The Rowan Integrated Special Needs (RISN) Center has prepared a very informative 32-page booklet titled, Women's Health and What Every Woman Should Know, which provides updated and expanded information on the "Let's Talk About Health: What Every Woman Should Know" workbook that was prepared by The Arc of New Jersey in 1996.The RISN publication provides a wealth of information on women's health that will be helpful to women with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
These are some of the topics covered in the new Women's Health booklet:
· Making an appointment
· What to discuss with your provider
· The 5 P's: Permission, Privacy, Pleasure, Protection, Planning Pregnancy (or not)
· The breast exam
· The pelvic exam
· Dexa scan
· Healthy relationships
There is a two-page form in the RISN booklet that could be useful for women with disabilities -- and also for men -- as well as for their support staff, in preparation for any type of medical appointment. The form is titled, "Today's Health Care Visit," and it has space to fill in the type of information that will be helpful in preparing for the individual's upcoming health care appointment. There is also a place on the form to write down the take-away information from that appointment, including any medication or diet changes; treatment plan recommendations; plans for follow-up; etc.
The Women's Health workbook was funded (or funded in part) by an Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) grant from the Division of Disability Services, New Jersey Department of Human Services.
The New Jersey Medicaid office has just announced some improvements in the contract with Modivcare, the vendor that provides free, non-emergency medical transportation to healthcare appointments for NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid members. (Note: Modivcare was previously known as Logisticare.) In a public Medicaid meeting, held on July 12, 2022, the following information was provided:
NJ Medicaid has received some reports of difficulties with Modivcare transportation including:
- · late pick-ups
- · missed or cancelled rides to health care appointments, and
- · lack of timeliness or transport to dialysis centers for high-risk members
NJ Medicaid has arranged for new contract provisions that raise standards and strengthen penalties in order to improve on-time performance and accountability.
When a Medicaid managed care member needs medical transportation, these are the phone numbers to call:
It is hoped that calling the aforementioned phone numbers will result in an improved medical transportation experience. However, if Medicaid managed care members -- including persons with an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) -- have a problem accessing medical transportation utilizing the phone numbers and the complaint number listed above, they may want to contact the Medical Assistance Customer Center (MACC) office that covers their county to report on the difficulties that were encountered. Please note that contacting a MACC office would take place after reporting a transportation problem to the complaint number shown above, if the problem was not resolved.
This is a list of the MACC offices and the counties that are served by each office:
The first listed purpose for the Federal law known as The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is “to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.”
This toolkit has been created to assist school staff and students with disabilities and their families in their efforts to prepare students with disabilities for entry into a successful adult life after high school. The work to prepare students for a successful adult life that is done by school staff, students, family members, agency staff, and others is referred to as “transition planning” and “transition services” since students are transitioning from school to adult life.
As of early July 2022, the federal public health emergency (PHE), which started in March, 2020 because of the COVID pandemic, is still in effect. Because of the PHE, no one should have received a Medicaid termination notice -- even if the Medicaid beneficiary has more resources than the allowable maximum. However, whenever the PHE ends and Medicaid sends out redetermination paperwork, anyone who has more than the allowable amount of resources is at risk of losing Medicaid. Therefore, it is important to pay attention now to the amount of resources that Medicaid beneficiaries with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have, to be certain that the resources (assets) do not exceed the allowable Medicaid limits. Please see below for additional information.
- For most individuals with IDD enrolled in New Jersey's Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD) Medicaid program, the maximum amount of allowable resources is a total of only $2,000. Allowable exceptions are having an ABLE account or a special needs trust (SNT).
- Enrollment in NJ WorkAbility Medicaid is another exception to the $2,000 resource limit. The NJ WorkAbility regulations allow individuals with disabilities who are employed part-time or full-time to have up to $20,000in resources. People enrolled in NJ WorkAbility Medicaid are also permitted to have a retirement account (e.g., IRA or 401k).
- For anyone with IDD who has resources that exceed, or are likely to exceed, the Medicaid resource limits mentioned above, there are a few options:
- A spend-down for items that are needed for the individual with IDD, such as new computer equipment, therapies that are not otherwise covered, etc. All of the spend-down expenditures should be clearly documented and please keep all receipts.
- If the Medicaid enrollee has resources that are in excess of the Medicaid maximum amount, then opening an ABLE account may be appropriate (see below for more information on ABLE accounts).
- If the Medicaid enrollee's resources are higher than the amount that can be deposited into an ABLE account ($16,000 per year), then a Special Needs Trust (SNT) should be considered. If a special needs trust will be prepared, it is strongly recommended that the parents contact an attorney with extensive experience and a thorough understanding of the Medicaid SNT regulations.
- ABLE accounts are special, tax-advantaged savings accounts for persons with disabilities. The acronym ABLE stands for "Achieving a Better Life Experience." To be eligible for an ABLE account, the onset of the disability must have occurred before the age of 26. Deposits are limited to a total of $16,000 per calendar year. Having an ABLE account does not jeopardize one's eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or NJ Medicaid. For information on NJ ABLE, see this website: https://savewithable.com/nj/home.html Additional information on ABLE accounts is available from the ABLE National Resource Center: www.ablenrc.org The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute has developed a fact sheet, which provides a helpful summary about ABLE accounts.
- Please note: If there has been a change of address since March, 2020, families of Medicaid enrollees with IDD should be certain that NJ Medicaid has the up-to-date address on file. If you don't know whether Medicaid has the correct mailing address, please contact the NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid call center at 800-701-0710. If NJ Medicaid does not have your current mailing address, please provide it to them.
Whenever additional information is available pertaining to the ending of the PHE and Medicaid redeterminations, The Arc of New Jersey will distribute it. To receive up-to-date information on Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, and health-related information for individuals with IDD: If you are not already on our listserv, you can sign-up on our website: www.mainstreamingmedicalcare.org
This provides several resources developed to assist anyone who is seeking Medicaid
MCO dental care for a person with IDD. All of the following resources were developed by the NJ chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) with a grant from the Inclusive
Healthy Communities (IHC) program, funded by the NJ Division of Disability Services (DDS).
1. Fact sheet: What to ask when contacting a dental office, in English and in Spanish.
This guide will help parents and other caregivers of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with questions to ask when calling a dental office for an appointment. Download the English version here and the Spanish version here.
2. Dental benefits for individuals with IDD - Medicaid Managed Care Organization webinar slides.
See the slides from a webinar that focused specifically on dental benefits for individuals with
IDD enrolled in a Medicaid managed care plan. The webinar began with information that is applicable to all of the Medicaid MCOs, followed by slides from each MCO: Aetna Better
Health, Amerigroup, Horizon NJ Health, United Healthcare Community Plan, and WellCare. Slides can be viewed here.
3. Dental Directory information from each Medicaid Managed Care Organization.
Each NJ Medicaid Managed Care Organization has a network of providers with expertise in providing dental care to individuals with IDD. See the link for the information that each Medicaid MCO provided on their dental providers who have expertise in providing dental care to members with IDD.
· Aetna Adults - https://bit.ly/aetnabetterhealthadults
· Aetna Children - https://bit.ly/aetnabetterhealthchildren
· Amerigroup - https://client.libertydentalplan.com/amerigroup/anthemnj
· United - https://bit.ly/dentalunitedhealthcare
· Wellcare - https://bit.ly/wellcarelibertydental
DHS Updates: Follow the Department of Human Services at:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has just released a new online tool that applicants and individuals assisting applicants can use to request an appointment to apply for SSI benefits. This request creates a protective filing date – which is used to determine when an individual can start receiving SSI benefits – as long as the SSI application is submitted within 60 days.
An individual only needs to provide basic information to make the online request. After the individual submits the request, SSA will schedule an appointment to apply for benefits, which will take place over the phone, and let the individual know of the appointment date within 14 business days. "Priority life circumstances” – such as homelessness, a terminal illness, or recent release from incarceration – can be indicated in the application. If one of these priority life circumstances is indicated in the application, an SSA employee will attempt to contact the applicant by phone within three business days to either apply for SSI benefits then or to schedule an appointment to apply.
More detailed policy guidance about the online tool can be found in EM-22015.
Additional resources from the National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER):
- SSI Basics Training Video
- SSI Basics Issue Brief
- Pandemic-Related Disaster Assistance for SSI Recipients Training Video
- Practice Tip: Important Change for SSI Recipients and Applicants
- Social Security Overpayments and Low-Income Clients Training Video
Slam the Scam – Protect Against Social Security Imposter Scams
The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA) has designated March 10, 2022 as National “Slam the Scam” Day—an outreach campaign to raise public awareness of Social Security scams and other government imposter scams. This is part of National Consumer Protection Week, March 6 - 12, 2022. We are asking you to share information about “Slam the Scam” Day with your clients, friends, and family.
In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 396,000 complaints of government imposter scams. Nearly 9% said they lost money to a scammer—more than $442 million. To prevent further losses, we urge everyone to use caution when receiving calls from someone claiming to be from a government agency.
Here are a few things to remember and share with clients, friends, and family. We will never:
· Threaten arrest or legal action if someone does not immediately send money to resolve an overpayment.
· Promise to increase benefits or resolve identity theft issues for a fee or by moving money into a protected account.
· Require payment with a retail gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire transfer, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
· Send text or email messages that contain personal information.
Our scam prevention message is simple:
· Hang up on suspicious calls from “government officials” calling about a problem with your Social Security number or account.
· NEVER make payments with gift cards, wire transfers, or by mailing cash.
· Report Social Security scams to OIG.SSA.GOV.
· Report other scams to reportfraud.ftc.gov.
Together, we will remain vigilant against government imposter scams and help protect people from fraud.
Resources for Families
Parents, caregivers, and siblings of autistic children, OAR is here for you. Our guidebooks and other resources provide information and support for your whole family.
The Weinberg Family CP Center cares for people with CP for their whole lives. Our team is committed to providing multidisciplinary care for all medical conditions associated with CP in person or virtually.
Our core providers include doctors from Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurology, Orthopedics, and Neurosurgery:
Six free resources are now available for download in Spanish to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families plan for the future.
These resources cover a variety of topics related to decision-making and financial planning, including:
- Supports available to help people with IDD make decisions
- Preparing for unexpected changes in a person’s ability to make decisions
- Common myths about guardianship and people with IDD
- Tips on how to save money for the future
- Resources to consider when creating a financial plan
- When to use a Special Needs Trust or ABLE Account
Download these resources now and share them widely with the Spanish speaking families in your network!
And if you need something,
find out how WRIC can help you.
Check out our website,
for ongoing Programs, Victim Support, Meditation, Resume prep, Legal Consults, Career Closet appointments, ESL Classes, Shared Housing and emotional support and more.