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Monday, April 18, 2016

 

EXTREMELY URGENT ALERT!!

Medicaid Consumer-Directed Services Change About to Occur

  ACT TODAY -- YOUR action could prevent people with disabilities
  in Virginia from losing the ability to schedule personal assistants
  when they need them to live independently in the community!
 
  Do YOU, or a member of YOUR family, receive consumer-directed
  (CD) personal assistance, respite or companion services through
  Medicaid?
 
  You MUST ACT TODAY to protect your ability to hire Medicaid CD
  assistants to work overtime, if that is mutually agreeable, and helps
  you to get the services you need to live in your own home and stay
  out of a nursing facility or other institution.
 
  CONTACT YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS – Ask them to support
  Governor McAuliffe’s budget amendment that will restore
  authorization of 16 hours of overtime pay to the state budget, which
  was cut by the General Assembly when they approved their final
  version of the state budget in early March. The cut will prohibit you
  from using the same Medicaid CD assistant for more than 40 hours
  a week beginning July 1, 2016. The final opportunity to prevent this
  is now.
 
  The Governor had included the overtime in his original budget, but
  legislators removed it in the final day of their regular legislative
  session. Responding to disability rights advocates from the Virginia
  Association of Centers for Independent Living (VACIL) and others,
  Governor McAuliffe has submitted a budget amendment that would
  restore the authorization of 16 hours of overtime payments. His
  budget amendment will be considered by the Virginia General
  Assembly at their Veto Session on April 20.
 
  This budget action would not limit the number of hours that an
  individual can use each week for CD personal care, respite and
  companion supports. This is about the number of hours that the CD
  assistant can work. People with disabilities could hire multiple CD
  assistants. Hiring multiple CD assistants is not possible and/or not
  desirable in some situations.
 
  The 40-hour cap on hours that a Medicaid-funded CD assistant
  could work would be for all hours (personal care, companion and
  respite) combined in a week.
 
  Medicaid live-in CD assistants would not be impacted by this
  change, at this time. Also, if in the future it is determined that DMAS
  is a joint employer with the employer of record, CD assistants
  would be limited to 40 hours of Medicaid CD employment even if
  they are working for more than one individual.
 
  We have a CHANCE to protect the ability of people to hire
  assistants they need, a solution that is essential given the dire
  shortage of personal assistants willing to work for the low wages
  offered to personal assistants through Virginia’s Medicaid program.
  This is especially important in areas like Northern Virginia where
  the cost of living is so high.
 
  Moreover, the labor shortage is often even more severe in rural
  Virginia. The ability to hire someone is essential to providing people
  with disabilities living in those areas, and their families, the flexibility
  they need to ensure they can get the services needed.
 
  Not allowing for any ability of a CD assistant to work more than 40
  hours could put others at significant risk due to their unique support
  needs making it hard to find multiple assistants to train for these
  unique needs; weather emergencies in which one assistant has
  to stay longer because the second assistant cannot travel to the
  person’s home; and unexpected illnesses like the flu in which an
  adult with significant disabilities living on their own may temporarily
  need more extensive support to deal with symptoms.
 
  YOU, YOUR FAMILY, and ALL disability rights advocates are urged
  to contact your State Delegate and State Senator and ask them to
  vote in favor of Governor McAuliffe’s budget amendment authorizing
  Medicaid CD assistants to be paid overtime up to 16 hours per
  week. Let them know why it is important that you have the flexibility
  to hire the same assistant for more than 40 hours per week. Explain
  to your Senator and Delegate how limiting hours that CD assistants
  can work will impact your Medicaid services and your life. Ask them
  to support the Governor’s budget amendment to allow up to 16
  hours of overtime in fiscal year 2017 (Item 306). Meet with your
  Senator and Delegate this week to explain the impact. Even if you
  contacted your legislators earlier in the year, please contact them
  again.

 Contact information for your Senator and Delegate is at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

  If you have media contacts, please reach out now and request they
  cover this issue before Monday, April 18. Letters to the editor would
  also be helpful.

For more information, please contact VACIL at mhollowell@endependence.org


April is Fair Housing Month

 

Workshop - "Fair Housing: What does it
mean for people with disabilities?"
 
Get to know your disability-related rights in housing.
Bring your questions.
 
    Presented by Vantoria Clay, Housing Coordinator
 
Wednesday, April 20 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Endependence Center
6300 E Virginia Beach Blvd in Norfolk

Summer Internshipstext interns wanted

      The Endependence Center has five internships available
     over the upcoming summer for students with disabilities.
     These intern positions are unpaid and onsite at ECI.
     Four internships are specifically for students that are
     Chesapeake residents that attend either Chesapeake Public
     Schools or colleges. The other internship is specifically
     for a Norfolk student who resides in Norfolk. They are
     specifically for students under the age of 26.  They are for a
     two-week period between the dates of June 1 to July 31,
     chosen by the interns. The interns will be expected to work
     16-20 hours per week, approximately four hours per day.
     We can provide paratransit tickets if the chosen interns are
     eligible to use that system. No other transportation will be
     provided.  Please have interested students contact Cheryl Ward,
     757-351-1585 or cward@endependence.org for a copy of the
     application or download the application that must be submitted
     by those students that are interested in applying for an
     internship or if you have any questions. Application deadline is
     May 5, 2016.

General Assembly Update

Education

 Budget language requiring a workgroup to assess barriers to educating students with disabilities in local schools.

 House Bill 389 establishes one-year, renewable Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts for certain education-related expenses at a private school.

  House Bill 842 adds requirements for professional development in dyslexia and the methods of teaching students who are dyslexic.

 House Bill 1213 provides that when a minor is prosecuted for willfully disrupting the operation of any school or school-sponsored activity, the minor may present as evidence relevant to whether he acted willfully reports from health care providers or documents that are part of certain educational plans or behavioral assessments.

Medicaid

 Eliminate all overtime for consumer-directed attendants and limit attendants to working no more than 40 hours a week. Currently live-in attendants would not be impacted by this change. (Centers for Independent Living are continuing to work this issue. If you want to be involved in this advocacy, please send an email message to vawaivers@endependence.org).

 200 DD Waiver slots for people with the lowest waiting numbers on the DD Waiver waiting list. An additional 115 DD Waiver slots were funded (unclear if the 115 slots will go to people on the current DD Waiver waiting list or used for the new DD/ID waiting list that will be formed this summer).

 250 DD and ID Waiver slots for people who are trying to leave nursing facilities and other institutions with a program called Money Follows the Person.

 40 DD/ID Waiver reserved slots for people in emergency situations, people wanting to transition between newly redesigned DD/ID Waivers, and people transitioning from institutions.

 855 DD/ID Waiver slots (415 in 2016 and 440 in 2017).

 11% provider rate increase for private duty nursing in the Tech Waiver and ESPDT.

 2% provider rate increase for personal care, respite and companion supports (both agency and consumer-directed).

 5.4% average provider rate increases for most services in the Day Support, DD, and ID Waivers.

 FAMIS will cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) services.

Other Issues

 House Bill 342 provides that a person who has a guardian has the right of communication with other persons with whom the incapacitated person has expressed a desire to communicate.

 House Bill 1103 excludes ABLE savings trust accounts from determination of state means-tested assistance and benefits.

  Senate Bill 363 establishes a penalty for fraudulent representation of a service dog.

 Funds for Centers for Independent Living to provide transition services to people leaving institutions, people trying to avoid institutionalization and youth who have left high school.

 Funds to expand long term supported employment services for people with significant disabilities.

  Funds to expand services to people with brain injury.

  Funds for an additional 493 people to receive public guardianship.

Medicaid Consumer-Directed Overtime and 40 Hour Limit

In 2013, the federal Department of Labor changed federal regulations related to personal care attendants. Before then, attendants were exempt from certain federal Fair Labor Standards including the payment of overtime. The 2013 federal regulations require overtime be paid to most attendants working more than 40 hours in a workweek. There is an exemption for live-in aides who can continue working more than 40 hours a week and not be entitled to overtime. This exemption for live-in aides could also end depending on other actions of the courts or the General Assembly.

The regulations were contested in court with the final ruling last summer requiring overtime. In Virginia, the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) began paying overtime for Medicaid-funded consumer-directed services if the attendant worked more than 40 hours in a week. The Virginia General Assembly has adopted a budget that would eliminate all overtime and no longer allow Medicaid consumer-directed attendants to work more than 40 hours in a workweek effective July 1. The Endependence Center knows how difficult this change will be and we continue to work for a better solution to address the federal overtime requirements. The General Assembly will reconvene on April 20 to address any vetoes from the Governor. If you are interested in this issue, please contact your Coordinator at the Endependence Center or send an email message to vawaivers@endependence.org.

Medicaid Day Support, DD, and ID Waiver Redesign

The Commonwealth of Virginia is in the process of redesigning the Day Support, DD, and ID Waivers. New services will be available. Prevocational services will be eliminated; you can add another service in place of prevocational. There will be additional assessment and meeting requirements. The current DD Waiver waiting list will be eliminated and the 2,290 people now on the DD Waiver waiting list will be combined with the 8,167 people on the ID Waiver waiting list. The DD Waiver waiting list numbers will be eliminated. Your DD case manager at the Endependence Center can meet with you individually to explain the proposed changes. The Endependence Center will hold workshops on the redesigned Waivers this summer after the changes are approved by the federal government. We expect that the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) will conduct local workshops this spring. Their workshop schedule was not available when this newsletter was finished. The Endependence Center will host two webinars in May to review the changes. The May 13, 12noon, webinar will focus on issues important to people on the waiting list. The May 18, 12noon webinar will focus on Waiver Redesign for people enrolled in the Waivers. Dawn Traver, Director of Waiver Operations at DBHDS the will be the presenter for both webinars. Registration information will be sent in the May newsletter and is available from your ECI Coordinator.


"Opening Doors To Opportunities With The Disability Community"
 


What is Independent Living?


   What is Independent Living?  Essentially, it is living just like
   everyone else having opportunities to make decisions that
   affect one’s life, able to pursue activities of one’s own
   choosing—limited only in the same ways that one’s non-
   disabled neighbors are limited. 
 
   Independent Living should not be defined in terms of living on
   one’s own, being employed in a job fitting one’s capabilities
   and interests, or having an active social life.  These are
   aspects of living independently.  Independent Living has to do
   with self-determination.  It is having the right and the
   opportunity to pursue a course of action.  And, it is having the
   freedom to fail—and to learn from one’s failures, just as non-
   disabled people do.
    To access information on upcoming events, click here.
 
    To sign up or request accommodations, contact Rena Lewis at
     351-1578 Voice, 461-7527 TDD or email at
     A recording of upcoming events and those canceled can be
     accessed by calling 461-8007 and selecting Option 4 and continuing
     to listen for further options.

Items Of Interest



2015 Annual Meeting
held 11/19/15

Find out how
you can help the Endependence Center
 
For more information,
click here.

Justice Department
Settlement
 
The Justice Department
announced a settlement
was reached in a
lawsuit over alleged
ADA violations
against students with
disabilities by Nobel
Learning Communities,
Inc. private schools.
 
To review the settlement,

ECI Media Center
 
The room can be
scheduled by
calling 461-8007.
For more information,

Virginia Easy Access
 
Virginia's
"No Wrong Door"
initiative launches
"Virginia
Easy Access".
For more information,

Money Follows
the Person (MFP)
 
Virginia launches website
describing community
living choice project for
seniors and individuals
with disabilities.
For more information,
click here

 
FREE Online
Course on the
American with
Disabilities Act
 
For more information,

FREE Online
Course on
Disability Rights
 
For more information,

 

   

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Endependence Center, Inc.
6300 East Virginia Beach Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23502-2827
Phone:(757) 461-8007 Voice
(757) 461-7527 TTY
Fax: (757) 455-8223 or (757) 461-5375

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