Contact Your Oregon State Legislator Today to Protect DD Services for Children
Wait. Didn't we just talk to legislators about saving children's DD services? Yes, but a budget note in the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) budget directs ODDS to cut an additional $12 million from its budget. If ODDS cannot, then it directs ODDS to look at changing eligibility for DD services.
Along with a plan to cut as much of the $12 million as possible, ODDS unveiled a plan this week that will cap how many children can receive DD services - and gives legislators the option to start counting family income when looking at Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability eligibility. 


If you are worried that your family might lose access to developmental disability services because of these potential eligibility changes, share your story!  Contact your legislator today and tell them:
  • Your name
  • Where you live
  • A sentence or two about the developmental disability services that help you or that you rely on to be safe and supported in your community.
  • What your life would be like if you lost your developmental disability services due to eligibility changes. 
Since we are in between legislative sessions, you can contact your local legislative office to make an appointment with them in your district.  You can find each legislator's contact information on the Oregon Legislature webpage:  
Options to cut $12 million from the ODDS Budget:
Other ways ODDS hopes to cut the generic $12 million is to pursue additional federal Medicaid matching funds, to review contracts, develop a plan to close State managed medical care homes that are currently a part of the costly Stabilization and Crisis Unit, implementing a new needs assessment, and changing the way service planning is done to focus on what the person needs to be safe, healthy and live the life they really want to live in the community of their choice.
  • New Assessment
To ensure that State funds are being used to help children and adults with disabilities get the services they need, no more or no less, the State is preparing to roll out a new Oregon Needs Assessment (ONA) to identify a service level group for each person starting July 2018.
  • Planning Process
At the request of people with disabilities and their families, along with systems advocates, the State looking to change the ISP process.  Instead of starting the planning process with an offering of service hours based on an assessment of personal deficits, the planning process will look like this:
  • Identifying a person's strengths and asking individuals and families what they truly need to be safe, healthy and live the life they want in their community,
  • The person, their case manager and ISP team (if they have one) will plan services to help them reach their goals. This would include planning for community supports, natural supports and paid DD services.  
  • Do an assessment to determine how many paid DD services the person can access
  • Re-examine the plan if needed
  • Support the person or family to monitor the plan across the plan year. This will ensure that people are getting the services they need and have opportunities to change their plan, if needed. 
Changes to Eligibility
If these changes do not result in the anticipated cost savings, the legislature to look at ways to change how people can access services in the first place.  To prepare for these potential changes the State is planning to make changes to federal Medicaid Waivers to control the number of children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who could be eligible to access home and community based services.  
Children's Waiver Changes

In an effort to control the number of children coming into the IDD system, ODDS proposes changing its current Medicaid waiver structure.
Currently ODDS uses a federal Medicaid waiver to provide services to children and adults. For children's eligibility, ODDS only considers the child's income for eligibility (not the family's income). ODDS plans to split this waiver into a children's and adult waiver and make specific changes to the children's waiver.

Phase 1 of the children's waiver changes will cap the number of children served. Any children seeking services after the cap is reached will be placed on a wait list. Children on the wait list will not receive services until a slot opens on the waiver. For now, ODDS plans to cap the number of children on this waiver at the number of children they anticipate serving as of July 1, 2018.

Phase 2 of the waiver changes will require that ODDS consider the family's income when looking at children's eligibility for DD services. Currently, ODDS only looks to the child's income when establishing waiver eligibility. This will cut services completely for approximately one third of the families currently using services. ODDS was clear that Phase 2 will only happen if they are directed by the legislature to make this change.
People Impacted by Children's Waiver Changes:
  • The families impacted by these changes are those who have income over 138% of the federal poverty level (approximately $34,000/year); and
  • Are not associated with the Children's Intensive In-Home Supports (CIIS) program.
  • Also, families who have income over 138% and are not currently receiving DD services will be impacted because they will be placed on a wait list for services.
People not impacted by Children's Waiver Changes:
  • Families using the Children's Intensive In-Home Supports (CIIS); or
  • Families with income below 138% Federal Poverty Level. These families can access the K Plan services without using a waiver. 

Contact your Oregon State Senator and Representative Today to Protect DD Services for Children & Families.

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