Many chronically disabled patients need special support systems to help them meet material needs, personal-care needs, and psychosocial needs. The authors propose two guidelines that must be considered simultaneously when deciding what special support system is most appropriate for a particular client. The first is that the system be adequate to meet the client's unmet needs, and the second is that the system not meet needs the client can meet himself. The authors feel that one should look first to support systems other than special living arrangements, which can easily overprovide services to clients. If a special living arrangement is considered appropriate, the one selected should provide only for those needs the client cannot meet himself.