United Cerebral Palsy released its 4th annual report on The Case for Inclusion yesterday. The report ranks all 50 States and the District of Columbia on how well they are providing community-based supports to Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities being served by Medicaid.
Oregon ranks 20th. Our state-specific details are here.
State by state ranking:
4. New Hampshire
11. New Mexico
14. New York
17. South Carolina
19. Rhode Island
21. New Jersey
23. West Virginia
26. South Dakota
36. North Carolina
40. North Dakota
48. District of Columbia
From the UCP website on the 2009 report:
Positively, there are 1,536 fewer Americans living in large state institutions (more than 16 beds). This is a bigger drop than seen last year. However, there remain 169 large institutions (4 fewer) housing 36,175 Americans;
Negatively, only nine states (down from 11) report more than 2,000 residents living in large public or private institutions – California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Texas;
Sustaining the 2008 level, 19 states, but up from 16 in 2007, have more than 80 percent of those served living in home-like settings;
Positively, seven states – Alaska, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont- direct more than 95 percent of all related funds to those living in the community rather than in large institutions. Colorado directs a very close 94.6% of funds;
Positively, five states – Idaho, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas – as well as the District of Columbia experienced at least a five percent increase in people served in the community (HCBS waiver).
Negatively, Wisconsin reduced number of people served in the community (HCBS waiver) by more than five percent;
Nationally, 29 states direct more than 80 percent of all related funding to those living in the community;
Positively, 39 states, up from 33, report having a Medicaid Buy-In program supporting individuals as they go to work and increase their earnings; and
In terms of rankings, in total, 15 states had a sizable change in rankings over last two years. Pennsylvania (to #16 from #29 in 2007, dropping one place from 2008) and Missouri (to #29 from #41, dropping one place from 2008) improved the most with Wyoming (to #28 from #17) and Maine (to #35 from #24) dropping the most in the rankings.
From the DRO website: Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) is a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. Each year DRO decides how to allocate its resources based in part on information collected through this Community Needs Survey. We recognize that the list of important issues facing individuals with disabilities is very long; however, due to limited resources DRO cannot give equal attention to every issue. This survey is a tool for you to tell us what you think are the most pressing issues facing individuals with disabilities in Oregon.
This spring, the Department of Human Services announced its intention to increase (in most cases) the amount of money Customers of Support Services can receive. Starting October 1st, 2008, the majority of Brokerage Customers statewide will see a 10% increase in the amount of money they have available to them. This amount will be prorated, depending on when you plan begins. (For example, if your plan year is December through November, you will receive an increase starting in the month of October and it will prorated until your plan ends in November).
In addition, providers of support services will also have an opportunity to reconsider their current rates. The State of Oregon Department of Human Services has published a new set of rate ranges; the top level of these rates has been increased by 10% as well.
We’re in the midst of implementing the 10% change. Whether you are a customer or a provider, check out our website for updates on the process.
The IRS reports that more than 5 million retirees, people with disabilities and disabled veterans who are eligible to receive a tax rebate under the $152 billion economic stimulus package have failed to take the steps necessary to get their checks.
Social Security recipients (including beneficiaries receiving Social Security Disability Income) and disabled veterans who earned at least $3,000 in qualified benefits, earned income, or both, may be eligible to receive an economic stimulus payment of up to $300 per person or $600 per couple.
But there is a catch. In order to receive an economic stimulus payment, eligible beneficiaries or veterans must file a 2007 income tax return, even if they are not required to file because their income is below the filing threshold.Since many low-income people with disabilities, along with retirees, have not filed a tax return in many years, they may not be aware that they are eligible to receive a stimulus payment. Most people in this situation will be able to file a Form 1040A, with only a few lines filled, in order to meet the filing requirement. This can be done up until October 15, 2008.
People with disabilities have more good news regarding the stimulus payments. Although SSI payments do not count towards the $3,000 annual income requirement for receipt of a stimulus payment, many SSI beneficiaries also receive SSDI benefits which do count. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued instructions explaining that the stimulus payments do not count as income in determining SSI eligibility and will not count as a resource for two months following the month in which they are received. (See earlier Special Needs Answers article.)
For more information on the stimulus payments and what income tax forms to file, go to www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.
For a recent article in USA Today detailing the IRS’s efforts to reach out to seniors and veterans with disabilities, click here.
For state fact sheets on unclaimed stimulus payments, click here.