The Funding for Family and Self-Advocates


The Funding

To begin assessing which funding options are available,  family and self-advocates should connect with their case manager to determine waiver eligibility. If eligible for a waiver, living situation and support options are then taken into account to determine the specific source of funding.  If a case manager has not already been involved or assigned, review the County and Tribal Information Directory and contact the reference listed or reach out to the local Arc chapter to help with this process.  NOTE: If interested in private pay (non-government funding) see Alternative Funding Options - No Waiver.

State Funding - Waiver Eligible

There are several types of waivers that are typically applied to fund technology supports.

  • CADI (Community Access for Disability Inclusion)
  • DD (Developmental Disabilities)
  • BI (Brain Injury)
  • CAC(Community Alternative Care)
  • EW (Elderly Waiver)
  • Funding may also be available under CDCS (Consumer Directed Community Supports)

Discuss the eligibility and availability of waivers for the person served with the case manager.

Living Situations/Support Options

Below are common living situations and support options that determine the level of funding as well as the specific types of service the waiver may be applied to based on varying rate frameworks. Family and self-advocates do not need to be experts on these situations or funding options, but understanding the scenarios may be beneficial when speaking with case managers, providers, vendors, or private consultants.


  1. Remote Support/Supervision: Residential Services

    Individual is living in provider controlled housing such as Community Residential Service (CRS), or foster care.
    Funding is issued through the DWRS Rate Framework and secured and managed by the provider. Families and self-advocates will need to consent and sign off on the care plan.
    Learn more about Disability Waiver Rate System rate frameworks


  2. Remote Support/Supervision: Person in Own Home

    The person served may be receiving varying degrees of supports, but not living in provider controlled housing.
    Case managers will secure funding and coordinate services with the technology vendors, natural supports, and service provider with the consent and approval of family/self-advocates.
    Learn more about 24-hour emergency assistance coverage and eligibility
    Learn more about technology install, on-going management, and support for environmental accessibility adaptations


  3. CDCS - Consumer Directed Community Supports

    CDCS are available to people on the home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers and Alternative Care (AC) program. CDCS may include traditional services and goods, and self-designed services.
    With CDCS, family and self-advocates play the lead role in securing funding along with the service coordinator.
    Learn more about CDCS options


  4. Assistive Technology

    Assistive technology includes supports that help with communication, environmental manipulation, and integration into the community.
    In this scenario, family and self-advocates may play a more active role in identifying support options. A case manager will secure funding if government funding is desired.
    Learn more about coverage for assistive technology

Alternative Funding Options - No Waiver

If the person served is not eligible for a waiver, or is on a waitlist, there are alternative funding options available to move forward. 

Private Pay

  • STAR - Short and long-term loaner devices and exchange
  • EquipALife - Grants/Micro Loans/Lending

Next Steps

Once the proper funding channels have been procured, the team will make the move to implementation which will include installing the equipment, training, and testing.

Implement technology

Still have additional question about Funding? Ask one of our Mentors.


After having the initial conversation about technology supports and then making a plan to implement that technology, individuals, families, providers, and case managers often find themselves at odds with forms and paperwork. This at best slows down the whole process and at worst can halt it completely. Never fear, we’ll take you through the process and help you get your projects back on track.

The Arc Minnesota asks, “How could $500 change your life?”. The Minnesota Microgrant Partnership offers grants from $100 to $2000 with the average awarded value between $700-$800. Grants can be used for employment, housing, or community integration for people with disabilities.

There are numerous funding streams that providers and service recipients can use to support
technology use.

While the state of Minnesota boasts one of the richest, most comprehensive funding structures for technology, there continue to be areas in which funding is not available. Lack of formal funding should not deter providers from considering to invest their own dollars in certain solutions which make sense to help improve an organization’s ability to encourage independence of the people we support as well as helping an organization become more effective.

As people served were expressing a stronger desire to be more independent, Dungarvin staff thought through scenarios on how to navigate both the independence desire and how they would provide services in the future. Technology was their answer.

When deciding to implement a new support strategy it is important to run a cost analysis to fully plan out the business case for your organization. A sample cost analysis has been created below that can be used to help analyze anticipated costs and revenue when going from on-site sleep to alternative overnight supervision.

Technology 101: The Funding walks students through the funding phase of the technology implementation process, including how to identify the different types of funding solution in Minnesota and determine the best funding options based on the person’s needs, goals, and environment