Budget, Spending Plan & Financial Management Services (FMS)

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Individual Budget

After your Person-Centered Plan (PCP) is completed, you will forward a copy of it to your Regional Center, and confirm your satisfaction with the plan. At that point, your individual budget will be developed. The individual budget based on the amount of money the regional center spent on your services and supports for the past 12 months. The budget amount may be changed by the planning team if the you have had a change in your circumstances, needs or resources.

For those who are new to the regional center system, or who have not had a year of regional center services, the planning team will determine the services and supports needed. Using this information, the regional center will put together a budget based on the average cost of similar services.


Spending Plan

Once you have your budget, you will need to determine how you will spend your funds and document this on a spending plan. You can work with your Independent Facilitator, Person-Centered Planner, and/or Financial Management Service (FMS) to complete this document. All of your services must be on the list of approved services from the federal government, and you still must utilize generic resources first. When you submit your spending plan to the Regional Center. The Regional Center will review it and provide you with feedback.


Financial Management Services (FMS)

Every participant in the Self-Determination Program is required to have a Financial Management Service (FMS). This is the only vendored service a participant must have. The FMS assists participants with payroll for employees, paying for services, budgeting, and ensuring that applicable employment laws are followed, among other task.

There are three ways that a participant may interact with their FMS. You can choose any, or a combination, of the models, depending on your needs.

  • Bill Payer –The FMS and participant do not have any employer/employee relationship, and the FMS writes checks. This might be if someone takes a class or purchases disposable undergarments.
  • Co-Employer–The FMS and the participant share the employer/employee relationship and responsibilities, with the FMS responsible for applicable insurances, liability, etc., and the participant able to retain the ability to hire and fire their own staff.
  • Sole Employer –The participant has the responsibility of the employer, including the cost of all necessary insurances and liability, while the FMS assists with payroll and ensuring that employment laws are followed.