Self-Directed Supports (SDS)

Members of WWC may select Self-Directed Supports (SDS) if they prefer to take more control and responsibility for their care. Most often, SDS members select and hire the entities they prefer to support them, which may include family, friends or neighbors. Members may also decide to recruit and interview support workers for possible hire.

With Self-Directed Supports, members have both hiring and budget authority. Budget authority means, for example, that the member decides how much his or her employee’s wage will be based upon what is available in the member’s SDS budget. That budget is determined by the amount of service authorized and the cost of the same service through a traditional agency.

Members can choose from a number of financial management agencies. These agencies take care of tasks such as conducting employee background checks, obtaining workers compensation insurance and processing payroll on a twice-monthly schedule.

When members first enroll in WWC, they and their care management team work together to identify the member’s long-term care goals, resources that are or could be available to assist the member and additional services or supports that may be needed. At minimum, teams will discuss the SDS option at the time of initial care plan development and at each care plan review. Members may also ask about Self-Directed Supports at any time.

Most people who self direct their supports are very satisfied. Many use a combination of Self-Directed Supports and agency-based services. It is important to note that members may decide at any time to end their participation in SDS. In rare situations, self-directed options may be limited (for instance, if an investigation determines that a fraud has been committed or if a member’s health and safety are threatened).

What our members say:

“I am so glad I was able to hire people I know to help me in my home. I don’t have to wonder who is coming or if they are coming or if they know what to do.”  - Alice, age 78

“I like being the boss! I pick my workers and I schedule them when I need them. Before I would get frustrated when trying to work with agencies. They wouldn’t be able to change the schedule when I needed to. Now I talk with my workers and we figure it out.” – Paul, age 27   

“Without Self-Directed Supports my husband wouldn’t be living at home with me. He needs a lot of care, and I work during the day. We also live in the country and agencies didn’t want to come this far or couldn’t find workers. We’ve had the same core group of employees for a few years now and they provide excellent care.” – Celia, age 54

“My daughter has significant medical needs. I don’t know what I’d do without Self-Directed Supports. Now I am able to train her care providers in the techniques that work best for her. I am happy to report that she hasn’t been hospitalized in over 3 years!” – Janet, age 45 (Daughter age 21)