and not residing in a state funded 24 hour-a-day placement will come to one of the brokerages. This usually occurs within 90 days of choosing a brokerage.

    If you have questions about when you'll be coming to a brokerage, contact your case manager at your local County Developmental Disabilities Program. The Brokerage does not have access to data about people who are not yet in our services and does not decide who comes into services or when.

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    If I enroll in the brokerage, will I still have a county case manager?
    You may still have some contact with the county, but things will change. Instead of working closely with your county case manager, as you might be accustomed, you will instead work more closely with a Personal Agent, employed by the Brokerage. The Personal Agent will assist you with the same things your case manager used to.

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    Can I choose which brokerage I work with?
    Yes. You always have choice which brokerage you'd prefer to work with. Keep in mind that you must work with a brokerage who provides services in your local county. You can find a list of brokerages and their service areas here.

    One thing to note: Initially, the County may assign you a brokerage. However, that doesn't mean you have to stay with that agency. A quick call to the Brokerage where you're initially assigned and someone can facilitate a speedy transfer to ensure you're receiving services from the agency you prefer.

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    What is a Personal Agent?
    Brokerage organizations employ staff (Personal Agents) who will fill the traditional role of "case manager". They 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.

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    Can I switch Personal Agents?
    Yes. If you find that you are not happy with the initial Personal Agent you're working with, please contact our administrative staff who can facilitate a transfer for you.

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    What services will I receive once enrolled?
    Support Services include both natural supports within the community and paid supports. A Personal Agent will be able to assist you with things such as Medicaid appointments, health care, food stamps, housing and more. For a list of allowable services paid with your Brokerage funding, click here.

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    What is a benefit level?
    Individuals receiving Support Services are eligible for certain annual benefit levels for 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. This level of funding can range from around $11,000 to $21,500 per year.

    Most customers are entitled to receive support services that cost approximately $11,000 per year. Eligibility for higher levels of funding is determined using additional state specified criteria.

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    What is an ISP (Individual Support Plan)?
    All Support Service plans 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.

    The plan will show what your support needs are, how we will find the supports, how much they might cost (if anything) and how often we will review the quality of those supports.

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    How long does an ISP last?
    An ISP can never last more than one year. If your plan begins on October 1st, then it will end on September 30th of the following year. There are some instances where a plan year can be less than one year.

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    Do I have a choice in who provides my direct services?
    Yes. You may choose whoever you like as long as they meet the minimum criteria as a provider and they are able to prove their ability to help you meet your goals. For information on providers and their qualifications, click here.

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    What do I do if I'm not happy with my services?
    If you are ever unhappy with services, from either your providers or the brokerage, you may file a grievance. For more information on how to file a grievance, click here.

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