Definitions of Cash and Counseling vary but the main components can be explained like this:

Cash – people with disabilities have the option to manage a flexible budget and decide what mix of goods and services best meet their personal care needs.

Counseling – provide information and assistance to individuals who direct their own services.  It is a key supportive service in self-direction programs.  The goal of counseling is the same: to offer flexible and personalized support to ensure that self-direction works for the participants who choose it.

(National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services)

In Pennsylvania, the Department of Public Welfare calls our Cash and Counseling program, Services My Way, like this:

The Services My Way service model reflects the Cash and Counseling principles.

  • Services My Way promotes true participant control by offering alternatives to traditional services in which participants can manage their own flexible allowances to design and purchase disability-related goods and services.
  • The Services My Way model will allow participants to choose the goods and services they want, to direct as many of those services as they want, and to be the driving decision maker in ways that maximize their quality of life.
  • Based on their individualized budget, participants will develop their flexible spending plan to purchase goods and services that will assist them in meeting their needs and goals.
  • The flexible spending plan will allow participants to allocate money to hire their workers and to purchase goods and services.