Anoka County CDCS Coordinator's Corner Newsletter

WHAT'S NEW IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS???? July/August 2017


CDCS BUDGET INCREASE - Effective August 1, 2017, your budget will be prorated by 1.642% to account for SEIU/DHS changes:

- Minimum wage increase to $12/hour
- PTO fee increase to 2.65% and PTO benefit increase of 1 hr./43 hrs. worked
- Holiday pay required at 1.5% on the following holidays:  Labor Day, Thanksgiving, New  Year's, MLK, Memorial Day

Your FSE will automatically make these changes and send a new budget worksheet.  If there are any funds leftover, follow the typical process for making changes. You will also see the increased budget amount on your MA notification from DHS.

PPOM/SPOUSE INCREASE - You may request an increase up to $16.95/hr. from your FSE if on FEA/Payroll Model.  If on Agency With Choice Model contact FSE for new maximum wage.  The increase must fit within your budget.

PPOM/SPOUSE INCOME MAY AFFECT OTHER PROGRAMS - Even though your income may not be taxed other cash and food based programs may still count it as income.  Please check with each individual program and/or your Economic Assistance worker about how this income may affect your benefits.  PTO is taxable income.

MnCHOICES ASSESSMENT ARE NOW REQUIRED FOR ALL RENEWALS - All renewals require a MnCHOICES assessment moving forward by and LTSS assessor from Anoka County.  They will contact you 1-2 months prior to when your new plan starts. Ask your case manager if you have any questions.

(REVISED) INTERNET NOW AN ALLOWABLE EXPENSE - Must be most effective way to meet outcomes/goals of assessed needs. May include:
  • Initial costs for set-up and equipment if necessary for Internet service’s operation (e.g. router, modem, equipment lease, etc.)
  • Equipment maintenance and repair
  • Includes cost for set up and equipment if move
  • Monthly service fee (Up to $20/mo.) Unbundled, only for participant, basic internet (not high speed internet)
PARENTAL FEE FOR TEFRA (FOR CHILDREN) DECREASE BY 13% (passed Summer 2017)

(DD-CDCS WAIVER ONLY) - MnCHOICES ASSESSMENT REQUIRED UPON NEXT RENEWAL  - You will be contacted by an LTSS Assessor from Anoka County to schedule an assessment 1-2 months in advance of when your next plan year starts. ALL plans must now start at the beginning of a month and will be ended early (month preceding) if currently not starting on the first of the month.

NEW MEDICAL MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT PROCESS (beginning Sept. 1) - You will need to contact MTM to get a trip number prior to the appointment to record on the trip log. Logs will need to be turned in for reimbursement within 60 days.  Go to www.mtm-inc.net for more information. The number can be found on the back of your card or call member services.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FORMS -
  • Please have physician or nurse practitioner initial the boxes or form is considered incomplete
  • Must be completed annually
  • Service not approved until form completed and approved by case manager
CHECK OUT THE NEW "RECOMMENDED" RESOURCES ON OUR WEBSITE - Go to http://www.anokacounty.us/2783/Resources and check out all the cool new resources that CDCS participants have recommended in the past several months. It includes different therapies, apps for autism and transition skills, summer programs, GPS trackers, adaptive clothing, and more.

USED EQUIPMENT TO DONATE OR ACQUIRE? Checkout MN Special Needs Donations on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/1618501358480099/?ref=bookmarks . This is a closed group so you will need to gain permission from the administrator of the page.

ARE YOU WORKING WITH MULTIPLE PARTICIPANTS ON CDCS? If you are a paid parent(s) of a minor, you may only work a maximum of 40 hours/week combined between ALL minor children, parents/guardians and their plans. If you have adult children, the maximum is 40 hour/week for EACH parent/guardian. If you have one minor and one adult child you still cannot go over 40 hours/week for an individual parent and cannot go over 40 hours combined for the minor child between multiple parents.  An individual parent is not able to work more than 40 hours/week period based on labor laws.

ON CDCS AND THINKING OF BECOMING A FOSTER CARE PROVIDER?  There has been a policy change.  If your biological or adopted child is using the CDCS option you can get paid to provide foster care AND remain on CDCS, but CANNOT use the paid parent of minor (PPOM) option.  Exception:  You can be paid up to 25 hours/week for your child if you are providing foster care to a relative.  The children you are providing foster care are not eligible for CDCS. Ask your case manager for more information.

YOU SPOKE. WE LISTENED.  Thanks for those responding to the participant survey.  We had over 100 CDCS participants respond indicating 98% were Satisfied or Extremely Satisfied OVERALL.  Even though we received a high rating...there's always room for improvement.  We will take this feedback and make some changes/upgrades to make this an even better experience for you. So far we have:
  • increased the length of orientation class to allow for more questions/interaction,
  • communicated more information regularly through our monthly newsletter,
  • provided other contacts/resources to you to improve awareness of what is going on legislatively and so you have more of a voice (See below)
THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU!  Just a quick reminder...CDCS is a self directed program.  As the managing party you are ultimately responsible for making sure you complete your paperwork ON TIME (incl. CDCS plan submission, MA renewals, etc.) and DO NOT OVERSPEND!  Please make sure you are reviewing your spending summary every month to avoid overspending and any consequences. Pay attention to the %'s to make sure you are staying on track so you don't run out of money towards the end of your plan year. Your case manager, FSE coordinator, and/or support planner are there to help and give you the tools to keep you on track but it is ultimately your responsibility.

STAFF MILEAGE DECREASE Effective January 1, 2017, the maximum staff mileage reimbursement is 53.5 cents/mile.  This decrease will automatically occur through your fiscal services if your rate is at the 2016 rate of 54 cents/mi.

SUMMIT MERGING WITH ORION, ISO FISCAL SERVICES - If you are currently using Summit's FSE services, you will need to transfer services to Orion, ISO OR another fiscal management service whenever your plan renews in 2017.  Ask your case manager or Summit for a list of other FSE providers. If you are on payroll model, please work with your coordinator and case manager on timing issues as there are tax implications.

NETStudy 2.0 BACKGROUND STUDIES REQUIRED!  All new and returning direct support staff (including PPOM/spouse) need to complete and pass a 2.0 background study in 2017 (finger prints).  Your FSE will provide you with a list of locations or you can go to https://cogentid.3m.com/mn/Maps/MNFingerprintLocations.htm to find a location nearest you.  Call ahead for location hours and/or appointment.   If you provide your social security number, which is optional, other future employers will be able to access this background study so that you do not have to redo it.  These costs do not come out of the CDCS budget amount. 

CONSIDER CHANGING FISCAL MODELS SOONER RATHER THAN LATER – At some point (likely sometime in 2017 or 2018) 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 one of your next renewals if you are not currently using 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.  Ask your FSE for more information about the benefits/ramifications of changing models as sometimes it makes sense to stick with AWC model.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON LEGISLATIVELY IN THE DISABILITY WORLD?  Consider connecting to the following organizations:
- MN Department of Human Services at https://mn.gov/dhs/general-public/publications- 
  forms-resources/bulletins/
 ;
- Autism Society https://www.autismspeaks.org/resource/autism-society-minnesota ;
- PACER http://www.pacer.org/legislation/ ;
- The ARC of Minnesota http://www.thearcofminnesota.org/current-issues/ ;
- NAMI http://www.namihelps.org/nami-minnesotas-2017-legislative-goals.html .

MINNESOTA ABLE PLAN - Minnesotans with disabilities and their families can now save for goods and service to improve their lives under the new Minnesota (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Plan. The plan allows a maximum of $14,000/yr, to a total maximum of $100,000, to be contributed to an account for an individual before the individual's public benefits are affected.  For more information visit https://savewithable.com/mn/home.html

FREE SMARTPHONES AND FREE DATA AVAILABLE FOR QUALIFYING ADULTS - Go to www.safelinkwireless.com  for more information.

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

GET AN IPAD USING CDCS - Medical assistance will cover the cost of tablets when the primary use is for voice output communication.  Your speech and language pathologist may complete the paperwork needed.  Your case manager may also submit a letter requesting the tablet be "unlocked" in order to use other appropriate applications for such uses as emotional regulation, scheduling, fine motor skills, etc.  Ask your case manager for help with this process.  The waiver may pay for tablets that are denied by MA and still meet Anoka County guidelines (Complete Computer/Tablet Request form).

CDCS FORMS & INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE.  Visit www.anokacounty.us/CDCS.  The new and 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.  See the Forms and Guidelines section.

NON-DISABILITY CAMP REQUEST FORM (NEW) - For day and overnight camps that are not specifically geared towards those with disabilities, 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.

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) , and www.safelinkwireless.com

PLANNING A VACATION? You are still able to utilize staffing, both PPOM/Spouse or support staff along even out of state (not out of the country).  No other supports or services are available besides staffing however outside of the state of MN or its bordering states.

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.
 

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