Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions that people have been asking about service coordination and Link, Inc.

Why should I have a service coordinator?

It would be nice if everyone had a service coordinator! A service coordinator helps you navigate through what can seem to be an overwhelming combination of paperwork, services, information, and regulations. A service coordinator will help you understand what your choices are and how to pursue what you would like. A service coordinator will get to know you and become someone you can trust to be looking out for your best interests. Return to Top

Who gets to have a service coordinator?

You would have to have a developmental disability. This means that prior to age 22, you were found to have one or more of the following: an intellectual disability (formerly known as mental retardation), cerebral palsy, seizures, a neurological impairment, some form of autism spectrum disorder, or familial dysautonomia. OPWDD (the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities) has a process for determining your eligibility to receive services that involves psychological evaluations and school records. We can help you navigate through this process and determine eligibility so you could begin receiving services. Return to Top

What can my service coordinator do for me?

  • Use person centered planning to get to know you, your wants and hopes, and offer and recommend services and activities that will enhance your life and aid in pursuing your dreams
  • Ensure you are aware of all your choices, not just those offered by an agency from which you might already receive services
  • Provide access to services and providers in five counties – we have an unequaled number of contacts who are ready to help us help you do what you like
  • Meet with you at least once per month to build the relationship between you and your service coordinator
  • Tell you the truth. Our service coordinators will not build false hopes in you by painting an unrealistic picture of a particular situation
  • Diligently pursue the best solution for you to help you receive the services and supports you need
  • Keep our promises to you
  • Return your calls and emails promptly
  • Archive information on your behalf to help maintain current services and apply for new ones
  • Assist you in establishing and maintaining Medicaid eligibility
  • Help you in issues regarding Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, Food Stamps, and HEAP
  • Link families to experienced medical and psychological providers and specialists
  • Assist families in your child’s transition from high school to the work force
  • Link you to desired services such as work (sheltered or competitive), group homes, in home training, day programs, and respite for caregivers
  • Identify and access transportation to and from desired services
  • Link families in need of environmental modifications and adaptive supports to reliable contractors
  • Provide information and support in establishing guardianship procedure
  • Assist families in establishing a Supplemental Needs Trust to manage significant resources
  • Treat you the way we would want to be treated if we had a service coordinator
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What would my service coordinator need from me?

  • Share your hopes and dreams with us so we will know what to pursue for you
  • Understand that not all things are possible (even for us!), but we will seek the best answer for you and at least address what you want in some relative way (The classic example is someone who wants to be a rock star. We can’t guarantee a recording contract, but we could help you participate in karaoke, talent shows, even record a CD)
  • Provide us with copies of the paperwork you receive which we also need to assist you in applying for and maintaining services (e.g. school Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), annual physicals, annual PPD test results, all Medicaid, Social Services, and Social Security correspondence)
  • Return our calls and emails promptly so we can move forward with achieving results for you
  • Work with us to establish meeting times and places
  • Treat us with respect
  • Cooperate with us when governmental processes require your input and feedback to ensure quality delivery of services
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Does service coordination cost me anything?

No. It is completely funded through Medicaid. There is no additional cost to you. Return to Top

Do I have to have Medicaid to have a service coordinator?

Yes. Medicaid is a needs-based program, available to people of all income levels who have an established developmental disability. Medicaid is what funds the services you would access, such as a day program, respite, training in your home, and service coordination. You have to have Medicaid to participate in such services. Your service coordinator can help you access this so you can receive the services you would like. Return to Top

So if I don’t already have Medicaid, will you help me apply for it?

Yes. We will work with you to complete the forms, explain to Medicaid why we are applying, accompany you or meet you at the appointment (or go in your place, if you would prefer), and then help you maintain it through annual recertification packets you will receive in the mail. We can help you fill those out, too, if you like. Return to Top

My child is still in school. Can you come to CSE (Committees on Special Education) / IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings and Parent-Teacher Conferences?

Yes. Your Link, Inc. service coordinator can help you with the acronyms, terminology, and in building a strong relationship with the people that oversee and implement your child’s education, helping to get everyone on the same page. However, a service coordinator is not on the school’s required list of invitees (this is regulated by the State), so it is up to you to inform your service coordinator of these meetings so she/he can attend. Return to Top

If my child is in school, why would I need a service coordinator?

A service coordinator can be a helpful additional source of information in ensuring all supports are in place for your child during the school years, including being an extra resource for teachers and CSE personnel. A service coordinator can link you with respite services so you could enjoy a break from constant caregiving, helping you refresh. Most importantly, a Link, Inc. service coordinator will help you plan and prepare for what comes next after high school, known as transition. Our goal is that when your child graduates in June, the next phase – day program, workshop, community employment – kicks in immediately, with no down time waiting for something to happen. Return to Top

How often do I have to meet with a service coordinator?

The minimum per year is three, but you can meet with your service coordinator on a regular basis as often as you like, as long as the visit has a definable purpose and outcome. At least one time a year has to be at home, but some individuals and families opt for all meetings at home. Having you enjoy a relevant relationship with your service coordinator is very important to us. This means meeting with you where you work and where you live, and also involving any family or caregivers that should also be a part of this relationship. This helps to encourage all of us being on the same page to pursue the services, supports, and activities you would like. When we come to your home, it is not an inspection of your home, or snooping in any way. It is about getting to know you and talking about your life. The place most people talk about their lives is at home. It is no different for you. Return to Top

Do service coordinators work for the government?

No. Your service coordinator works for Link Service Coordination, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Return to Top

I heard there have been changes for people who live in group homes and how much they get to see their service coordinators. What’s the story?

Individuals living in group homes can see their service coordinators up to six times per year under new regulations, and as infrequently as three. You can let us know what you prefer. We are dedicated to building a trusted, familiar, and enjoyable relationship with you, and we would be happy to meet with you up to the maximum number of times per year. There are other situations where more contact may occur, depending upon how many individuals we may serve who live in a residence, or if specific needs have arisen demanding more intensive attention. Return to Top

What makes Link, Inc. service coordinators different than other agencies’ service coordinators?

Nearly every agency out there offering service coordination began doing that to help manage the people participating in other programs those agencies offer, such as group homes, workshops, etc. There is an inherent conflict of interest in this, and some service coordinators tend to refer people they serve to other services their agency provides.
Link, Inc. does not provide any other services. We can truly be objective in identifying all services for you in which you might have interest, regardless of the agency providing, as all we seek to gain is your satisfaction. Link, Inc. was begun, by design, as a service coordination agency. We did not already exist with service coordination as an afterthought.
Our executive director has been involved in service coordination for over a decade, and is dedicated to identifying and hiring the best candidates available. Our service coordinators have unhindered access to the executive director, senior service coordinators, and all amassed contacts and information compiled through several years in service coordination. This experience spans many counties and hundreds of agencies and entities that stand ready to help us achieve positive outcomes for you. We equip our service coordinators to do their jobs efficiently and confidently with a results-oriented approach that will help you access the things you would like to do.
We take this very seriously. We can afford to, because service coordination is all we do. That is why we are the best.
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  1. #1 by Amber Stasio on February 21, 2010 - 9:32 am

    Greetings Jubal! This website is terrific! I love the concept of removing the conflict of interest (something I hoped for quite some time!), and not assigning other duties to SCs. The FAQs are excellent! So many families still do not know these facts! Good luck with the new venture!

  2. #2 by Jubal Myer on February 22, 2010 - 8:09 pm

    Amber,

    Thank you for the encouragement, and input. Positive feedback is always appreciated! We are very excited about our new spin on service coordination.

    Jubal

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