INDIVIDUALIZED FUNDING PROGRAM
This program (established in 1989) is available through Alberta’s Ministry of Seniors and Community Supports. It is administered by the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) board, a community governance structure established by legislation (Persons with Developmental Disabilities Governance Act) which consists of a provincial board and six community boards. The provincial board reports to the Ministry of Seniors and Community Supports.
The majority of individuals under this program do not direct their own care although that option is available if the person is capable of taking on the responsibilities of an employer. In order to be eligible for the program, the applicant must be over 18 years of age and be assessed as having a developmental disability (defined as having significantly below average intellectual capabilities), with the onset of the disability prior to age 18. The consumer must also have at least two areas of need which require assistance.
The assessment for eligibility requires some verification of their disability whether through a physician’s diagnosis of the disability, or a prior educational assessment conducted in the school. There is no specific needs assessment conducted by the PDD board staff.
The majority of consumers in this program require assistance to self-manage. With the aid of a family member or client service coordinator, the consumer must submit an extensive plan of care, which outlines their support and financial needs. To receive funds, the consumer must either designate a funds administrator (who can be a family member or friend), or PDD will pay the service providers directly. Under this program, the amount of funding is determined on an individual basis by a representative from PDD.
If a funds administrator is needed, the consumer is eligible for up to an additional 12% of their allowance for administrative purposes (Lord et al., 2000). Currently there are 4000 individuals receiving individualised funding through PDD. The majority of these consumers receive funding from PDD and choose to enter into a contract with an agency that will provide services under contract. Only 500 consumers currently choose to hire a personal care attendant directly and take on the responsibilities of an employer (personal communication).