“Supporting Resourcefulness of Individuals, Families and Communities” and “Using What You Need” are two key principles of The Arc’s Blueprint for Change. I am happy to share news on several recent key FSSA initiatives that will work to help reach those goals.
Family Supports Waiver to Go Into Effect September 1
The new Family Supports Waiver, formally the Support Services Waiver, will take effect September 1, 2012. The new waiver:
- Raises the cap of an individual’s waiver budget to $16,250; over time, the budget cap will gradually increase
- Gives families choice of competitive case management entities
- Adds Participant Assistance and Care as a new waiver service to provide a new level of support to an individual either in the family home or in an individual’s own home
- Provides new flexibility regarding how waiver funds can be used
- Allows a person who receives supports from the Family Support Waiver and a person who receives supports from the new Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver (formerly the DD Waiver) to be housemates
FSSA’s goal is to bring over 6,000 people off waiting lists and into services over the next three years. To reach this goal, over 200 people will be targeted each month. Changes FSSA has made regarding how waiting lists are managed will hopefully work to more quickly target individuals and bring them into services with less delay.
Another critical milestone to celebrate is that 18-24 year olds coming out of school are once again not being placed on a waiting list and will be transitioned on to the new Family Supports Waiver.
69 people have been placed on the Autism, DD and Support Services Waivers thus far in July.
Last year over 1,100 people were added to waiver programs. This year the goal is bring over 2,000 people into services.
To keep up-to-date on the movement of people off waiting lists, visit http://in.gov/fssa/ddrs/3347.htm, where FSSA posts updates on new enrollments to waiver services every Monday.
Objective Budget Allocation (OBA) Changes
Respond to Needs of Families,
Individuals with I/DD
Several months ago, FSSA made a commitment to study the implementation of the OBA process and determine what changes and adjustments were needed to make the program more effective. They kept that commitment and have announced two major OBA changes.
FSSA is working to increase the number of hours individuals who receive supports in their family home can receive for residential habilitation or in-home supports. The increase will be tied to the individual’s ALGO Level / level of care need.
- People at Algo Level 3 will go from 4 hours of support per day to 5 hours of support
- People at Algo Level 4 will go from 5 to 7 hours per day
- People at Algo 5 will go from 6 to 8 hours per day
This is a very positive step for families who support their son or daughter at home. It is hoped that these changes will go into effect on September 1, 2012.
Services for People with
Significant Medical / Attendant Care Needs
to be Addressed by Changes to ALGO Level 5 Designation
Currently, a person cannot receive an ALGO Level 5 – the highest category for people with the greatest needs – unless he or she has significant behavioral needs. This left out a small, but important, group of people with significant medical and personal attendant needs. FSSA is making changes to allow individuals with certain high medical and personal care needs to receive an ALGO Level 5. This will allow for an increase in the hours of care they receive in their family home or waiver home, and in day or vocation programs.
We greatly appreciate FSSA’s action on these critical areas and look forward to continued progress.
In my next blog, I will talk about progress being made in implementing the new Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver which will replace the DD Waiver.
John Dickerson is The Arc of Indiana’s Executive Director