State is denying my friend's son services.

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    My friend’s adult son is on a waiting list and the state keeps denying him services. What can I tell her?

    Desiree Kameka

    Unfortunately, waiting lists exist in almost every state. As there are limited resources, waiting lists are used as a cost containment mechanism and are often slow moving. Often it is only until their primary caregiver is in “crisis” and unable to support the person in their home anymore will someone be able to access services. Without support, the individual may become unnecessarly institutionalized. The Americans with Disabilities Act and Supreme Court Olmstead Decision protects individuals with intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD) from being forcefully institutionalized when they can benefit from community living, therefore states are obligated to provide access to services in the community.

    The following instances put individuals at risk of being institutionalized and therefore in immediate need of support services for being in crisis:

    1. Their primary giver is in poor or declining health and can not physically support their loved one. Therefore, the individual with I/DD is being neglected and at risk of institutionalization.
    2. The individual with I/DD  is putting their life or another member of the households life in danger for lack of supports or services.
    3. The individual with I/DD is/has been being admitted to the hospital, psychiatric ward or other institutional setting because they do not have access to appropriate supports or services.
    4. The individual with I/DD is homeless or at great risk of homelessness.
    5. Law enforcement has been called because of actions from the unsupported individual with I/DD has put their life or others in danger.
    6. The life of the individual with I/DD is at risk because of lack of support services.

    Documentation and evidence will be needed to prove you and/or the individual with I/DD is in crisis.  If you believe you are in crisis and feel as if the contacts at Medicaid in your state are putting your family or loved one at risk, contact your Disability Rights Organization  ( ) or a Center for Independant Living ( )!

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