Now you can choose where you live, how you spend your day and how you participate in your community

With Self-Directed and Independent Support Services (ISS), people with developmental disabilities can choose what matters most to them and who plays key roles in helping them to choose the services they want and need.

An individual spends time reading at the local library.
An individual spends time reading at the local library.

Self-Direction or Self-Directed Services

This model allows people with developmental disabilities to develop a self-directed plan which allows them to take responsibility to make choices. Some of the choices include where they wish to live, what they do during the day, who they want to spend their days with and how they participate in their community. This model also allows people to hire their own staff to provide services such as Supported Employment, Community Habilitation and Respite. With the assistance of your Planning Team, you will create an annual budget to develop and manage your life plan. The Planning Team is the key decision making group that replaces other system structures, your Planning Team are people chosen by you and will include your Self-Direction broker and Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) as well as your choice of both natural and professional supports. Self-direction provides you with the opportunity to make decisions about what supports and services you need to ensure your quality of life. Self-direction means that you accept responsibility for managing or co-managing your supports and services. This includes opportunities to make decisions about:

  • Having meaningful relationships with friends, family and others in your life
  • Experiencing personal growth while maintaining your health and safety
  • Living in the home and community you choose
  • Working, volunteering and joining in leisure and community activities in your neighborhood
  • Selecting how, when and by whom you are supported

Independent Support Services (ISS)

Independent Support Services is a housing subsidy typically applied towards rent. It may also be applied to a mortgage, condo or co-op fees or other direct housing costs people with developmental disabilities will incur. The person receiving the housing subsidy is expected to contribute 30% of their countable net income towards housing expenses. A “transition” stipend is available and typically is used for the costs associated with establishing a residence (security deposit or first month’s rent, furniture and moving expenses). The reimbursement will not exceed $3,000 and is a one-time allotment. ISS can be used in conjunction with Self-Direction and will be part of the self-directed budget. If pursuing ISS as a stand-alone service, additional guidance will be provided by a Medicaid Service Coordinator.

Connect with our Central Enrollment department at or (516) 293-2016, ext. 5370, for general information and to see if these services are right for you or your loved one.