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P. O. Box 944202
Sacramento, CA 94244-2020
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Implementation Updates

NOTE

Updates on the status of the program will be posted to this page as they become available. If you want to be notified when updates are made, please email sdp@dds.ca.gov and ask to be included on the notification list.

The SDP will be available for up to 2,500 participants during the first three years of the program. Check this page often to learn about the implementation process of the SDP.

November 30, 2018

This update is in response to questions received regarding the selection of the initial participants for the Self-Determination Program (SDP). As required by law (Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 4685.8(b)(1)), the number of participants selected at each regional center was based on the relative percentage of total consumers served by all regional centers. For example, if a regional center served 5% of all consumers, then 125 (5% of 2,500) SDP participants were selected from that regional center. The Department made the selection from amongst those who attended a SDP informational meeting. The informational meeting process was developed in consultation with the Department's self-determination advisory group, as a way to provide oversight of the selection process based on the following demographic factors within each regional center: ethnicity, diagnosis, gender and age. However, with the relatively small number (approximately 9,100) of individuals from which to choose, it was not possible to control for all these factors when making the selection. Ultimately, the selection was done ensuring that those selected represented the overall ethnic diversity of all consumers within each regional center.

Please direct any questions regarding the selection process to sdp@dds.ca.gov.

October 1, 2018

The Department is pleased to announce that the initial 2,500 participants for the Self-Determination Program (SDP) have been selected.

The Department mailed notification letters to all individuals to communicate their selection status. To find out if you were selected to participate, you may enter your UCI (Unique Client Identifier) number at www.dds.ca.gov/SDPverification/index.cfm.

Those who were not selected initially to participate will remain on the list for subsequent selections if some of the initial 2,500 choose not to enroll or discontinue in the program. The Department will continue to collect and add names of those interested in the program for subsequent selections.

September 24, 2018

Financial Management Services (FMS) — The Department, in collaboration with the Self-Determination Advisory Workgroup and other stakeholders, continues to work to finalize FMS vendor requirements.

A description of the three FMS models and their rates are below. The range of maximum rates within each model are dependent upon the number of services funded from your individual budget as a part of your IPP.

  • Bill Payer: Also known as the Fiscal Agent Model. When your services and supports are provided through an agency or company and you are not employing people directly, you would use the bill payer FMS model. The maximum rates for this model range from $50 to $100 per month.
  • Sole Employer: Also known as the Fiscal/Employer Agent. When you have decided to hire people directly and you want to assume the role of an employer, this FMS model acts as your fiscal agent or employer agent and can advise you on some of your employer tasks. The maximum rates for this model range from $110 to $150 per month.
  • Co-Employer: When you have decided to hire people directly, but do not want to assume the full role of an employer, this FMS model will maintain the primary employer relationship with the people you hire. As a co-employer, the FMS is the employer of record and you still choose who works for you. The maximum rates for this model range from $125 to $165 per month.

When you design your services and supports, they may fall within multiple descriptions of the FMS services described. In those cases, your rate for FMS services will be based on the highest rate of the combined descriptions. For example, if some of your services follow the bill payer model and some will follow the co-employer model, your maximum rates will be based on the co-employer model.

June 18, 2018

Updated estimated timeline: The "Individual Budgets" section below has been updated to reflect an amended target date from August 15, 2018 to September 28, 2018.

The Department, in collaboration with the self-determination advisory workgroup and other stakeholders, has been working on the major components necessary to implement the Self-Determination Program (SDP). Outlined below are some of the major components requiring completion prior to the SDP becoming operational. The list below is not exhaustive but includes the key components and steps under active development.

The Department will post updates on the progress of each component.

  • Federal Funding Approval
    Status: Completed. The application for federal funding, or Waiver, was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on June 6, 2018.
  • Individual Budgets - Target for completion: September 28, 2018
    Task: Finalizing guidance information on how the individual budget amount is calculated, and the process for adjusting the budget when needed.
  • Financial Management Services (FMS) - Target for completion: August 31, 2018
    Task: Finalizing FMS vendorization requirements and rates.
  • Independent Facilitators - Target for completion: August 31, 2018
    Task: Defining the role(s) an independent facilitator may play and how this may be different if a participant chooses to select their service coordinator to fulfill the functions of an independent facilitator.
  • Participant Selection - Target for completion: October 1, 2018
    Task: Selection of the initial SDP participants. It's important to note that only those individuals who have participated in an informational meeting and whose names have been received by the Department by September 17, 2018 at 5:00 PM will be considered for selection (by the Department) of the initial 2,500 participants in the SDP. Individuals whose names are received after September 17, 2018 will be considered for subsequent selections of SDP participants. Subsequent participant selections will occur if some of the initial 2,500 participants choose not to enroll or they enroll, then decide not to continue in the SDP. Timing for future selections will be established at a later date. Information for those who are interested on how they can be considered for participation in the SDP can be found at www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/sdpEnrollment.cfm.
  • Home and Community-Based "Settings" Requirements - Target for completion: October 31, 2018
    Task: Finalizing training materials on the federal requirements, how they apply to services in the SDP and the assessment process for ensuring all services, or "settings", meet the requirements. Due to federal regulations effective in March 2014, everywhere someone receives services (e.g. the "setting" where the service is provided,) must promote, and not prevent, community participation and inclusion. The target date projects time needed to provide training to those who will be involved in the assessment process.
  • Orientation Materials - Target for completion: October 31, 2018
    Task: Finalize all orientation materials. The orientation materials will form the basis of the information participants need to support them in the SDP. In addition to the components above, the orientation will include information on what services are available in the SDP and tools to help participants choose qualified service providers. Training for those providing these orientations will also be necessary prior to participant orientations.

June 7, 2018

The Department is very pleased to announce that the application for federal funding, or Waiver, for the Self-Determination Program was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This news represents an essential step toward providing people who receive regional center services and their families an alternative way to coordinate their services, with more freedom and control over how the services are provided and the individuals who support them. We would like to express sincere appreciation for the assistance and guidance from the Department's self-determination advisory workgroup and other stakeholders, which has been instrumental in gaining CMS' approval of the Waiver. We also thank and recognize the work and technical assistance received from many representatives of CMS and California's Department of Health Care Services.

In October 2013, Governor Edmund G. Brown signed Senate Bill 468, authored by Senators Bill Emmerson and Jim Beall and co-authored by Assembly Members Holly Mitchell and Wesley Chesbro, into law. This law, championed by remarkable and determined self-advocates, family members and advocacy organizations, established a statewide Self-Determination Program that adheres to the following principles to ensure those who participate have:

  • Freedom — to exercise the same rights as all citizens; to establish, with freely chosen supporters, family and friends, where they want to live, with whom they want to live, how their time will be occupied, and who supports them;
  • Authority — to control a budget in order to purchase services and supports of their choosing;
  • Support — including the ability to arrange resources and personnel, which will allow flexibility to live in the community of their choice;
  • Responsibility — which includes the ability to take responsibility for making decisions in their own lives and accept a valued role in their community, and
  • Confirmation — in making decisions in their own lives by designing and operating the system that they rely on.

Self-determination in California began almost twenty years ago as a small pilot project in limited areas of the state, with the intention of eventually expanding the program statewide. The time from the start of the pilot project, to Governor Brown's signing of the law in October 2013, to now has only heightened the desire to implement self-determination broadly in California.

While approval of the Waiver represents the key step towards implementation of the Self-Determination Program, the Department and the self-determination advisory workgroup must continue to focus on finalizing program components for implementation. Providing information and support, in particular training and orientation materials, needed to assist those who are selected and choose to participate is central to implementation and is in the final stages of completion. We remain committed to implementing this important program and look forward to the continued collaboration, not only with the Department's advisory workgroup, but also the local volunteer advisory committees and the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee. The Department will publish a timeline with key dates for implementation by June 18, 2018. Updates will be posted on the Department's dedicated website page for Self-Determination at: www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/. If you would like to be notified of future updates about Self-Determination, please send an email to sdp@dds.ca.gov. Information for those who are interested on how they can be considered for participation in the Self-Determination Program can be found at www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/sdpEnrollment.cfm

April 25, 2018

The recently re-submitted Self-Determination Program waiver application has a proposed list of services and their definitions. A final version of services and definitions will be posted when the waiver is approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. If you would like to see a copy of the re-submitted wavier application, please see the Implementation Update dated March 13, 2018.

Follow the links below to view the proposed list of services and a draft of the definitions. If you would like provide feedback or have questions, please email sdp@dds.ca.gov.

March 13, 2018

The Department is pleased to announce that on March 13, 2018, the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver application seeking federal funding for the Self-Determination Program was formally re-submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). A copy of the Waiver application is available below. CMS has 90 days to either approve the application, deny the application or request additional information. Because of all the work that's been done with CMS to prepare for this formal re-submission, we are very hopeful the application will be approved. We will post updates regarding communications with CMS about the status of the application.

We are very appreciative of the significant efforts of the Department's Self-Determination advisory group and other stakeholders that have been instrumental in assisting the Department in completing the Waiver application. We look forward to this continued partnership to complete the other steps necessary to implement the program. Updates will be posted as we progress toward implementation.

February 6, 2018

The Department held a meeting with the Self-Determination Workgroup on February 6, 2018. The discussion included topics involving the status of the self-determination waiver application, updates on posting information about the Self-Determination Program to the Consumer Corner Department webpage, assessing settings for compliance with the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) final rule, development of orientation materials, and self-determination program implementation needs.

Detailed meeting notes can be found here.

December 6, 2017

The Department held a meeting with the Self-Determination Workgroup on December 6, 2017. The discussion included topics involving the status of the self-determination waiver application, rates for financial management service providers, and updates from the Independent Facilitator and Training sub groups. Additionally, updates and changes to the Department's self-determination web page were reported to the group.

Detailed meeting notes can be found here.

November 29, 2017

DDS conducted trainings on the Self-Determination Program (SDP) at five locations throughout the state in September 2017 and October 2017. The training was designed as a train-the-trainer meeting, and was specific to learning how to conduct a SDP Informational Meeting. Those in attendance were regional centers, local consumer or family-run organizations, and community-based organizations interested in voluntarily conducting SDP Informational Meetings in their region. For information on the training materials provided at these trainings, please visit Training and Other Materials.

OCTOBER 30, 2017

The Department held a conference call with the Self-Determination Workgroup on October 30, 2017. The discussion included topics involving the status of the self-determination waiver application, the recent regional center self-determination meetings and train-the-trainer community-based organization trainings. Updates were given for the Independent Facilitator, Training and Financial Management Services subgroups. Additionally, updates and changes to the Department's self-determination web page were reported to the group.

Detailed meeting notes can be found here.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

The Department held a meeting with the Self-Determination Workgroup on September 26, 2017. The discussion included topics involving the status of the self-determination waiver application, potential provider rates and future program implementation and training needs.

Detailed meeting notes can be found here.

AUGUST 18, 2017

The Department will hold trainings on the Self-Determination Program (SDP) at five locations throughout the state in September 2017 and October 2017.

The training is designed as a train-the-trainer meeting, and will be specific to learning how to conduct a SDP Informational Meeting. The SDP Informational Meeting is required before an individual can be added to the candidate list from which the Department will randomly select the first 2,500 SDP participants. This training is open to regional centers, local consumer or family-run organizations, and community-based organizations interested in voluntarily conducting SDP Informational Meetings in their region. A community-based organization is a public or private organization of demonstrated effectiveness that is representative of a community, or significant segments of a community, and provides educational or related services to individuals in the community.

For more information about these trainings, please see the letter sent to community-based organizations dated August 18, 2017, along with the flyer. Questions about these trainings can be submitted to the Department via email at sdp@dds.ca.gov.

DECEMBER 21, 2015

As noted in previous updates, the Department submitted the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver application for the Self-Determination Program to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in September of this year. As part of its standard waiver review and approval process, CMS sent a letter to the State asking questions about, and requesting more information on, specific sections in the Self-Determination Program Waiver Application. Following the normal process, the Department will work through the Department of Health Care Services to provide written responses to answer CMS' questions and secure approval of the waiver. Questions about this process can be submitted to the Department via email at sdp@dds.ca.gov.

October 9, 2015

The Self-Determination Program Waiver Application was formally resubmitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on September 29, 2015. A summary of the comments received during the public comment period, which ended September 7, 2015, can be found on page 7 of the application.

August 7, 2015

  • At the request of the federal government, new language was added to the Self-Determination Program (SDP) Waiver application describing how homes and settings where SDP participants will reside and receive services meet the requirements of the federal home and community-based settings rules that became effective in March 2014. As a result of this change, the Department is required to repost the Waiver application for at least 30 days. The Waiver application will be formally resubmitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shortly after the public comment period, which ends on September 7, 2015. Comments or requests to review a hardcopy of the application can be submitted via email at sdp@dds.ca.gov, by phone at (916) 653-7710, or in writing to the Department, Attention Community Services Division, 1600 Ninth Street, Room 320, MS 3-8, Sacramento, CA 95814.

» Self-Determination Program Waiver Application 8/7/15

SDP Local Volunteer Advisory Committees

  • All local volunteer advisory committees formed to provide oversight of the SDP have met at least once. California Government Code requires that these meetings to be open to the public and conducted in accordance with all the requirements of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. See the memo that was forwarded to regional center executive directors.

June 5, 2015

The following is an update on activities and information related to implementation of the Self-Determination Program (SDP); specifically, the status of the SDP Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); the establishment of the SDP Local Volunteer Advisory Committees; and, the SDP enrollment process.

SDP Waiver Application Status

As required by law, securing federal funding is necessary to implement the SDP. To that end, an HCBS Waiver application was submitted to CMS on December 31, 2014. Subsequently, CMS asked follow-up questions related to recently enacted federal regulations and policies regarding 1) public input for Waiver applications; and, 2) federal requirements for HCBS settings. The Department, in conjunction with the Department of Health Care Services, has had a number of discussions with CMS and provided follow-up information CMS requested. CMS is currently reviewing the final draft of the plan to address the public input and settings requirements. During a conference call on May 1, 2015, CMS stated their conceptual agreement with the plan. As such, it is anticipated CMS will soon provide direction to move forward with the Wavier application. At that time, the revised Waiver application will be posted on the Department's website for 30 days prior to being formally resubmitted to CMS. Once resubmitted, CMS will have 90 days to take one of three actions on the Waiver application: approve; deny; or request additional information. In the event CMS requests additional information to clarify other portions of the Waiver application, it is feasible that there may be an extended review period beyond the 90 days.

Additional SDP Implementation Activities and Updates

Federal approval of the Waiver application is just one of the many steps that must be taken prior to implementation of the SDP. Following are key updates:

  • Local Volunteer Advisory Committees — As required by law, each regional center must establish a Local Volunteer Advisory Committee to ensure effective implementation of the SDP and facilitate the sharing of best practices and training materials. Members of these committees are appointed by the regional center and the Regional Office of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD). The committee members must include consumers, family members, the regional center clients' rights advocate, other advocates and community leaders, and must reflect the multicultural diversity and geographic profile of the catchment area. Based on an agreement between SCDD, the Association of Regional Center Agencies, Disability Rights California and the Department, each Local Volunteer Advisory Committee will establish their local advisory committee and hold their first meeting no later than July 1, 2015.
  • SDP Enrollment Process — During the first three years of the SDP, enrollment is limited to 2,500 consumers. To guide the selection of these 2,500 consumers, the SDP stakeholder advisory group identified the following steps as necessary for a fair and equitable process.
    • Outreach — Consumers and families must be aware of self-determination as an option. To assist with the provision of widespread outreach and awareness of the SDP, the Department is developing an informational video that features consumers and families currently in the self-determination pilot project as well as those who are interested in the SDP. The informational video, which will be available in multiple languages, will be completed in the summer of 2015.
    • Information — Once aware of SDP, consumers and families must be informed about this new option, including the new opportunities and increased responsibilities. Therefore, interested consumers and families will be required to participate in an informational/pre-enrollment meeting covering topics identified by the Department, including, information regarding the principles of self-determination, the role of the financial management services provider and the development of an individual budget. It is important people have this detailed information prior to being considered for enrollment in the SDP.
    • Selection — Regional centers will forward to the Department the names of those who have participated in an informational/pre-enrollment meeting and are interested in participating in the SDP. To ensure the SDP is available on an equitable basis, the number of participants in each regional center will be based on the relative percentage of total consumers served by all regional centers, minus the remaining self-determination pilot project participants. The Department will then randomly select the participants based on the following demographic factors within each regional center: age, gender, ethnicity and disability diagnosis. Consumers not initially selected will remain on the interest list for potential future openings. A more detailed description of the enrollment process is outlined in the link below.
  • Self-Determination Program Enrollment

December 31, 2014

The Department is pleased to announce that on December 31, 2014, a Home and Community-Based Services Waiver application seeking federal funding for the Self-Determination Program was submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). A copy of the Waiver application is available below. We are very appreciative of the significant efforts of the stakeholder advisory group that has been instrumental in assisting the Department in completing the Waiver application, and we look forward to getting continued input from a wide range of sources as we progress toward implementing the program.

As required by law, securing federal funding is necessary in order to implement the Self-Determination Program. CMS has 90 days to take one of three actions on the Waiver application (approve; deny; or request additional information). It is very likely CMS will request additional information to clarify information in the Waiver application which will lead to an extended review period beyond the initial 90 days.

While CMS is reviewing the Waiver application, there is still much work to do including the development of training and informational materials regarding Self-Determination. We'll continue to post progress updates on the Self-Determination Program website as we move toward implementation.

October 21, 2014

The Self-Determination Program advisory group has drafted a proposed list of services and their definitions that will be available in the Self-Determination Program pending federal approval. Follow the links below to view the proposed list of services and a draft of the definitions.

If you would like provide feedback, please email sdp@dds.ca.gov with any suggestions or input.

June 11, 2014

A Self-Determination Program (SDP) advisory group has been formed to assist DDS in shaping the framework of the SDP based on the law that authorizes the program. The advisory group consists of a broad array of stakeholders including consumers, family members, service providers, regional centers, advocacy groups and the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

The advisory group meetings began in December 2013. Discussions to date have included determining the preferred option for seeking federal funding and establishing priorities for completing the many steps necessary to implement the program. Priorities established and progress thus far includes:

  • Established training requirements that will be included in the Waiver application. Next steps include the development of training materials and the plan for providing training.
  • Established workgroup to determine the services that will be included in the SDP and Waiver application.
  • Established workgroup to determine the requirements for service provider background checks.
  • Established equitable method for determining the number of SDP participants in each regional center for the first three years.
  • Other priorities that will be addressed soon include:
    • Establishing monitoring and oversight requirements
    • Determining how participants will be selected during the first three years
    • Establishing local advisory committees
 
 
Last Updated: 11/30/2018