October is Disability Employment Awareness Month both nationally and specifically in the state of Florida. APD, state agencies, and partners are actively supporting the mission of employing people with disabilities. To learn more, visit abilitieswork.employflorida.com. Be sure to watch the other PSAs featuring Dan Marino: Haley, Chartwells, and Farmer Jaffe Law Firm.
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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 for public comment. Stakeholders may submit comments to the Agency on the draft Statewide Transition Plan until September 25, 2016.
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 Agency will conduct a web-based training on October 6, 2016, at 2:00 p.m., to provide more information on next steps. For more information on the web-based training, including how to register, please visit the Agency’s Web site at: http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/e-library/upcoming_training.shtml
Below is the final version of the Statewide Transition Plan. It is posted on AHCA’s website and will be open for public comments for through September 25, 2016. The plan can be located at: https://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/hcbs_waivers/Statewide_Transition.shtml. AHCA will update the plan as necessary based on comments received and will send the final Statewide Transition Plan to CMS on or before September 30, 2016. AHCA has sent a provider alert to all impacted providers and to individuals who signed up for them. A published notice has also been posted in the Florida Administrative Register which can be found at: https://www.flrules.org/notice/resultAdvance.asp.
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows individuals with disabilities and their family and friends to save for future expenses, like popular Roth IRA and 529 college savings plans, while maintaining government benefits. If you would like to learn more about ABLE United, be sure to register for the webinar scheduled on Wednesday, August 3 from 1-2 P.M. EST. Click here to register.
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.
Food Assistance (SNAP) Schedule Change - In April of this year, the 15 day availability schedule is changing to 28 days. There will be a split issuance in March that will give SNAP customers half of their benefits on their current availability date and half on their new date. Please visit this FAQ for more information: www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access-florida/snap-benefit-schedule-faqs .
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. The Legislature has approved, the Governor has signed it into law, and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has signed a contract for continuation of this program for state fiscal year 2015 (July 2015 - June 2016).
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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