Responds to Widespread Interruption of Delvery of Self-Directed
New Jersey's Department
of Human Services (DHS) operates self-directed programs for the
delivery of home and community based services. These waivers allow
Medicaid beneficiaries to directly hire, fire and manage their own
staffing, with funding provided under these waivers. Two of these
programs are the Division of Developmental Disabilities' (DDD) Self-Directed
option and the Division of Disability Services' (DDS) Personal Preference
Until the summer of 2017,
each program contracted for its own fiscal intermediary services
to assist consumers and family members with payroll, tax withholding
and budget management. In early 2017, DHS awarded the fiscal intermediary
contract to Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL), a subsidiary of Public
Since PPL assumed the
role of fiscal intermediary, beneficiaries and families have reported
to DRNJ widespread interruptions to the delivery of waiver services,
including problems with incorrect, inconsistent, and missing payments
for services, non-responsive customer service, and poor communication
about significant changes that affect the implementation of these
In November 2017, in
response to numerous reports from beneficiaries and family members,
DRNJ filed a complaint with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services. A copy of the complaint may be found here.
In January 2018, DRNJ
sent a letter to departing DHS Commissioner Elizabeth Connelly,
detailing the complaints and seeking her direct intervention. A
copy of the letter may be found here.
During this time, DRNJ
staff have worked tirelessly with the Family Support Councils, intervened
in dozens of individual cases, and coordinated efforts with the
Developmental Disabilities Council and ABCD's coalition of support
Most recently, DRNJ met
with then Governor-Elect, now Governor Murphy's transition team
to apprise them of the ongoing problems. They have committed to
addressing this as a priority, with plans to brief the incoming
administrations in Human Services, Policy, and Treasury, with follow
up expected in February.
For customer service
and escalation process information about PPL click
AT Resource Guide
Disability Institute posts a NJ AT Resource guide on-line. In addition,
a financial education Orientation session is available to agencies
and individuals around AT as an asset building strategy. Affordable
loans from $500 - $30,000 are available for the purchase of AT including
home/vehicle modification, hearing aids, computers, sports equipment,
etc. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/NDI-AT-Loan
Senate Health Care Bill
22, the Senate released its version of the American Health Care
Act, now called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. This
proposed legislation was built off the House version passed in May.
To read the Bill, click
are some resources to learn more about how the BCRA would affect
people with disabilities...
Awards Funding for New AT Projects
West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) of DRNJ has announced
grant awards for projects to expand access to assistive technology
services and devices in New Jersey.
information about the grant awards, go to http://www.drnj.org/atac/?cat=4
Center for Mental Health Law, Disability Rights New Jersey and New
Jersey Human Services Commission Announce Completion of Settlement
That Transformed State's Mental Health Service System
David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, a national legal
advocacy organization advancing the rights of people with mental
disabilities, Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), the New Jersey
protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities, and
New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Elizabeth Connolly announced
a settlement agreement expanding opportunities for residents of
New Jersey's state psychiatric hospitals to live in integrated settings
has come to a conclusion after more than six years.
the press release click
Mobile Resources To Support Behavioral Health
SAMHSA has resources
that can help address some of the toughest mental health and substance
use challenges, including suicide prevention, bullying prevention,
behavioral health following a disaster, and underage drinking prevention.
- Suicide Safe
helps health care providers integrate suicide prevention strategies
into their practice and address suicide risk among their patients.
provides information and guidance on ways to prevent bullying
and build resilience in children. A great tool for parents and
educators, KnowBullying is meant for kids ages 3 to 18.
- SAMHSA Disaster
App provides responders with access to critical resources—like
Psychological First Aid and Responder Self-Care—and SAMHSA's Behavioral
Health Treatment Services Locator to help responders provide support
to survivors after a disaster.
They Hear You is an interactive game that can help parents and
caregivers prepare for one of the more important conversations
they may ever have with children—underage drinking.
Offers Information Guides on Disability Benefits, Programs, and
reliable disability-related information and resources can be time
consuming. That's why Disability.gov has developed a series of 14
guides about topics such as disability benefits, housing assistance,
job training programs, and financial help for families with low
incomes. Other guides cover services that promote independence for
people with disabilities such as home health care, programs for
caregivers, assistive technology, and more.
guide begins with a series of “quick links” that answer many frequently
asked questions. Disability.gov’s Guides to Information & Resources
also connect you to information about local organizations that offer
programs and services that promote the inclusion and full participation
of people with disabilities in their communities. To learn more,
Inclusion Campaign Website Launched
Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), Education Law Center (ELC), the New Jersey
Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE) and other advocates launched
“The Inclusion Campaign” (http://www.inclusioncampaign.org)
website. The website is a resource for families, educators and other
advocates regarding the landmark 2013 legal settlement with the
New Jersey Department of Education to educate more of the state’s
students with disabilities in an inclusive environment.
For more information,
contact: Gregory Joseph, 646-346-4289, firstname.lastname@example.org