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DRNJ Asks State Comptroller to Investigate State’s Management of Program for New Jersey Citizens with Disabilities

Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ) has asked the New Jersey State Comptroller to investigate the state’s failure to exercise effective oversight of two programs intended to support people with disabilities living in the community.

Both the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Personal Preference Program (PPP) and the Division of Developmental Disabilities’ (DDD) Self-Directed Services are service delivery models that allow seniors and individuals with disabilities living in the community greater opportunity to choose where and with whom to live by directing and managing their own services. The Medicaid-funded programs depend on the state’s contracted fiscal intermediary to make timely payments to employees and vendors hired and selected by the programs’ participants.

In June 2017, Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL), a subsidiary of Public Consulting Group (PCG), assumed fiscal management responsibility for both programs. Despite more than one year of planning and an additional year of operation, PPL/PCG continues to have difficulty operating the program as intended, resulting in people with disabilities losing employees and being unable to access services.

Despite repeated complaints to DHS and DDD by DRNJ, families, and provider and advocacy organizations, DHS has not taken effective action to ensure that individuals with disabilities dependent on PPL/PCG are able to hire and pay direct service personnel and receive services in their approved service plans without excessive delays and interruptions. Because of the lack of action by the Department, DRNJ is asking the State Comptroller to exercise his responsibility to review the performance of the state programs and contracts.

click here for complete press release and copies of letters

Research Study on Paid Family and Medical Leave and Disability

The Arc of the United States and the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University are inviting people who live and work in New Jersey, New York, California, and North Carolina to participate in a study on paid family and medical leave and disability.

The goal of the study is to look at how workers with disabilities and families that include people with disabilities use, need, and can benefit from paid family and medical leave programs. These are programs that allow people to take time off work and receive full or partial pay to welcome a new child or baby, to address their own serious medical condition, or to care for a family member experiencing a serious medical condition.

To participate, you must have worked in New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, or California in the past two years AND be a worker with a disability age 18 or older, a worker who is raising a child with a disability, or a worker who provides primary and frequent support to an adult family member with a disability.

The study will involve and initial screening call or email, and, if eligible, and interview by video conferencing or phone that will take approximately 40 minutes. Reasonable accommodations will be provided on request. Participants who complete the interview will receive a $20 gift card in thanks.

To participate: call 929-900-5398 or send an email with “The Arc” in the subject line to paidleavestudy@outlook.com

Questions? Contact Suma Setty, Research Coordinator at ss4359@cumc.columbia.edu

State Launches Tax-Free Savings Program - NJ ABLE

People with disabilities in New Jersey will have a new financial tool to help them save money to pay for childcare, transportation, assistive technology, and other necessary expenses, thanks to a program state officials plan to announce today.

The New Jersey Department of Human Services will launch a tax-free savings program that will allow qualified individuals to collect funds to cover costs related to their disability, without preventing them from qualifying for Medicaid and other state and federal social-service programs with strict income limits, according to information provided to NJ Spotlight in advance. The program - called NJ ABLE, for Achieving a Better Life Experience - is based on a federal initiative now underway in three-dozen states

For more information, click here

New Bill Introduced - Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act

A new bill has been introduced in Congress that would protect people with disabilities from financial exploitation, abuse and neglect.

Watch this video to learn more about what you can do to help protect people with disabilities.
https://www.facebook.com/rootedinrights/videos/1625463714209245/

ATAC Awards Funding for New AT Projects

The Richard 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.

For more information about the grant awards, click here

NJ AT Resource Guide

National 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


 

 

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New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities


Disability Rights New Jersey
210 S Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
1.800.922.7233 (in NJ only) • 1.609.292.9742 (Voice)
1.609.777.0187 (Fax) • 1.609.633.7106 (TTY)
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