Individual and Family Support Services Directive
The purpose of Individual and Family Support and Respite (IFS-R) funding is to provide assistance to families in caring for a DDSN eligible person with an intellectual disability or related disability, autism, or traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury or similar disability in order to:
- Assist those families who are providing direct, hands-on care and supervision to the consumer; or
- Help those consumers or their families, who, without the IFS-R, would likely be in an unsafe, risky or dangerous situation.
Funding is directed toward consumers or families who can care for themselves at home, but incur additional expenses due to the disability and not for any consumer residing in any DDSN residential facilities or receiving DDSN operated "waiver" services. This funding should be used for needs that are not incurred routinely by families with non-disabled consumers.
IFS-R is not an entitlement program or a general public assistance benefit. IFS-R is typically time limited and should not be ongoing except in rare circumstances that tie back to the two primary objectives of IFS-R funding. IFS-R funding is also to support families as a help to avoid institutional or residential (out of home) placement.
The Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs (MDCBDSN), adopts the Departmental Directive 734-01-DD in its purpose, definitions and eligibility requirements to include the following:
Means Test - IFS only (does not apply to Respite)
IFS-R funding is directed toward consumers and their families based on the income of the consumer and family members residing in the same home as the consumer.
Needs Test - Priority of Requests - When considering the priority to be given to requests for IFS-R, the following circumstances should be given the greatest priority.
- Those families who are providing direct, hands-on care and supervision of the consumer, or
- Consumers or their families who, without the IFS-R, would likely be in an unsafe, risky or dangerous situation.
Not Eligible to Receive IFS
- Those who are not eligible for DDSN services.
- Those who are enrolled in DDSN operated "Waivers"
- Those who are eligible for DDSN services in the "At-Risk" category (children (3) to (6) years)
- Individuals applying for Medicaid through TEFRA and child's only involvement with DDSN for assistance with the Level of Care process.
Consumers and their families will have "fair and equal access" in obtaining funds for services. Consumers living independently may also request funds without approval of the parent/guardian. IFS-R funds will not be authorized if any other comparable services are available in the Community that would address this need. IFS-R funds are only available after all community resources have been exhausted.
All consumers receiving services from other qualified providers will be given fair and equal access to IFS-R funds.
Major Allowable Service Categories
- Respite Care (once respite allocation is depleted)
- Environmental Modifications/Assessment.
- Assistive Technology/Assessment.
- Child Care costs related to the additional expense due to the child's special needs
- Support Center Services
- Electronic Devices (to include but not limited to computers, laptops, iPads, smart-phones, tablets, TV's, gaming systems)
- Incontinent supplies (Provided under State Medicaid)
- Any services covered by State Medicaid
Family Support Funds are not appropriate to fund items such as routine living expenses unless there is an emergency situation that could displace the person into an unsafe or critical environment. All emergency requests of this nature must be approved by the Executive Director upon the recommendation of the Director of Family Supports.
Priority of Request Approvals
- Life/Safety issues of consumer/family
- Temporary/Emergency care of the consumer
- Consumer is on a DDSN Critical waiting list for services
- Consumer is on another DDSN waiting list for services
Limitations and Procedures on Payments:
The service limitations on payments for family support are as follows:
- Payments may be approved up to $1,500.00 by the Director of Family Support Services. Payments over $1,500 will be approved by the Executive Director or their designee. The financial condition of the family should be considered when making the request and should be a factor in determining approval.
- The maximum respite days for any one consumer shall be 8 days per fiscal year. Requests beyond the 8 days may be approved by the Director of Family Support for up to 12 days per fiscal year. Request for days exceeding 12 must be approved by the Executive Director of their designee.
- Payments will be made directly to vendors of most IFS-R services. Respite payments will be made to families who will in turn pay the caregiver. Exceptions to this may be approved by the Director of Family Support Services. Respite caregivers under IFS/R State funding are not considered employees of the Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs, (MDCBDSN). They are hired by the family and the family is responsible for payment and any other requirements as specified by law. The MDCBDSN is not liable for the actions of any caregiver providing IFS-R services for a consumer/family.
- These procedures must be followed in order to request Family Support Services: (Forms will be incorporated from the Department Directive 734-01-DD.) Requests must go through the family's service coordinator or early interventionist. (SC/EI)
- The SC/EI identifies the consumer's or family's need for assistance during the assessment or planning process or as a result of the family's/ consumer situation changing during the year.
- The consumer's Service Plan and or service notes must include the need and justification for the service(s) as well as specific information to show how the amount was determined and a description of the services to be provided
- Form #350, "Request Form - Consumer and Family Support Stipend", which includes financial information, is completed by the SC/EI and is signed by the parent, guardian, or consumer. A copy of a current pay stub or other means of verifying both earned and unearned income is required for all household members (i.e. income tax form). Use of the consumer's SSI and any other income will be part of the review process. (Attach copies of all income statements, including SSI amounts.)
- The completed Request Form #350 will be forwarded to the Director of Family Supports for approval.
- Respite services may be requested by the family for their consumer to their SC/EI. The SC/EI checks the need and number of days already used and if appropriate submits the request along with a form #351 to the Director of Family Supports for approval.
- For one-time IFS requests the Director of Family Supports Services or designee will complete a purchase requisition, if necessary, and attach a copy of the Form #350 and other supporting documentation and forward to the Finance Coordinator for check processing.
- For Respite Services a Respite Voucher will be approved by the Director of Family Support Services and sent to the family to initiate services with a caregiver. Once the caregiver is obtained, the service will be scheduled and completed per the number of days/hours authorized. Once respite services are completed the caregiver signs off along with the family member who initiated the service. The Respite Voucher along with Form #351 and other supporting documentation is then submitted to MDCBDSN finance for payment.
- Availability of funds will be based on the amount awarded annually by SCDDSN as well as the number of requests and amounts of funding approved. Requests will not be approved if all family support funds have been expended for the year. Exceptions will be made on a "case by case" basis and at the discretion of the Executive Director for approval.
- For IFS, checks will then be mailed to the appropriate vendor or service provider within (10) working days of receipt in Finance. Checks will be mailed to families only on an exception basis as approved by the Director of Family Supports.
- For Respite, checks will be mailed to the family within (10) working days of receipt in Finance. Checks will be mailed to the provider only on an exception basis as approved by the Director of Family Supports.
- The Director of Family Support Services or designee will keep on file a copy of the request for payment. Appropriate documentation will be kept in the consumer's record by the SC/EI.
- A list of IFS-R payments will be maintained by the Director of Family Support or their designee and this log will be submitted to SCDDSN as required.
- Environmental Modifications will additionally be inspected by our maintenance technician and approved before payment is made.
MONITORSHIP AND REVIEW
- The SC/EI is required to monitor the consumer's receipt of requested funds and/or services. Consumers receiving (on-going) early intervention or service coordination should be monitored on a quarterly basis as required by SCDDSN 734-01-DD.
- For requests approved for one-time needs, the SC/EI must visit the consumer/family to verify receipt of the item that was to be purchased. The SC/EI is required to obtain a copy of the receipt for the purchase(s). If it is determined that the money was not used to purchase the equipment requested or pay a specific bill this should be documented and future requests should include such historical information. The SC/EI should notify the Executive Director of inappropriate use of funds. The Executive Director should then take the necessary steps to recoup funds.
- If at any time during monitorship of family support funds or any other service the SC/EI believes the need of IFS is no longer justified, then this issue should be discussed with the consumer/family SC/EI. It is the responsibility of the SC/EI to notify the person approving the request if the need no longer exists so that the funding can be terminated and reallocated to the needs of others.