Arc Minnesota Hails New Opportunity for Services for Minnesotans with Developmental Disabilities

Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Arc Minnesota

    ST. PAUL, Minn., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Arc Minnesota is hailing a
 change in state human services policy that would enable people who have been
 waiting for the developmental disabilities home and community based waiver
 program to receive these services.  Developmental disabilities include
 conditions like mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and similar
 conditions.
     To access the support services available through the "waiver" program,
 people must contact their county case manager as soon as possible and have
 services arranged by June 30, 2001.   These services must include case
 management and one other approved waiver service, based on the person's needs.
     After June 30th, other needed support services may be phased in, including
 a broad array of residential support services.  These services may include
 respite care, in-home family supports, homemaker services, supported living,
 or consumer directed community supports.
     "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who have been waiting
 years to receive these services," said Cindy Johnson, President of Arc
 Minnesota.  "Families should take action now to see if they can receive these
 much needed supports."
     According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, over 4,400 people
 are waiting for these services.  Many wait years before they obtain the
 services.  In 1999, Arc Minnesota helped pass a law to "Unlock the Waiting
 List" for people with developmental disabilities who have been waiting for
 services.  This legislation has enabled an estimated 1,800 people to receive
 services since July 1999.  However, the waiting list still exists.
     The 1999 law required the Department of Human Services (DHS) to use
 funding that was projected to be unspent in this program to fund services for
 those are still to waiting.  In order to comply with the law, DHS is making
 these services available until the end of June.  On July 1, 2001 the old
 system for allocating these services goes back into effect, in which counties
 received a limited number of "waivered" services for people waiting.
     These "waivered" services provide the supports necessary for a person to
 live in the community instead of an institution or enable a family to keep
 their child with developmental disabilities at home.  Supports include respite
 for parents, case management, modifications to make a home more accessible,
 assistive technology, residential services, support for daily living
 activities and employment, personal care assistance, and education for
 caregivers.
     "If you have been waiting for one or more of these services, call your
 county case manager immediately to request them," said Johnson.  "Families
 must have a case manager and at least one other service in place by the June
 30th deadline.  We urge every county in the state to make processing these
 requests from their residents a major priority during the next two months."
     In its 50th year, Arc Minnesota is the state's largest advocacy
 organization representing people with developmental disabilities and their
 families.  Through its network of 30 local and regional chapters, and about
 7,000 members, Arc provides a variety of advocacy and support services.
     For further information about this opportunity, contact Arc Minnesota at
 651-523-0823, 800-582-5256, or http://www.arcminnesota.com , or contact the
 local Arc chapter nearest you.
 
 

SOURCE Arc Minnesota
    ST. PAUL, Minn., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Arc Minnesota is hailing a
 change in state human services policy that would enable people who have been
 waiting for the developmental disabilities home and community based waiver
 program to receive these services.  Developmental disabilities include
 conditions like mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and similar
 conditions.
     To access the support services available through the "waiver" program,
 people must contact their county case manager as soon as possible and have
 services arranged by June 30, 2001.   These services must include case
 management and one other approved waiver service, based on the person's needs.
     After June 30th, other needed support services may be phased in, including
 a broad array of residential support services.  These services may include
 respite care, in-home family supports, homemaker services, supported living,
 or consumer directed community supports.
     "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who have been waiting
 years to receive these services," said Cindy Johnson, President of Arc
 Minnesota.  "Families should take action now to see if they can receive these
 much needed supports."
     According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, over 4,400 people
 are waiting for these services.  Many wait years before they obtain the
 services.  In 1999, Arc Minnesota helped pass a law to "Unlock the Waiting
 List" for people with developmental disabilities who have been waiting for
 services.  This legislation has enabled an estimated 1,800 people to receive
 services since July 1999.  However, the waiting list still exists.
     The 1999 law required the Department of Human Services (DHS) to use
 funding that was projected to be unspent in this program to fund services for
 those are still to waiting.  In order to comply with the law, DHS is making
 these services available until the end of June.  On July 1, 2001 the old
 system for allocating these services goes back into effect, in which counties
 received a limited number of "waivered" services for people waiting.
     These "waivered" services provide the supports necessary for a person to
 live in the community instead of an institution or enable a family to keep
 their child with developmental disabilities at home.  Supports include respite
 for parents, case management, modifications to make a home more accessible,
 assistive technology, residential services, support for daily living
 activities and employment, personal care assistance, and education for
 caregivers.
     "If you have been waiting for one or more of these services, call your
 county case manager immediately to request them," said Johnson.  "Families
 must have a case manager and at least one other service in place by the June
 30th deadline.  We urge every county in the state to make processing these
 requests from their residents a major priority during the next two months."
     In its 50th year, Arc Minnesota is the state's largest advocacy
 organization representing people with developmental disabilities and their
 families.  Through its network of 30 local and regional chapters, and about
 7,000 members, Arc provides a variety of advocacy and support services.
     For further information about this opportunity, contact Arc Minnesota at
 651-523-0823, 800-582-5256, or http://www.arcminnesota.com , or contact the
 local Arc chapter nearest you.
 
 SOURCE  Arc Minnesota