Home & Community Based Waiver Service through OPWDD
For people with Developmental Disabilities
- Recruitment and retention of qualified workforce
- Innovative individualized approaches for the delivery of supports and services
- Flexibility about how dollars within individual budgets are allocated and disbursed.
- EFFORTS TO INCREASE RECRUITMENT & RETENTION OF STAFF
Adequate wages and related resources are essential for recruiting and retaining a sufficient workforce to enable people with disabilities to have full and appropriately supported lives in their communities.
- INDIVIDUALS WITH I/DD WITH THE FULL RANGE OF DISABILITIES CAN BE SUPPORTED TO LIVE IN INTEGRATED AND NON-CERTIFIED HOUSING IN THE COMMUNITY:
Adhere to a social model of disability throughout the OPWDD system: Needs are correlated with the levels of support needed and should not determine the environment in which someone should live!
Ensure a yearly adjustment of the OPWDD Maximum Payment Standard used to compute the housing subsidy is aligned with the HUD Fair Market Rate and Social Security COLA increases to ensure individuals receive the correct subsidy amount without additional administrative burden.
Include internet service fees not as a luxury but as a necessity and an allowable utility expense when calculating adjusted income towards the housing subsidy.
Increase opportunities for affordable integrated community housing by collaborating with other state agencies, local governments and the state legislature to create a pilot program in a high-rent area whereby a landlord receives a pro-rated tax credit for leasing an apartment to a person with a developmental disability. In exchange Landlords would accept the individual’s Housing Subsidy plus the individual’s required 30% of income in full payment of monthly rent.
Remove the requirement to annually apply for other local housing funding streams (such as Section 8).
Challenge FOFILLS that oozes institutional bias and has the potential to limit access to the limited inventory of rental properties, discouraging local municipality and developers from creating set-asides for people served by OPWDD; and frustrate opportunities for building natural community supports.
- INCREASE SELF-DIRECTION BUDGET FLEXIBILITY AND INCREASE ACCESS TO SERVICES & SUPPORTS
Remove barriers that prevent full person-centered access to full budget utilization.
Revise current policies to include access to financial emergency funds and resources in the event a caregiver emergency or for individuals and families who do not have the financial resources to outlay Family Reimbursed Respite and need the support.
Create fiscal mechanisms to provide the individual with an advance (loan) of first month rent and security deposit when an individual is moving from one rental to another to avoid a housing crisis. Future housing should not be at the mercy of awaiting the return of security deposits from landlords thereby removing financial burdens from the individual and their natural supports.
Protect person-centered community-based services: HCBS Waiver defines the service of Community Habilitation as covering skill acquisition, maintenance and support in the home and community, including routine personal care. Codifying this into Mental Hygiene Law would create a clear roadmap to continue enabling individuals to have full and appropriately supported lives in their communities.
Approve Paid Neighbor for individuals living with caregivers to enable more people to live in their natural community, with the right support to the individual and their families and place less stress on the demand for certified housing.
Support OPWDD’s plan to abolish the Nurse Practice Act thereby permitting training of self-hired staff to administer medicine including rescue medicine.
Provide long overdue and ongoing COLA and increased compensation for Self-Direction Support Brokers. Provide demonstration funding to support the model of Enhanced Self-Direction Brokering offering enhanced access to diverse populations and to individuals without a strong natural support network as well as people that require additional support to successfully navigate Self Direction. An Enhanced Broker with a maximum caseload of 12 participants can step into the role of the primary caregiver. Enhanced Broker relationships would be established as soon as practical when there are no natural supports to ensure continuity and sustainability of the participant’s self-determined life choices, and avoid placement in a congregate setting.
- PROVIDE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO CHALLENGES AGAINST PERSON-CENTERED MODELS WITHIN THE OPWDD SYSTEM
Create a mechanism whereby individuals and their advocates can challenge provider’s arbitrary or erroneous application of OPWDD regulations attempting to limit access to fair person-centered supports and services, including increased oversight and intervention by OPWDD. Curtail FIs ‘rules’ that are inconsistent with OPWDD regulations or guidelines.
Support an Independent Ombuds Program whereby eligible Individuals and their families have access to support advocacy for access and continuity of eligibility, supports and services.
Challenge OPWDD’s managed care investigation and its 5-year extension which is a distraction from true innovation. Acknowledge the facts contained in Family Stakeholders ongoing ‘myth busting letters’ to policymakers. Decisions must include full meaningful participation of Family Stakeholders.