Take Action to protect independence

New Bill could preserve Determination of Need Score

Below, please find an Action Alert from Access Living’s Director of Advocacy to preserve the Determination of Need Score and protect the independence of people with disabilities.

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

We have an important development in the effort to preserve the Determination of Need (DON) score level at 29. Today, State Representative Greg Harris filed Amendment 1 to House Bill 972. We need advocates like you to take action to let our legislators know to support this amendment. This amendment contains language to:

• Protect the 29 minimum DON score until an updated assessment tool (the Universal Assessment Tool or UAT) approved by the federal government is implemented

• Ensure that the UAT does not negatively impact more than 1% of those enrolled in the Home Services Program or the Community Care Program

• If a current consumer does not qualify for the Home Services Program or the Community Care Program when reassessed with the UAT, they have one year to remain eligible for home services, plus they must be reassessed at 11 months.

• No individual receiving care in an institutional setting shall be involuntarily discharged as the result of the UAT until a transition plan has been developed by the Department on Aging, or its designee, and all care identified in the transition plan must be available to the resident immediately upon discharge.

• Strikes SMART Act language on the DON score allowing the State to change the DON from 29 to 37 with federal approval.

To read the full text, please visit this link .

To take action to contact your legislators, please use this link .

If this bill passes, it will help protect the 10,000 Home Services Program users and the 39,000 Community Care Program users from losing all services as a result of the DON services. We have to make sure to protect home and community services. Please take action now.

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy, Access Living