September 28, 2018: Albany, NY:
DRNY has submitted comments on the Emergency Regulation 14 NYCRR § 629.1 enacted by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (“OPWDD”). DRNY has an interest in ensuring that people with disabilities are able to receive the support they need to live independently in their communities through the Home and Community Based Services (“HCBS”) Waiver.
14 NYCRR § 629.1 unlawfully alters the definition of a developmental disability and unlawfully restricts eligibility for the HCBS Waiver for individuals whom the New York State Legislature had intended to be eligible. By enacting 14 NYCRR § 629.1, OPWDD has exceeded its authority by contravening the Legislature. DRNY offers the comments on 14 NYCRR § 629.1 and why this regulation must be rescinded as written.
OPWDD’s incorporation by reference of its “guidelines” in 14 NYCRR § 629.1 is unlawful. Further, OPWDD and OTDA’s reliance on rules contained in these documents is impermissible. These rules exceed OPWDD’s statutory authority and therefore, cannot be used to determine someone’s eligibility for HCBS Waiver services. Accordingly, OPWDD must rescind any reference to its guidelines in 14 NYCRR § 629.1.
DRNY’s comments may be found here:
DRNY is the designated independent non-profit Protection & Advocacy System empowered by Congress to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect and provide legal and non-legal advocacy services to people with disabilities in New York State. The Protection & Advocacy System was created by Congress as a direct result of the horrific conditions that were uncovered in the 1970's at New York’s Willowbrook State School.