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State Proposes $10K Stipends For Families On Waiting List

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Officials in New Jersey are preparing to consider a plan that would put upwards of $10,000 annually in the pockets of families caring for adults with disabilities who are on the state’s waiting list for community services.

The move is an effort to alleviate some of the burden placed on families who wait as long as 10 years for services. It’s also an acknowledgment from the state that there’s likely no end in sight to the waiting lists.

Currently more than 8,000 New Jersey residents with disabilities are waiting for assistance. Under the new plan, families would be eligible for money that they could use to pay for a wide variety of needs, from attendants to accessible vehicles to recreational activities.

Families could also pool money to establish their own group home-type setting for their loved ones, state officials said.

New Jersey officials say they need federal approval and are seeking matching funds to make the plan fiscally sound, reports The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger. To read more click here.

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Comments (4 Responses)

  1. srawl says:

    This breaks down to 27.00 per day. What a deal for the state. How does this foster what is best for individuals to live as independently as possible.

  2. Irishrose13 says:

    I have a 35 year old son with DS, who has been on the housing list forever! I think that the stipend is a great idea, but do not feel that the State should be able to distate how it is used for our person! They stated how much it costs to operate a group home, and this stipend does not even touch this amount! It took over 8 years for my son to get any type of services at all, so this is long overdue for all of the parents with an adult with disabilities!
    Joann

  3. AIBergman says:

    This proposal from the State of New Jersey is not surprising as a technique to address the waiting list and it is the “good news and the bad news” of the convergence of sound fiscal policy and regressive puclic policy. It is very seductive when waiting lists are huge and resources are scarce to be captivated like the old cliche’, “something is better than nothing”, which as a parent, I understand.
    The proposal will save the state a lot of money over the next decades because the family stipend will become the default position and defacto policy for a lack of resources or poitiical will to generate necessary resources in a state that still spends a disproportionate share (39%) of its budget on the very expensive ICF/MR institutiional model. The good news is that New Jersey provides community living for 81% of the adults receiving services in community settings of 1-3 people. On the other hand, only 14% of adults receiving services are engaged in supported or competitive employment compared with Washington State;s 62%.
    This budget proposal also becomes an excuse to not engage in major reform of existing facility-based community services to one of indivdualized supports and individualized budgets tied to accountability for valued outcomes based upon the 1984 goals of the DD Act of independence (exerting choice and control), productivity and integration with interdependence and inclusion and the valued outcomes of the 1990 goals of the ADA of equality of opportunity, independent living, economiic self sufficieincy and full participation; including Employment First.
    Last, and perhaps the worst outcome, is the proverbial cliche’ of “be careful what you ask for, you just might get it”. In the proposed policy, two groups become fully exploited. Parents are given a modest stipend to become the eternal caregiver for their son or daughter, until they are no longer able to do so, under the auspices of “Family Support”, a policy construct from child welfare that was developed for chronoligical children until the age of 21; and ,adults with developmental disabilities are not easily allowed the opportunity to live a life away from their parents and all that goes with that emancipation and self-determination unless they can creatively develop co-ops or other means of shared resources for shared housing and supports and not necessarily traditional group homes. If the latter, then are the resources for “family support” or for the “individual supports” for the adult with a developmental disability?
    I fear that we will see these policies of “Family Support” introduced in many states and that will not bode well as a legacy for the work of the past 60 years begun by the parent movement of the Arc and UCP, followed by the Independdent Living Movement and the Self Advocacy Movement. We can and must do better.

  4. Unitedmedia says:

    I understand the need for some families for assistance, but to depend on these types of supports is a lose lose proposition. Be thankful for the $10,000 and if you do not truly need it, (as in you cannot afford to help your loved one without these dollars), leave it for those who do. We need to look beyond government supports and find ways to engage the business community to provide services we need at affordable prices. That will never happen as long as we line up for government supports.

    We turned our Medicaid waiver back to the state when we determined that we could do it on our own and do it much better. There is always a price to these types of services, and we felt it outweighed the benefits to our daughter.

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