Key Issue Action Steps

1.) Organize information to react quickly to threats to Medicaid utilizing publications from NJACP, the Arc and the Boggs Center. Create fact sheets, family and advocate-friendly one-page bulletins and alerts. Compile “New Jersey Stories” about how peoples’ lives are affected by Medicaid. Build generic resources around Medicaid information.
Face-to-face meeting of Committee February, 2020

2.) Educate support coordinators on Medicaid rules, possibly by coordination with DDD and providers. Connect and circulate family experiences to benefit less-informed recipients of Medicaid benefits.
TBD after face-to-face in February- possibly by July, 2020

3.) Engage directly with CMS and NJ Medicaid (DHS) for more and clearer documentation on basic and more involved practices and procedures. Create regular dialogue  with Medicaid directors and staff.
Dialogue starting June, 2020

4.) Set up a think tank to create an organization to fund the above efforts.
Explore grant opportunities October, 2020

1.) Provide education and resources that detail the DDD Internal Appeal and Fair Hearing process when individuals/families disagree with DDD decision making.
Target Date: TBD

2.) Provide a greater level of information/education to individuals and families as to the way in which they operate, system design and changes that are implemented.
Target Date: TBD

  1. Letter to DDS and DMAHS re 2019 NJ WorkAbility Guidelines. Submitted and delivered public comment at 10/24/19 MAAC meeting.  Completed.
    Outcome: DDS updated NJ WorkAbility Guidelines to include our suggestions so that the Guidelines better reflect the intent of WorkAbility waiver which allows individuals with disabilities to make up to $63,252 a year in gross earned income for a single earner while maintaining Medicaid eligibility. 
  1. Letter to DHS Commission to urge her to sign Pre-Employment Transition Services(Pre-ETS) MOU.
    The MOU was signed by Commissioners on behalf of Office of Special Education Programs, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) and the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired for the coordination of Pre-Employment Transition Services.
    New Action Step: To obtain the MOU and follow up on the dissemination of information on Pre-ETS to transition students and families.
    Target Date: June 30, 2020.
  1. DDAN Employment Work Group’s meeting with DVRS re Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) on 11/18/19.  DONE
    Following the meeting on 11/18/19, we submitted a written summary of issues discussed to DVRS for the CSNA.
    New Action Step: Informed NJ People First coordinator of tentative dates of DVRS’s Public Forums to encourage advocates to make and submit comments regarding services from DVRS.
    Target Date: May 31, 2020.
  1. Conducted a survey of supported employment (SE) agencies to understand high turnover rates of SE professionals and the reasons for reduced SE services. Deadline:
    Work in progress. Target Date: June 30, 2020.
  1. Action Steps on Benefits Planning and Counseling:

5a. Met with Jennifer Joyce of DDD on 1/13/20 to advocate for capacity building of certified benefits planning counselors so that Supported Employment agencies will be able to provide benefits planning services to DDD-eligible individuals under Supported Employment services.

5b. Advocate to DVRS for more intensive in-state benefits planning services as Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) 5-year grant to New Jersey will be awarded.
Update: The federal timeline for WIPA award has been postponed by one year from 12/31/19 to 12/31/20.
Target Date: December 1, 2020.

5c. Advocate to DVRS so that Title I fund could be used for benefits counseling to individuals with such services on their Individual Plans of Employment. Target Date: May 31, 2020.

5d. Advocate for funding and seek such sources for more widely available workshops on benefits planning to transition students and adults with disabilities and their families/caregivers.
Target Date: December 31, 2020.

    1. Minimum wage and tax credit to employers of individuals with disabilities: Disseminate information on the tax credit to individuals and families/guardians, as well as supported employment professionals and employers. Advocate to Department of Labor and Workforce Development so that New Jersey will track the impact of the $10 million in tax credit on employment outcomes of people with disabilities.
      Target Date: December 31, 2020. 
    2. Advocate for and track NJ Assembly Bill 1017 which would require the Division of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action in the Civil Service Commission to develop and implement a “State as Model Employer” preferential hiring program for people with Disabilities in the state government.
      Target Date: December 31, 2020.


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