WHAT is a SUPPORTbroker?
A SUPPORTbroker is someone you hire to find supports you need to help you at home, school, your job, and community. Most people who use support brokers are persons with disabilities and/or families supporting someone who uses support.
SUPPORTbrokers know how to get different kinds of help and support. They can help you find transportation, a place to live, someone to help you with daily living skills, a job counselor, link you with your community, help with social security or health insurance, and many more things.
A SUPPORTbroker will spend time with you to learn about your needs and goals. The Broker will help you write a plan to get the supports you need. First, the broker helps you describe the supports you decide you need. Then, the broker helps you find those supports and put them into place.
WHEN would I want to hire a SUPPORTbroker?
Some people hire SUPPORTbrokers to help them with a change in their life situation. For example:
- Help in becoming a good self-advocate
- Assistance in creating a circle of friends and supporters
- Transitioning from school to adult life.
- Help getting and keeping a job.
- Loss of an important support person (your parent, spouse, sibling, partner, friend).
- To conduct a person-centered plan.
Some people hire a SUPPORTbroker to be their advisor and advocate when designing, or redesigning, a support plan based on publicly-funded supports. For example:
- Developing a Transition Plan (from school to work, from children to adult services)
- Developing a Person-centered Plan for Self-directed Supports (when switching from traditional supports)
WHAT can a SUPPORTbroker do for me?
A Broker can do any of the following:
- Help you gather information on your options.
- Help you describe your goals, the changes you want to make in your life, and the support you need to get there.
- Help you hold a planning session with people who support you — friends, family, neighbors, and support workers. You choose the people to invite.
- Help you write a plan that describes the supports you need to meet your goals.
- Help you develop a budget to pay for your supports and personal expenses.
- Help you find the supports and services you have in your plan.
- Help you put supports in place and come up with a plan to manage your supports.
WHO can be a SUPPORTbroker?
A SUPPORTbroker is any person with the skills to help you choose the best supports and find those supports. A SUPPORTbroker should have the following skills and qualities:
- A SUPPORTbroker should believe in your right to plan and direct your own supports. That’s called self-determination — your right to make choices.
- A SUPPORTbroker is someone who works for you and answers to you.
- A SUPPORTbroker helps you decide what is most important to you. A Broker helps you handle tough decisions.
- A SUPPORTbroker listens to what you want. The Broker helps you describe the unique and creative combination of supports that will work for you.
- A Broker helps you work with your friends, family, and professionals to get the support you need. A Broker helps resolve conflict and supports your point of view.
MAY I choose my own SUPPORTbroker?
If you are paying the Broker yourself, the choice is yours.
HOW do I choose?
Most Brokers are professionals. This is their job. They have special training and experience. A Broker will help you make life decisions. Shop around for someone you can work with. A professional Broker is someone who:
- Has experience helping people develop plans and knows the requirements for a “person-centered plan.”
- Knows local and state services. A professional Broker knows what is available to you from your community, school, and state disability agency. A professional Broker knows the service system rules.
- Knows how to develop a personal budget. A professional Broker knows the rules about what you should pay for supports and knows how to fill out the paperwork.
WHAT does SUPPORTbrokers offer?
SUPPORTbrokers offers you a list of qualified brokers with a wide range of experience supporting persons of all ages and disabilities. Each Broker affiliated with SUPPORTbrokers receives training and supervision.