Illinois Law on Supported Decision-Making
Please note: this post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal advice
Governor Pritzker signed the Supported Decision-Making Act (Public Act 102-0614) on August 27, 2021, with an effective date of 6 months or February 27, 2022.
Supported decision-making is meant to be a way in-between guardianship for a person with a disability. It allows that person to appoint an Identified Supporter whose duty is to support the person with a disability in making decisions, including health decisions, living choices, work or relationship choices. It gives the person with a disability a choice in their representative while keeping their autonomy.
The Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission released a fact sheet that reviews what supported decision-making is, when it happens, and some basic principles to follow.
As the fact sheet outlines, supported decision-making:
- It is a way for a person with a disability to get the help they need by thinking about options, making choices, and letting others know what decisions they made
- Involves an Identified Supporter as a helper
- Increases power and control in the life of a person with a disability
- Can lead to better health and well-being of a person with a disability and improve family and community relationships around them
What is an Identified Supporter?
- An Identified Supporter is someone the person with a disability knows and trusts
- They can be a friend, family member, coworker, colleague, or a person with professional skills
How Supported Decision-Making Works
- The person with a disability fills out a form called a Supported Decision-Making Agreement which involves:
- Outlining what support is needed based on the person’s needs and wants
- Making sure that decisions are made by the person with a disability
- Being signed by the person with a disability, the Identified Supporter, and two (2) witnesses.
It should be noted that the Act is very broad in terms of the capacity of the person with a disability. If there is any concern over the decision-making capability of an individual, having a professional assessment is always recommended.
At Dutton Casey & Mesoloras, we make sure to stay on top of new laws and regulations so we may best serve our clients. This is one way we advocate for people with a disability and their families. For more information, please contact us at 312-899-0950.
This information is not to be considered legal advice.