Before we get started, it is important to understand Utah’s Community Services Waiver that is administered by DSPD isn’t just for adult services. DSPD’s services encompass the person’s life span. So it’s never too soon to get your family member on the list.
The best time to get on the wait list is- RIGHT NOW! Services will change as the person ages and needs change. That is one of the really nice things about our services. Services for children can be an afterschool program, summer program, respite, or, a more specialized service such as behavioral supports. For adults, it runs the spectrum of what a person needs from 24 hour residential services or day program to hourly services such as supported living, supported employment, and specialized services of behavioral supports, medication monitoring, Representative Payee, and other services that can be more specialized.
Okay, now we got that out, let’s get right to it!
1- Persistence and Patience- Check in with DSPD, and don’t forget to correspond back when they send you something. Unfortunately, there is only so much funding available because of decisions made by political leaders. Don’t give up. If you let DSPD know you’re there, you are less likely to get passed over. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” for the most part it is true! When they know your name and your case, it becomes more personal and there is a face to a name. Not just a name and a number.
2- More Information is always good- Give the waitlist worker more information than they need. And this works both ways. Educate yourself on different systems and resources. There are some really good ones out there. And remember, you are not alone in trying to get through this. There are other family members out there in the same spot at you, so finding a support system is great, plus, some support systems have a wealth of knowledge! You will receive a post card or questionnaire every year to fill out. Absolutely fill it out! This keeps your case active in the DSPD system.
3- Pursuing this is not a waste of time despite what the waitlist worker says- This is something we hear way too much. Yes, the list is long. Yes, people have been on it sometimes for 15+ years. But if you don’t pursue this, government officials have no idea the need for disability services really exists.
4- Keep Copies of Everything- By keeping copies, it reduces the stress level of getting the needed documents and information again when they get lost. Because they will get lost. It will be much easier to resubmit everything if you have a copy handy and ready to go. This is the reason for Secrets 1, 2, and 3! Being persistent and not giving up will show that you are committed, and want to continue to jump through the hoops.
5- Get involved with your Legislator and government officials- As odd as this sounds, getting the ear of your legislator, both your local representative and senator. Get to know them. Tell them your story. Even though most likely they don’t sit on the Human Services Appropriations Committee, they might have a buddy that does. Don’t be afraid to tell your story and your needs. And when there is time for open comment for the DSPD appropriations, go up and speak about the challenges you face as a parent, sibling, cousin, etc.
It is very overwhelming to deal with all of this, and it can be really discouraging. There are people that care, but their hands are tied. At Intersect Services, we have a system for helping families get through this process and how to really work all of these secrets to your advantage, but most of all, it works to the advantage of your loved one that needs services.
Still feeling stuck? Give us at Intersect Services a call at 801-648-7437 and schedule an appointment with one of our experts! We have the background and experience to really navigate this system for you. We have proprietary systems that are tried and true as well as knowing the language that is needed on the forms to help you and your loved one get services. Give us a call today, don’t wait!