Getting Started With Self-Directed Services

May 20, 2016

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Self-directed services allows an individual or their family to choose the services and supports that best fit their needs while remaining in their home and community. These home and community-based services are gaining popularity as states move away from a one-size-fits-all model for providing services for people with disabilities, opting for a person-centered approach instead.

The state of Minnesota offers innovative programs called Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) and Consumer Support Grant (CSG), where waiver funds can be used to pay for the services and support staff of your choice.


8 steps to Get Started with Self-Directed Services


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1. Determine Eligibility

To determine your eligibility for the program, please contact your county of residence.

2. Create a Support Plan

Once you are deemed eligible for a waiver or grant, complete a Support Plan. This is available from your county. Your support plan should cover:

  • The supports, goods and services you plan to use
  • The cost of each of your supports and services
  • How you plan to monitor your supports and services
  • The training and qualifications you’d like your support providers to have

3. Enroll with PICS, the Fiscal Support Entity

After you begin your Support Plan, your County Case Manager provides you a list of Fiscal Support Entities (FSE) to choose from. Partners in Community Support (PICS) has been operating as a licensed Fiscal Support Entity in Minnesota since 1999, helping people manage the financial aspects of self-directed services.

After choosing PICS, members of the PICS enrollment team will meet with you to answer questions, explain policy and procedures, and help you select the service model that fits your needs.

Sign up for an enrollment appointment 

4. County Approves Plan

Submit your completed Support Plan to your County Case Manager for review and approval. If your plan is not approved, your County Case Manager will identify corrections or clarifications that need to be made in order for the plan to be approved.

When your plan has been approved, the County Case Manager submits the plan to PICS.

5. PICS creates a budget

PICS creates a budget based on your Support Plan, making any necessary corrections to fees. PICS then submits the budget to your County Case Manager for approval.

6. County Approves Budget and Issues Service Agreement

Your County Case Manager reviews and approves the recommended budget. After approving the budget, your County Case Manager requests a service agreement from the state.

7. PICS Receives Service Agreement 

PICS checks daily for new and revised Service Agreements and for Medical Assistance (MA) eligibility changes. Once a Service Agreement is received, PICS will enter it in our systems to active services and hire workers. 

8. Services Begin

The services in your plan may begin. You keep track of your expenses and your support workers’ schedules. PICS reimburses expenses, handles taxes and accounting, and manages payroll, benefits, and training for your support workers. 

PICS takes the stress out of payroll and self-directed services. Submit receipts and track employee hours with the Online Portal, available 24/7 to fit your schedule.

It’s easy to get started with PICS online. Make an appointment with a PICS enrollment team member by completing the enrollment request and inquiry form. To learn more about directing your own services with PICS, contact us today!