Financial Management Services (FMS)
Self-determination participants are required to use a Financial Management Service (FMS) to pay for all your services through the Self-Determination Program. The FMS is independent and does not work for the regional centers, but they must be contracted (called “vendored”) by a regional center (it doesn’t have to be your own regional center). Your Individual Budget pays for the cost of the FMS. The FMS will:
- Pay the bills for your services, activities, and items;
- Provide a monthly accounting statement of how you are spending your individual budget to make sure you have enough left throughout the year;
- Pay the taxes on your staff and workers and ensure all employment and other laws are being followed.
There are three types of FMS providers that offer different levels of support for you. Each one costs a different amount, based on how many services you are using:
- Bill Payer – You don’t hire any staff directly but just purchase services from agencies or organizations and buy items. Maximum Cost: $50-100/month
- Sole Employer – In addition to bill paying, you hire workers directly and take care of the required insurance and liability. Maximum Cost: $110-150/month
- Co-Employer – In addition to bill paying, you use the FMS as the “employer” of your workers so they handle the insurance and liability. Maximum Cost: $125-165/month
For more information on FMS and how rates are determined, go to https://dds.ca.gov/initiatives/sdp/frequently-asked-questions/self-determination-program-frequently-asked-questions/ and scroll down to “Financial Management Services (FMS).”
To read the directive on FMS agencies, click here: https://www.dds.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/SDP_FMS_20200825.pdf.
To read the directive on FMS rates, go to https://www.dds.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/SDP_FMSRates_20190201.pdf
You should interview prospective FMSs and make sure you are comfortable with them. To see suggestions for interview questions, go to Finding the Right Providers.