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The RL Mace Universal Design Institute (UDI or the Institute) in North Carolina has been named the administrator for the distribution of money in a fund that has been designated to assist households with a family member who has a disability. This special funding is only available for home accessibility improvements in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. From 2016 – 2018, UDI will distribute the money to a few select local non-profit organizations in each state that specialize in home accessibility modifications. The Institute is currently seeking qualified organizations to partner with in each state that meet the funding criteria and that can reasonably spend out $15,000 - $50,000 in home accessibility funds over the next 21 months. The households who are served with this fund also need to meet standard metrics for low income eligibility. To learn more about the fund, Click Here.
The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and its partners are currently working to implement the federal Home and Community-Based (HCB) Settings Rule (CMS-2249-F) that was finalized in January 2014. The Agency has published the latest draft of Florida’s Statewide Transition Plan on its Web site.
In order to ensure compliance with the HCB Settings Rule, the State has been conducting on-site reviews of residential and non-residential provider settings. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services established criteria that states should use to determine if residential and non-residential settings are presumptively institutional. Florida’s Statewide Transition Plan includes a list of settings that the State has verified meet the presumptively institutional criteria. As specified in the Statewide Transition Plan, the State has until March 2019 to fully implement the HCB Settings Rule. The Agency plans to use the remainder of the implementation time period to work closely with providers to help them achieve compliance with the rule; this includes providing technical assistance to providers in the development of supporting evidence packages that may be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for review.
The Social Security Administration has issued its 2016 Red Book. The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities. Included in the book are explanations of work incentives, how working can affect benefits, where to find local services, and more. The Red Book can be accessed at https://www.ssa.gov/redbook/documents/TheRedBook2016.pdf.
The Arc of Florida Dental Program - The Arc of Florida is a 501c (3) non-profit organization serving individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (1/DD) throughout the State of Florida. The Arc of Florida has received a reoccurring appropriation that will be used to help individuals with 1/DD receive needed preventive and comprehensive dental services.
Individuals on the APD Medwaiver waitlist and those on the iBudget Waiver are eligible to receive dental services through The Arc of Florida Dental Program. To learn more, be sure to read This Advisory and The Arc of Florida Dental Service Pack.
- Home Care Rule Update - The federal Department of Labor adopted the Home Care Rule extending minimum wage and overtime protections to most home care workers. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is responsible for having a process available for any person whose service hours would be reduced as a result of the rule and is at risk of institutionalization. Waiver Support Coordinators must notify APD immediately if they encounter a customer whose service needs are not being met. As part of this process, APD will determine if there are other waiver services which would help the individual remain in the community. APD will continue to monitor this process to ensure that our customers are receiving the care they need.
The legislature will determine if rates will change for the types of services affected by the DOL rule. To learn more visit the DOL website at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare.
Please read APD's guidance for changes to the Adults with Disabilities program. The agency will work to assist as many people as possible who are eligible for APD services.
If you are an active duty military service member and are interested to learn more about applying for services, please read this PDF for more information on how to apply.
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