Independent Living Residential & Transportation
An outcome addressing Independent Living is required for every student's Transition Plan in their IEP. The following resources provide information regarding residential living, transportation, and various other considerations when thinking about Independent Living.
- About Residential Services
- Questions to Consider When Thinking About Residential Options
There are several types of residential options available for individuals with disabilities. Whether you are looking for minimal support in your own home, or require around-the-clock specialized care, there are a variety of services in your area to provide for successful adult life in a residential setting. The following pages provide a brief description of different types of residential living arrangements. It is imperative that you work with your PAS agent when considering residential service.
Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA)
CILA provides a home-like living arrangement while receiving the individualized care they need in a supportive environment. Some CILA programs are licensed 24-hour residential programs operated under CILA guidelines set forth by the Department of Human Services. CILA programs fluctuate depending on eligibility and specific needs of the consumer.
This is a group home in the community housing up to 8 individuals. It is typically owned and operated by an agency that is in charge of providing services to the residents of the home. Agencies also ensure that all bills are paid and the property is kept to agency, federal and state standards. Staff to resident ratios and supervision is determined by the needs of the residents in the home. Residents are required by DHS to either maintain employment or attend a day program on a regular basis. The funding for CILA is attached to the individual and follows the individual as long as there is an opening and he or she is accepted into the program and continues to meet eligibility requirements.
Individuals in this program can live on their own or with roommates and receive a minimum of 15 hours a week of in-home services from a provider agency. Similar to 24 Hr. CILA, funding also covers case management and day program services.
Individuals live at home with his/her family. Family members are the primary caregivers and the individual receives 15 hours a week of in-home services from a provider agency. Funding includes a day program that is Medicaid approved and 66 hours of approved behavior supports provided by an outside agency. Contact Clearbrook for more information on Family CILA
ICF-DD stands for Intermediate Care Facility for Developmental Disabilities, which is a facility for individuals who generally have more skilled nursing needs, daily living skills, or self-care skills. Nursing staff is generally available on-site 24 hours every day.
ICF-DD facilities are monitored by the Department of Public Health. There is staff on-site 24 hours a day. Facilities also have a medical director who is a doctor and operates as the primary care physician for the residents of the facility.
If an individual is in need of living in an ICF-DD, they still need to contact their PAS agency to set up services and determine the level of care needed. The funding for an ICF-DD is different from the funding for a CILA because an ICF-DD is funded for the bed, not the individual. The funding is not attached to the individual, it is attached to the bed, therefore funding is more readily available for those individuals needing immediate residential services requiring more intensive support.
Do I rent or own a home? Some general considerations...
- Physical home and home support should be kept separate.
- The value of food or shelter that someone gives or money that someone contributes is counted as income, which can reduce SSI.
- Proper estate planning provides for a home to be passed along to a child with a disability. Without estate planning, the individual could lose the home or there could be a liability imposed on that individual as the new owner.
- A family member might donate a home to a non-profit organization. Food, shelter, or home energy assistance provided free or at a reduced rate by private non-profits are NOT counted as income.
- No guarantee that the individual will be able to stay in that particular home. If assistance services are linked to the home, both the home and the services could be lost together.
If the individual owns the home, some considerations...
- Owning a home is not counted against the $2000 limit in assets owned in the individual's eligibility for funding.
- The homeowner could get specialized mortgages, loans, subsidized payments, or assistance because of income.
- A reminder: Do NOT give money to the individual for mortgage, etc. or SSI could be lost
Forming a Corporation-Limited Liability Corporation (Microboard or Cooperative)
- Forming a small corporation can title the property for the sole purpose of an individual with disabilities.
- Mortgage funding to purchase housing can be secured from housing and development authorities, banks, and other lending institutions.
- Legally, the individual is a tenant and with reasonable rental fee charged, the individual's entitlements are not in jeopardy.
- All of the property related expenses belong to the corporation so they are not counted as income for the individual.
- The Board of Directors are family and friends of the individuals who will insure that the focus of the corporation remains with the needs of the individual served. This provides sustainability in housing and social capital.
- Accept Section 8 housing choice vouchers. A Section 8 housing voucher will subsidize rental fees for the amount up to one-third of the individual's income.
Affordable Mortgage Loan Programs
Section 8 Homeownership Vouchers
- Can use these with many loans
- Subsidizes mortgage payment
- Subsidy based on household income/size
- Makes homeownership affordable for households at or below 30% of AMI (Area Median Income)
- Have to certify income annually
- Not all housing authorities have these
- Privately owned subsidized housing-HUD helps apartment owners offer reduced rents to low-income tenants; Home or apartment has to be inspected and approved
- Public Housing-affordable apartments for low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities
- Housing Choice Voucher Program-find your own place and use the voucher to pay for all or part of the rent
- Apply at your public housing agency (PHA)
- What type of waitlist does the agency have?
- What expenses are the client responsible for?
- Who is responsible for making medical appointments?
- How long can the client go on vacation?
- Can the client go home for the weekends?
- What kind of activities will the client participate in?
- Do I rent or own?
- Where should I live?
- Will I have enough money to pay taxes, insurance and utilities?
- Do I need 24-hour support or intermittent support?
- Do I hire staff to come in now and then or does someone move in with me?
- Will I have a roommate(s) to help pay for everything?
- Where will I find staff to help me?
- Who or how will staff be paid?
- How and from where will I get funding?
- What are all of these programs and rules and regulations?
- Who does all the necessary paperwork?
- Will someone be available to help me?
- What about routine upkeep of the house or apartment?
- What is the typical cost for a family for housing and services?
- How did the agency handle COVID-19? Are there any current restrictions/regulations in place?
- Resident Growth and Training
- What services for instruction are provided to residents? (e.g., independent living skills, community skills, vocational related)
- What is each individual's responsibility for the upkeep of the home/personal room?
- How are leisure activities incorporated into the day, both community-based and in-home?
- Transportation training and accessibility? How do residents get around the community?
- Social skills training?
- Who manages the individual's financial affairs? How does the individual interact with this?
- Could a resident attend school while residing within a home?
Individuals with disabilities and their support people need to plan for the eventuality of how the individual gets around when the school bus no longer provided. Transportation can be a difficult issue for persons with disabilities. There are limited options available through adult service agencies. Most transportation is the responsibility of the client and family.
PACE is the Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). They have been operating paratransit and accessible fixed-route public transportation for more than 20 years.
PACE has a range of programs to make sure that people have a ride when they need one. To learn more about PACE, call the RTA Travel Information Center at 836-7000 (using any Chicago or suburban area code), TTY (312) 836-4949 or visit the website at www.pacebus.com
It is important to try to qualify for ADA Paratransit Services through the RTA. This will allow for transportation options that are either free or at a reduced cost to the disabled rider and, if needed, a support worker/family member/aide.
To qualify for ADA Paratransit, you need to do the following:
- Call (312) 663-4357 and ask for an application. You may need to call several times in order to have your request be fulfilled. BE PERSISTENT!
- Ask for an application.
- Once you receive the application, call to make an appointment to have the person with disabilities evaluated.
- Complete the application and bring it with you to the evaluation. The person with a disability must attend the appointment.
Benefit Access Program-Person with Disabilities Free Transit Ride
Seniors and persons with disabilities who wish to qualify for the Ride Free Transit benefit must apply using the Benefit Access Application and meet the eligibility requirements for benefits. The income limits to qualify for the Ride Free Transit benefit are $33,562 for a household of one, $44,533 for a household of two, and $55,500 for a household of three.
Discounted vouchers for taxi services may be obtained through your township. Call your city/village to see if they provide any transportation services. Townships can also provide van transport for a nominal fee. See below for additional township programs.
- Northfield Township (847) 724-8300 - www.northfieldtownship.com
- Moraine Township (847) 432-3000 - www.morainetownship.org
- New Trier Township (847) 446-8202 - www.newtriertownship.com
New Trier Township also provides Community Support Grants for individuals with a disability living at home and being cared for by their families. The township program provides financial assistance to its residents (not to exceed $1,500 per person per fiscal year) that helps in meeting some of the special service needs and unusual expenses related to a person with a disability. There are no age or income restrictions. Posting for the grants begin in the fall. If you have questions or require assistance, contact Jeanne Winsted Rosser, Social Services Administrator, at (847) 446-8201