What is Self-Determination?

In October of 2013, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law the Self-Determination Program, which will provide consumers and their families with more freedom, control, and responsibility in choosing services and supports to help them meet objectives in their Individual Program Plan. The Department of Developmental Services is responsible for implementing the SDP and it will be phased-in over a 3-year period of time. Initially 2,500 participants will be selected by October 1, 2018. After the 3 year phase-in the SDP will be open to anyone who qualifies.

To be eligible an individual must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Has a developmental disability and receives services from a regional center;
  • Agrees to specific terms and conditions, which include but are not limited to, participation in an orientation for the Self-Determination Program, working with a Financial Management Services entity, and managing the Self-Determination Program services within an individual budget;
  • An individual who lives in a licensed long-term health care facility (i.e., a Skilled Nursing Facility or Intermediate Care Facility) is not eligible to participate in the Self-Determination Program. If an individual living in one of these facilities expresses interest in the Self-Determination Program, through the person-centered planning process, he or she can request that the regional center begin making arrangements for their transition to the Self-Determination Program, provided that he or she is reasonably expected to transition to the community within 90 days.

The SDP gives people more control over selecting their services and supports. One of the ways this can be done is by giving participants (or their parents or legal representatives) a specific budget to purchase the services and supports that they need to make their person-centered plan work better for them. Participants may choose their services and pick which providers deliver those services. Participants are responsible for staying within their annual budget.

You can find out more information about the SDP here: