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General Questions

Is there a need for Providers in Lake County?

We are always looking for good, qualified Providers. Individuals have free choice of Provider and are able to choose any Provider that they want to provide their services. That means we cannot accurately estimate the number of Providers who will be working at any time. There is no guarantee that as a certified Provider you will be chosen to provide services.

What does Free Choice of Provider mean?

Individuals have the right to choose who they want to provide their services. Services must be provided by a certified Provider. Individuals are able to mix and match services and Providers, so they may choose one or several Providers, and can choose to use Independent and/or Agency Providers. The individual’s SSA can assist the individual with the provider selection process however the SSA/county board staff CANNOT select or recommend a Provider for an individual.

Someone told me I can get paid to care for my brother/sister or son/daughter who lives with me. Is this true?

It depends. If your sibling / child is eligible to receive services from a county board of developmental disabilities and has funding through a DODD waiver, you can get certified to provide services to them. The waiver the individual has will determine which service(s) you should become certified in. A Provider cannot provide services to their minor child. Contact the Provider Support Department with specific questions.

What type of things will I do as a Provider?

Providers do a variety of tasks which could include but is not limited to: light housekeeping, laundry, transportation, grocery shopping, accessing the community and assistance with personal care. The specific services you will provide an individual will be based on their needs and their service plan.

I own a large house that I would like to turn into a group home for individuals with DD. I would also like to be the Provider of services. What do I need to do? I want to start my own group home, what do I need to do?

In order to own the home and be the Provider of services, the home needs to be licensed. Ohio law limits the number of licensed beds that can exist throughout the state, and that capacity has been reached. Therefore, starting a group home is not an option.  Your options would be to:

  • Be the owner/landlord of the residential setting and a Provider would come into the home and provide services
  • Become a certified agency Provider through DODD and provide services to individuals
  • Become a certified independent Provider through DODD and provide services to individuals

There are rules that govern what a provider can and cannot do in regards to owning a home and providing services in that home (Rule 5123:2-9-02 Ensuring the Suitability of Services and Service Settings). In addition to that, individuals also have Free Choice of Provider (Rule 5123:2-9-11).

I want to have individual(s) with developmental disabilities live in my home with me. How do I do that?

That service is called Shared Living. You would have to be a certified independent Provider through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities or work for an agency certified through the Department. The individual would have to choose to live with you and also have an IO waiver.

Certification and Recertification

I want to work in multiple counties. How do I get certified to do that?

Once you are certified, you are able to provide services throughout the entire state of Ohio. There is not a separate certification process for each county.  However, each county registers Providers differently so once you are certified you will need to contact your local county board to find out what their process is.

Will my certification transfer to another state?

That is not likely. If you are planning to move you should check with the state you are moving to in order to find out what their process for certification is.

Following approval of my certification, can I serve other individuals in addition to the individual I was initially recruited as a Provider for?

You are able to serve any individual who is in need of services as long as you are certified to provide the service they are in need of, your certification is in good standing and (if you are an independent provider) are within the parameters of the Independent Provider Overtime Rule.

I am interested in becoming a Provider for individuals with developmental disabilities. What do I need to do?

You need to apply for certification through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD). For more information on the certification process, click here.

I am already a certified Provider but want to provide services in Lake County. What do I need to do?

Contact the Provider Support Department with your name / name of your agency and contact information. You will be added to the Provider list and email distribution.

I received a notice from DODD that I need to renew my certification. How do I do that?

You will complete a certification renewal application through the PSM (Provider Services Management) system on the DODD website. More information about renewal can be found here.

UI/MUI, Billing/Payment, Documentation, Training/Compliance

What types of documentation do I need to keep?

Each service has its own documentation requirements which can be found within the rule for the service. The rules are found on the DODD website here. More information about documentation can be found here.

As an Independent Provider, who is my employer and how do I get paid?

Independent Providers are not employed by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities or the local county board of DD, you are considered self-employed. It is your responsibility to bill DODD directly for any services you provide.

As an Independent Provider, what do I need to know about paying taxes?

No taxes are taken from your pay. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to pay your taxes (local, state, federal, and social security) on any income you receive as a Provider. There are certain tax exemptions you many qualify for if you live with the person to whom you are providing services  (Shared Living). Consult your accountant or tax professional for advice on how to handle your taxes. DODD and/or the County Board do not answer tax questions or provide tax advice.

As a Provider, will I need to pass medications or do any health-related activities?

If the individual you are providing services to requires assistance with medication, you must be certified for Medication Administration through DODD. Medication Administration Training at minimum requires an initial 14 hour class and you must be re-certified annually. There are different categories of Medication Administration for different medication administration tasks.

I received a notice that I will be having a Provider Compliance Review. Can you tell me what is involved in that?

Every Provider will have a compliance review done at least once during every certification span. Compliance reviews are designed to ensure that Providers are meeting the standards they agreed to when becoming a Provider. You will be asked to show your records, which includes your documentation, training, and incident reporting information. This process will allow you to correct any areas that need improvement. A special compliance review can be completed at any time if there is a concern or complaint regarding a Provider.

What do I need to do if I think something has happened to an individual with developmental disabilities that needs to be reported?

To report anything that has happened to an individual with developmental disabilities, complete an unusual incident report form. That information can be found here.

What training are Providers required to have once they are certified and where can I go for training?

All Providers must meet the annual training requirements outlined in the Provider Certification Rules (5123-2-08 and 5123-2-09) as well as any additional training requirements outlined in the rule(s) for any services they are certified to provide. Provider Certification Rules require Providers have CPR/First Aid and complete training in the topics listed as required. Providers must ensure that they are completing all the training required of them.

The County Board offers Provider training in CPR/First Aid, Medication Administration Certification and may offer additional topics to meet Annual Training Requirements. Registration is required. More information here.

How do I get paid for the services I provide?

Services are billed directly to DODD. You must have documentation as evidence of services being provided before you bill for them. The DODD website does have information regarding billing. You can also contact the county board where you are working to see if they have training/support available. More information about billing can be found here.

Do you have a question we didn’t answer? Please email

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