Independent Living Assistance (ILA) Project
Overview: Independent Living Assistance (ILA) is intended to help individuals with developmental disabilities learn to live independently with 7 or less hours of paid support per week. Individuals are encouraged to access natural, unpaid supports to develop greater independence within his/her community in addition to their paid supports.
Individuals must have the resources to cover their ongoing living expenses to be considered for the program.
These residential supports are provided by agencies that employ direct care staff to assist individuals with developmental disabilities with activities of daily living such as assistance with food preparation, personal hygiene needs and administration of medication, to name a few. Additionally, the direct care staff can assist with meal planning, grocery shopping, community outings, and medical appointments. Transportation to assist with achieving the outcomes as indicated in the Support Plan may be provided; however on-going transportation to/from employment is prohibited.
Target Outcome: Within 18 months, the project participant will live independently in the community with 7 or less hours of paid support per week.
• Participants and their families should choose their lead agency and fully participate in developing a support plan and budget, choosing a residence, and selecting staff.
• DDRB-funded supports should not supplant natural supports. Lead agencies are encouraged to explore non-paid options for support needs.
• Housing should not be owned or controlled by the lead agency.
• Transportation to assist the participant in achieving the outcomes as indicated in the Support Plan or Person-Centered Plan may be provided. On-going transportation to/from employment cannot be provided by DDRB through the ILA Program.
• Those agencies who are Department of Mental Health vendors for Residential Services can access DDRB ILA funds for eligible St. Charles County Residents.
• Residential Providers interested in accessing ILA funding should complete an annual application verifying that your agency is a vendor of DMH and complete an ILA Reservations form during the annual application process.
• New Residential Providers to St. Charles are required to complete a Letter of Intent.
Role of Lead Agency:
• Work with participants, families, St. Louis Regional Office/DDRB Case managers, and other interested individuals to develop a support plan which identifies the participant’s needs, sets outcome targets for progress, and documents progress.
• Assist with tasks, as outlined in the Support Plan, for example (locating housing, negotiating lease, locating resources to assist with specialized needs, supporting participant in selecting housemates, etc.)
• Provide semi-annual reports and monthly billing to the DDRB in a timely manner.
• Comply with all DDRB funding requirements, as specified in the DDRB funding manual and annual contract.
• It is the responsibility of the Lead Agency to “Reserve” units necessary and to manage those units so that participants are assured the supports needed to safely and successfully live in a home of his or her choosing. Reservation of units is done annually during the annual application process.
• The participant must receive case management services from the St. Louis Regional Office or DDRB and be a resident of St. Charles County.
• Participants must have resources to cover ongoing living expenses.
• ILA transitional supports can be provided up to 3 months in the family home in preparation for moving the participant into their own living arrangement.
• Regular ILA supports must be delivered outside the participant’s family home. Participants cannot be residing with a member of his or her natural family, irrespective of the ownership or location of the home.
• Participants will require no more than 750 hours of ILA support for the first 18 months with the goal to provide no more than 364 hours per year thereafter.
• ILA supports are expected to provide all of the individual’s habilitative/training needs. In addition to ILA supports, participants may receive employment supports, necessary therapies and personal care assistance (DVR or DSS).
Unit: A unit is one hour of face-to-face time. Face-to-face time is defined as working directly with the individual.
Rate: The DDRB will reimburse the lead agency the annual negotiated rate for face-to-face services billed against the participant’s support plan. Non-direct billing may occur under extraordinary circumstances and must be approved by the Program Director first. Exceptions to the flat rate will be considered with units available adjusted accordingly.
1. Prior to service initiation, the lead agency must submit an ILA Participant Support Plan to the DDRB, which includes: support needs, paid and non-paid supports planned, outcomes, and participant milestones, which will be used to verify progress. The DDRB has the right to reject plans which have high risk of exceeding support limits.
2. Ongoing DDRB funding commitment is to the individual vs. the lead agency. If the participant changes lead agency, the funding will follow the individual.
3. If funding is made available, either by a participant leaving the program/moving or existing supports fading, the agency can then serve additional people waiting for services.
4. Start-Up funds are available through the DDRB ISL Start-Up Funds Policy.
5. Invoicing/Reporting Timelines and Fiscal Year End Deadlines as outlined in the Agency Contract and DDRB Funding Policies are applicable.
Referrals: All referrals to the ILA project will be made through the participant’s St. Louis Regional Office/DDRB Case Manager.
Independent Living Assistance Procedures
The ILA Program provides necessary training and follow-up to individuals with developmental disabilities who would like to live independently in the community. The target for this project is that within 18 months, project participants will live independently in the community with 7 or less hours of paid support per week.
Steps and Procedures:
• During the annual application process eligible agencies submit an application and ILA Reservation form to provide services to eligible St. Charles County residents.
• Currently the DDRB is holding a waiting list. Referrals to that waiting list must come from the St. Louis Regional Office/DDRB Case Manager.
• A Participant Support Plan will need to be completed by the lead agency (see attached) for all ILA participants. A projection of hours per week for the next 18 months showing progress in reaching 7or less hours of support per week must also be included. Please inform the participant and family that approval for services may or may not be given after the review of the support plan.
• ILA Transitional Supports are offered to help a participant prepare in moving out of their family’s home. This process should not take any longer than 3 months, unless otherwise agreed upon. This time used in finding housing, roommates, and household supplies, etc; are usually less, than at the time the participant moves out. Supports can, and do often increase at first in helping with adjustments and then decrease as skills are learned. These projections in hours must be accounted for in the Support Plan.
• Any participant involved in the ILA project must have a person-centered plan. The person-centered plan is all-inclusive to the individual and includes the person’s dreams and desires in their life. The Support Plan is not the person-centered plan. The Support Plan is a quick assessment of the persons needs to determine if this program will meet their needs. The Support Plan is a reflection of the person-centered plan. A person-centered plan needs to be completed on any new participant within 30-60 days of starting ILA services. (St. Louis Regional Office/DDRB Case Manager may already have a plan on file) once the plan is completed, send a copy to the DDRB Program Manager.
• Once the Support Plan has been received from the lead agency, a meeting “may be” scheduled to discuss the plan. Typically, a phone call with the lead agency and Casemanager will suffice. Supports may begin after verbal approval by the Program Manager. A letter confirming the conversation and outlining the agreement will be sent to the lead agency.
• Internal reporting on outcomes that were identified in the Support Plan typically occurs quarterly, unless otherwise agreed upon. The format for reporting should outline each outcome followed by a brief narrative on progress achieved. If progress has not been achieved in any one area, identify those barriers that could be contributing to the lack of progress and identify an alternative plan of action.
• Billing will occur monthly, unless otherwise agreed upon. Billings need to reflect actual hours worked with the participant. Services are paid for each hour/unit of face-to-face contact with the participant. (Examples of format are available) Non-direct billing may occur under extraordinary circumstances and must be approved by the Program Manager first. See Billing Forms
• Agencies will develop outcomes for the ILA program annually and submit them with their agency application for funds. Progress towards these outcomes is reported semi-annually following the guidelines in the DDRB Funding Manual.