Help Making Budgets
A participant in the self-determination program has the freedom to live a lifestyle that they desire. To do so they are given the authority, control and responsibility over their individual supports budget. Budget dollars are used to cover all of their services that are included within the supports budget, however there may be services provided that are not included within the individual supports budget and accordingly the participant is not responsible for those service dollars. Which services the participant has included within their individual supports budget is determined during the development of their individual plan of service.
Typical services that a participant may have control over include: community living supports, skill building, job coaching, respite services and transportation. These are typically employment related services where the participant becomes the employer of the staff that provides the support services. There may also be purchased services within the supports budget, such as for therapists, or even for agency support staff. There may also be a combination of both purchased services and employed support within a given participant’s budget. Each individual budget is unique and designed for the individual participant.
Supports budgets for employment related services must cover all the related costs associated with the employed staff; these costs include not only the gross wages paid, but the direct employment related costs such as payroll taxes and workers compensation insurance. There may also be indirect costs associated with the employment of support staff, such as employee benefits like vacation or holiday pay and administrative costs including training costs, criminal background check costs or fiscal intermediary fees.
To assist in determining how a budget is put together, two versions of a simple budget calculator are provided below. While these budget calculators don’t provide for every variant, they do provide a fair representation of how a budget could be calculated.