Anoka County CDCS Coordinator's Corner Newsletter

WHAT'S NEW IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS????



(NO CHANGES FROM OCTOBER NEWSLETTER)

CDCS FORMS & INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE.  Visit www.anokacounty.us/CDCS.  If you would like to receive monthly CDCS Newsletters and up to date short News Flashes, Go to the NOTIFY ME button and follow the directions.

Non-Disability Camp Request Form (NEW) - For typical day and overnight camps that are not specifically related to a disability, a new form must be completed describing how the camp will be adapted to meet the participant's assessed needs and how the health and safety needs of the participant will be met.

UPDATED Anoka County CDCS Guidelines (as of January 2016). All CSP renewals need to reflect the new guideline changes.  You can find the guidelines at www.anokacounty.us/CDCS.

USE NEW FORMS!  New revised "fillable" forms should now be used.  Toss away the old ones.  New forms include:  Addition/Addendum – general or PPOM/spouse, Computer/Tablet Request, Special Diet Request, Alternative or Specialized Treatment Form, Positive Behavior Plan, Non-Disability Camp Request Form, etc.  All forms and guidelines are available at www.anokacounty.us/CDCS .

BUDGET INCREASE
 – On July 1, 2016, you should have received a small increase of 0.2% to CDCS budgets carried over from last year’s union agreement.  This increase is meant to offset the minimum wage increase from $10.75/hour to $11.00/hour (E.g. $30,000 yearly budget would increase by $60).  You should have received a letter with this information from Anoka County and a new service agreement from MN DHS with your new amount. FOR AC/EW CDCS PARTICIPANTS ONLY - Ask your case manager about how to access your 21.3% increase.

PPOM/Spouse MAXIMUM WAGE INCREASES TO $16.75/hour including benefits(Payroll/FEA model Only).  If on AWC model, contact your FSE for the new wage rate..  This increased wage will not automatically happen.  If you would like to increase this wage in your current plan contact your case manager and the FSE to help calculate and assure that you do not overspend your budget allocation.
 
STAFF MILEAGE DECREASE Effective January 1, 2016, the maximum staff mileage reimbursement is 54 cents/mile.
 
CONSIDER CHANGING FISCAL MODELS SOONER RATHER THAN LATER – At some point (sometime in 2017) everyone on CDCS will need to use the Participant Employer model (currently referred to as the Payroll/FEA Model).  You may want to consider switching to this model upon your next renewal if you are not currently on this model.  Please contact your FSE at least 2-4 weeks prior to your renewal if you plan to switch models to allow enough time to complete paperwork and process the change. Your accrued PTO will automatically be moved to the new model upon the switch.  Watch for more information from your FSE.

MINIMUM STAFF WAGE INCREASE – Effective July 1, 2016, minimum wage increased from $10.75/hr. to $11.00/hr. This change will happen automatically.  You will be contacted if more adjustments need to happen.

PAID TIME OFF (PTO) INFORMATION – Any direct support staff (including paid parents of minors/spouses) may redeem PTO at any time after their 600 hour threshold is made and with consent from the managing party.

CELL PHONES & MINUTES NO LONGER ALLOWED - In today’s world a cell phone is a typical family/personal expense. Waiver funds are for items needed above and beyond what is typical and related to the disability.  Most adults qualify for free cell phones with minutes.  FREE resources include:  www.lifewireless.com or http://www.assurancewireless.com/ Public/Welcome.aspx).

ARE YOU A GRADUATE BETWEEN 2013 and 2016?  Ask your case manager about a 20% budget increase to help with vocational activities and/or day programming.

HOSPITAL OR NURSING HOME STAY?  During a hospital/nursing home stay, CDCS services cannot be used.  However, if staff worked prior to admission and/or after discharge on the same day, they can still get paid for their time.

BACKGROUND STUDIES REQUIRED!  All direct support staff (including PPOM/spouse) need to complete and pass a background study each year until they are fingerprinted (Net Study 2.0).  These costs do not come out of the CDCS budget amount.

OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION

INCOME TAX EXCLUSION FOR PAID CAREGIVERS RESIDING WITH DISABLED PERSONS (IRS NOTICE 2014-7) – If you are a paid caregiver and living with a disabled person, you may qualify for an exclusion for paying federal and state income taxes on that income.  To be eligible you must meet all of the conditions on IRS Notice 2014-7 Certification (ask for this form from your FSE).  You could also get a refund retroactively (ask your tax advisor) by filing an amended tax return for previous years of work. The IRS is asking families to submit the following documentation for their amended tax returns:  

  • A driver's license and medical bill to prove that the participant lives in the same residence with the caregiver.
  • Letter from FSE or copy of your Service Agreement verifying they were paid through a Medicaid program.

Note: This may also lower your TEFRA fees (if applicable).  For more information contact the Disability Linkage Line at 866-333-2466.
 
Wages exceeding $15 per hour need to be justified in the plan based on the participant’s needs (e.g. high medical needs, need consistent staff, etc.), as this wage is higher than what is customary for this type of service.
 
IPads NOW Available Through MA - iPads and tablets are NOW available through MA as a speech/communication device ONLY.  Consult with your school or private speech therapists regarding the eligibility and application process. 
 
MN State Taxes For All Online Purchases.  MN state taxes need to be included on all online purchases even if it does not show up on the purchase/receipt.  Rule of thumb is to add .075% to each purchase when adjusting CDCS budget for purchases.

Services Must Take Place in Minnesota (OR BORDERING STATES ONLY) - ALL services including camps and conferences may ONLY be paid for when they take place in MN or the bordering states (MN, WI, SD, ND). Exception: Staff may get paid while providing care out of state on vacation (including PPOM/spouse).

Change In Your Plan? Send an Addendum/Addition form to your case manager with changes, goals and fiscal details.  Typed Signatures on the NEW Addendum/Addition form will be accepted via email.
 
Additions/Addendums must be received 30 days prior to the end of the service year.   Addendums at the end of the service year must be based on a need.  If you are increasing PPOM/Spouse hours, you need to submit a revised work schedule to your case manager using the Addition/Addendum – PPOM/Spouse form. The increased hours are not available until approved.



RESOURCES
Anoka County is not recommending or endorsing any of the following services and/or items. We are simply passing along some unique information recommended by fellow CDCS participants. Because these resources are listed here, it does not mean they automatically would be approved on your CDCS Plan.  All items and services must follow the criteria set forth by the federal, state and county government and approved by your county based on the participant's assessed needs. View more recommended resources under the Resource Section.

Bethel BUILD Program - Supportive and educational experience for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  For more information or to set up a tour visit www.bethel.edu/build.

cantheclutter - Professional Organizing Service - Assists those with cognitive delays, mental health and/or behavioral issues displaying hoarding, disorganizational, and/or behavioral tendencies.   Organizer can help develop organizational systems for decluttering mail, clothing, and papers; scheduling appointments; filling prescriptions or other time related events. Can assist with developing non-judgemental solutions, training/ directing staff, and shadowing.  Contact Jan at jan@cantheclutter.com or 651.243.0089. 

Braven Music School - Family oriented performance based music school (instrumental and voice) that gently pushes students out of their comfort zone through performance and teacher-led Rock Band lessons and teach the Three C's:  Cooperation, Confidence, and Creativity. Taught at own level and pace. Teaching methods adapted to individual needs and limitations. 2 locations (Anoka and Ramsey).  Visit www.bravenmusic.com or 763.571.9694.

Share Your Resource Ideas With Others!  If you come across a unique or helpful program, item or activity that you would recommend to others with physical, cognitive, or mental health challenges, please contact the CDCS Coordinator at Kerry.volker@co.anoka.mn.us.

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