Division of Developmental Disabilities Resources

DDD News and Announcements
http://nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/news/news/index.html
To subscribe to the Division’s e-news bulletin, Division Update, please send an email to DDD.Communications@dhs.state.nj.us, with Division Update Subscribe in the subject line.

Visit DDD Webinars for information about upcoming webinars and to view archived webinars

Mailing Address:

Administrative Office
PO Box 726
Trenton, NJ 08625-0726

Office:

Department of Human Services building
222 South Warren Street
Trenton, NJ 08625-0700

2021

October 8, 2021

New Guidance from the NJ Department of Health Related to Executive Order 252

On October 7, 2021, the New Jersey Department of Health released Executive Directive No. 21-011 – Protocols for COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Reporting for Covered Settings Pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 252, 253, and 264.  This provides additional guidance to Executive Order 252 that requires all workers in certain state and private health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing.  Please review this important information.

September 30, 2021

Rate Increases for DDD-funded Day Services

Based on funding included in the Murphy administration’s FY2022 budget, the NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) and Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) are pleased to announce increases to provider rates for DDD-funded day services. Details are found in the updated Payments for Day Services guidance, which is posted on the DHS Coronavirus Information page.

The following notifications of the rate increases, which are effective October 1, 2021, have been posted on the DHS Public Notices webpage:

  • FY22 Regular Base Rates will be used by providers for claiming to Gainwell for services delivered on or after October 1.
  • FY22 Temporary Enhanced Rates will not be used for provider claiming to Gainwell but will be used by DDD to calculate separate enhanced rate payments for services delivered on or after October 1.

Individual budgets in iRecord will receive increases to accommodate the new regular base rates for day services. It is expected that iRecord will be unavailable beginning late afternoon on September 30 and continuing through most of the day on October 1 while we work to finalize these changes.

The rate increases will be applied to the following services:

  • Career Planning
  • Community Inclusion Services
  • Day Habilitation
  • Pre-Vocational Training Individual and Group
  • Supported Employment Individual and Group

Questions can be directed to DDD.FeeForService@dhs.nj.gov.

Register Now for the next DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar: Thursday, October 14 at 10:30 AM

Sign Up for DDD Email Updates

September 27, 2021

NJDOH Issues Statement on Pfizer COVID-19 Booster
Last week, a statement from New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Persichilli on CDC approval of the Pfizer booster dose was issued advising that New Jersey has directed its vaccine partners to begin distributing the Pfizer booster to eligible individuals.

DHS/DDD Announces Funding for Three New Behavioral Health Stabilization Homes for People with I/DD
In a press release last week, the New Jersey Department of Human Services announced a contract had been awarded to YAI, Inc. for the development of three new behavioral health stabilization homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). These homes, which are expected to be operational by Fall 2022, will provide short-term stabilization and assessment services for individuals with I/DD who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis that is not able to managed in their current setting. Each home will be staffed by a team or professionals, who will work to prepare individuals to safely return home or to an alternate setting.

NJCDD Announces RFPs to Increase Access and Opportunities for Individuals with I/DD
DDD is pleased to share a notice from the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) about three new Requests for Funding Proposals (RFPs) they have issued for qualified entities:

Proposals must be received by NJCDD no later than November 3, 2021, at 2 p.m.

Next DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar Scheduled for October 14
DDD’s next COVID-19 Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, October 14 at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register Now for October 14 Webinar.

September 21, 2021

REMINDER! Next DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar is Thursday, September 23

The next Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, September 23 at 10:30 am. If you are not already registered, please use the link below.

REGISTER NOW for September 23 Webinar

Archived recordings and slide decks from past DDD COVID-19 webinars are available on the DHS Coronavirus Information webpage.

September 16, 2021

Public Comment Period Open for 1115 NJ FamilyCare Demonstration Renewal

The 1115 NJ FamilyCare Comprehensive Demonstration (formerly Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver), which governs the operations of significant components of the state Medicaid program and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), is due to expire on June 30, 2022. The NJ Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) intends to submit its renewal application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Fall 2021.

In advance of that submission, DMAHS has published the Draft Renewal Proposal and is accepting public comment on the proposed changes. All stakeholders are encouraged to participate in this process and provide comment. The areas that specifically relate to the Division of Developmental Disabilities begin on page 18 of the Draft Renewal Proposal.

DHS/DMAHS is holding a 1115 Renewal Public Hearing via webinar on Monday, September 27, 2021 at 9:30 am. You can register here for the 9/27 Renewal Public Hearing Webinar.

Comments on or inquiries about the Draft Renewal Proposal must be submitted in writing by October 11, 2021:By Email: DMAHS.CMWcomments@dhs.nj.gov
By Fax: 609-588-7343
By Mail:
Margaret Rose, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs
P.O. Box 712, Mail Code #26
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0712

Please note that comments will continue to be accepted after October 11, 2021, but DHS may not be able to consider those comments prior to the initial submission to CMS. For more information, visit the DMAHS 1115 NJ FamilyCare Comprehensive Demonstration Renewal Request resource page.

Additionally, the Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities has developed a guide booklet, Sharing Your Vision in Advocacy: Providing Stakeholder Input, with information for individuals about providing input about how they would like supports and services to help them achieve the life they want.

August 18, 2021

REMINDER! Next, DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar is Thursday, August 19

The Division of Developmental Disabilities COVID-19 update webinars have moved to a monthly format. The next live DDD COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, August 19 at 10:30 am. If you are not already registered, please use the link below.

REGISTER NOW for August 19 Webinar

 Archived recordings and slide decks from past DDD COVID-19 webinars are available on the DHS Coronavirus Information webpage.

August 6, 2021

New Executive Order Requires COVID-19 Vaccination or Weekly Testing for Staff in Congregate Settings for People with I/DD and TBI

Governor Murphy announced earlier this week that all workers in certain state and private health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations who have been hardest hit during the pandemic.

This evening, the Governor released Executive Order 252 outlining the details of the new vaccine requirement. Licensed community residences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury (for example, group homes and supervised apartments), certified Day Programs for individuals with I/DD and TBI, and Intermediate Care Facilities (for example, Developmental Centers) are settings that must be in compliance with mandatory staff vaccinations and testing by Tuesday, September 7, 2021.

July 29, 2021

To reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for individuals attending congregate day programs in person and those living in provider-managed residential settings (for example, group homes), the Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Requirements and Residential Visitation Guidance documents have been updated.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

Regardless of vaccination status, all provider staff working in congregate day services settings and/or provider-managed residential settings must wear a well-fitting mask indoors. Fully vaccinated staff can elect not to wear a mask when outdoors if the individuals in the group they are working with are fully vaccinated.
Regardless of vaccination status, staff providing one-to-one support services for an individual in their home or in the community should also wear a well-fitting mask when indoors with the individual.
All other guidance related to the staff and participant masking remains the same.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we continue to adjust to the evolving COVID-19 landscape.

July 23, 2021

NEW WEBINAR! Home and Community-Based Services and the Statewide Transition Plan

WHEN:  Wednesday, August 4, 2021, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHAT: Home and Community Based Services, Individuals and Families/Caregivers, and the HCBS Rule
TARGET AUDIENCE: Individuals and their Families/Caregivers

This webinar will provide our individuals, and their family members/caregivers, with a general overview of the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) federal mandate. The discussion will include information on New Jersey’s Statewide Transition Plan (STP), what you can expect, next steps, and frequently asked questions.   Please use the link below to register REGISTER NOW for the August 4 HCBS and STP Webinar for Individuals and Families

We want to hear from you!
Please help us by emailing any questions you may have to DDD’s HCBS Helpdesk at DDD.HCBSHelpdesk@dhs.nj.gov. The information provided will help guide the general discussion.

Helpful Links
Prior to the webinar, it may be helpful to review the information available on these federal Medicaid websites:

For more information, including training requirements and stipend amounts, please review the Training Payments FAQ or contact the Division’s Fee-for-Service Helpdesk at DDD.FeeForService@dhs.nj.gov.
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July 19, 2021
Training Reimbursement Payments for PPL Self-Directed Employees

The Division is pleased to announce that effective July 15, 2021, PPL will begin processing one-time training stipend payments for PPL self-directed employees (SDEs) who have completed all required trainings. The PPL training stipend is paid by the state and not deducted from the individual budget.

To receive this one-time training stipend, the PPL SDE and employer (current or former) must complete and sign the new Training Certification Form and submit it to PPL any time from July 15 forward. Payments will be issued to eligible SDEs according to the PPL SDE Payment Schedule.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Current PPL SDEs or SDEs enrolled previously with PPL have until December 15, 2021 (six months from July 15) to complete all required trainings and submit the signed Training Certification Form.
  • New PPL SDEs (with a service start date on or after July 15) will have the standard six months after first date of service to complete all required trainings and submit the signed Training Certification Form.

For more information, including training requirements and stipend amounts, please review the Training Payments FAQ or contact the Division’s Fee-for-Service Helpdesk at DDD.FeeForService@dhs.nj.gov.
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July 14, 2021

REMINDER! Next DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar is Thursday, July 15
The next live DDD COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, July 15 at 10:30 am. If you are not already registered, use the link below.

REGISTER NOW for July 15 Webinar
Archived recordings and slide decks from past DDD COVID-19 webinars are available on the DHS Coronavirus Information webpage.

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July 12, 2021

Dear Colleagues, 

I am delighted to invite you to an informational webinar to learn about the development of NJ’s Health Care Cost Growth Benchmark Program. A cost growth benchmark is a prospective targeted annual rate of growth for total health spending within the state. States have adopted benchmarking to help track overall health spending, understand the drivers of spending growth, foster accountability around spending increases and develop strategies to address those increases to make health care more affordable.

As you may know, on January 28, 2021 New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 217 which directs the  Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency, under my supervision, to lead efforts to identify opportunities across all sectors to advance the shared goals of improved health care affordability, accessibility, and transparency. “Despite the progress we’ve made, health care costs continue to be a challenge for New Jersey residents, employers, and the State. Throughout this past year, our health care workforce has come together selflessly in service to our residents. The time is now to build on this collective spirit to more fully transform our health care system to make it more equitable, accessible, and affordable,” said Governor Murphy in a press release announcing the Order. With the development and implementation of the Health Care Cost Growth Benchmark Program, under the direction of the Department of Banking and Insurance, New Jersey is taking another bold and important step to achieving these goals. Our work is supported with resources from the Peterson-Milbank Program for Sustainable Health Care Costs and technical assistance from Bailit Health and Rutgers Center for State Health Policy,

Please join us to learn more about the details of the Benchmark Program and learn about the impact, whether you’re a consumer, a health benefits purchaser or a hospital or other provider, and also learn about our progress to date convening an Advisory Group of expert advisors to advance the implementation of this program. 

While all webinars are open to everyone,  each will be targeted to a specific audience so we encourage you to join the webinar best suited for you and your organization.

7/13@1:00-2:30 – Employers and others purchasing health benefits https://go.rutgers.edu/registerjuly13

7/14@2:30-4:00 – Policy and community leaders and advocates https://go.rutgers.edu/registerjuly14

7/15@3:00-4:30 – Hospitals, providers and other health care stakeholders https://go.rutgers.edu/registerjuly15 

Please use the registration link above. Once your registration is confirmed and closer to the event date, we will send along with the meeting link.

For more information about the program, please see: http://www.cshp.rutgers.edu/content/nj-benchmark-program  
Please do not hesitate to reach out in advance of the webinar should you have any questions, and we look forward to hearing your feedback as an important stakeholder constituency in New Jersey.

Regards,
Shabnam Salih
Director, The Governor’s Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency

July 6, 2021

REMINDER! DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar Moving to Monthly Format
The next live DDD COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, July 15 at 10:30 am. Use the link below to register.

REGISTER NOW for July 15 Webinar
Archived recordings and slide decks from past DDD COVID-19 webinars are available on the DHS Coronavirus Information webpage.

June 21, 2021

Join us for a webinar to discuss the benefits and process of hiring individuals with disabilities and how they will help your company thrive.​
Register Here
Download the event flyer here

June 10, 2021

REMINDER! DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar TODAY, June 10
The next live DDD COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 10 at 10:30 am. If you already registered, you do not need to register again.
REGISTER NOW for June 10 Webinar

June 3, 2021

Are You a Parent, Caregiver of a Child or a Child Care Provider in New Jersey? Make Your Voice Heard

JOIN US THURSDAY, JUNE 3

The Department of Human Services’ Division of Family Development is conducting a public hearing to gather testimony on the draft Child Care Development Fund State Plan for New Jersey for Federal Fiscal Years2022-2025. The draft plan is available at https://nj.gov/humanservices/providers/grants/public.

MORNING SESSION 10 a.m. to Noon CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

AFTERNOON SESSION 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

You may register for one or both of the sessions. Sign Language interpreters and real-time captioning will be available.
If you are interested in providing verbal testimony, please e-mail DFD.ChildCare@dhs.nj.gov by June 1 with your name, organization (if applicable), telephone number and the session you are registering for (morning or afternoon). Please check the link above for more information on how to provide written testimony or comments.

May 17, 2021

WEBINAR REMINDER!

The DDD Spring Webinar Series brought to you by the Community Living Education Project (CLEP)
Tuesdays in May, from 12 Noon – 1:00 pm, presented by DDD staff. Register for the upcoming webinars below:

Tuesday, May 18: The DDD Housing Subsidy Program
REGISTER NOW for May 18 Webinar

Tuesday, May 25: Understanding Self-Directed Services in New Jersey and the Role of the Supports Broker
REGISTER NOW for May 25 Webinar

Archived CLEP webinars available on the CLEP Webinars page.

May 17, 2021

As you may know, the moratorium on utility shut-offs in New Jersey is ending June 30, 2021 and may compound the challenges that some individuals already face when paying for utilities.  In response to this, the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is highlighting a variety of energy assistance programs during their “Utility Assistance Week,” which runs from May 17-21.
Please share this BPU Energy Assistance flyer (also available in Spanish) with your networks and communities.
For additional information about New Jersey’s Utility Assistance programs, visit the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

May 12, 2021

REMINDER! DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar Tomorrow, May 13
The Division’s May COVID-19 Update Webinars are scheduled for Thursday, May 13 and Thursday, May 27, both at 10:30 am. If you haven’t already done so, you can use the links below to register.
Register for May 13 Webinar | Register for May 27 Webinar

May 12, 2021

(TRENTON) – Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Murphy Administration has secured another $22.6 million in federal funds to expand and support mental health services, especially in the wake of COVID-19.

“The pandemic continues to take its toll on individual’s emotional and mental health, and the services and support we provide through New Jersey Human Services are needed more than ever,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “We are grateful for this federal funding to maintain and expand the services that individuals need, and we want people to know they are not alone and that help remains available.”

“The funding helps us strengthen services to individuals diagnosed with serious mental illnesses, including the impact COVID has had on their lives,” Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke said. “Many of these programs serve people with persistent mental illnesses that were exasperated by COVID.”

The funding will be used to enhance diversionary efforts, crisis stabilization, and community integration efforts with a goal of reducing visits to emergency departments and inpatient admissions, along with enhancing outreach and treatment activities that will increase access to community services.

Among the services to be funded are:

  • Early Serious Mental Illness (ESMI) Programs:  New Jersey will add three new programs to the existing three to serve individuals with first episode psychosis: $2.67 million.
  • ESMI Community Integration Programs: DMHAS will be developing six ESMI Community Integration Programs that will provide treatment and supports to individuals after they complete the ESMI program: $2.34 million.
  • Crisis Receiving and Stabilization: DMHAS will create four Crisis Receiving and Stabilization programs in the community to provide 24/7 community access to crisis diversion, stabilization, and linkages to services and housing supports. The goal is to have at least once Crisis Receiving and Stabilization program per region: $6.1 million.
  • Emergency Room Diversion: DMHAS will create nine programs to serve individuals who frequent the emergency departments.  This program will provide care management services, providing support and connecting individuals to needed services to reduce the reliance on emergency services: $4.94 million.
  • Legal Assistance with Evictions and Housing due to COVID/Housing Stability. The DMHAS will use funds to support housing stability to avert homelessness through evictions.  The resources will be used to enter into a contract with an agency that is staffed to provide landlord/tenant legal services to individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness facing eviction; $350,000.
  • Outreach, including crisis response to underserved populations such as LGBTQI+ individuals and faith-based communities: $1.8 million.
  • Mental Health First Aid: DMHAS will expand Mental Health Awareness Training to provide mental health first aid: $400,000.
  • Peer Wellness Program: DMHAS plans to fund a wellness program to improve consumers’ self-esteem and promote positive self-care using empirically proven interventions. The peer-run centers that provide support and recovery services to a diverse population of consumers around the state will receive training and supervision on Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy along with Peer Wellness Coaching: $400,000.
  • Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy training: Residential service providers in cognitive therapy for recovery will be trained to help to motivate and support consumers to make positive changes in their lives. This is an evidence-based approach that will allow these providers to collaborate with and support their residents’ individual recovery goals and help them engage in meaningful community activities.  It will be offered statewide to all residential providers serving individuals with serious mental illness, although group home and providers of supported housing services will be the primary participants in the training: $500,000.
  • Implementation of 9-8-8: DMHAS will roll out 9-8-8 to become the new three-digit dialing code for mental health crisis to replace the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number by July 2022: $500,000.
  • Performance improvement training for providers in the acute care system that serve the seriously mentally ill population: $400,000.

May 10, 2021

TownHall-PhilMurphy-May13.2021
Please join Governor Phil Murphy for a Zoom town hall on Thursday, May 13th at 10:15 a.m.
Closed captioning will be provided. If you would like to join please register at: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_L67GuSVPTTSTUn06KfnRJQ You will receive a confirmation email after registering that will contain the link to join the town hall.

May 6, 2021

We are pleased to announce that the New Jersey Department of Health has launched a program that can provide in-home COVID-19 vaccine appointments for homebound persons and has begun accepting requests for this important service.

If you are unable to leave home to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, or are the family member or caregiver of someone who is homebound, you may request an in-home vaccination appointment by completing this Request for In-Home Vaccination.

For assistance completing the survey by phone, please call the NJ COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 1-855-568-0545.

After you submit the request, the Department of Health will share information with a home health agency, local health department, or other vaccination providers and you will be contacted to schedule an in-home vaccination appointment.

You can visit the webpage, How can I get the COVID-19 vaccine I’m homebound?, to learn more about this program.

In order to receive vaccination as soon as possible, if you are able to safely attend a medical appointment outside the home, we encourage you to book an appointment at an open vaccination site if an opportunity occurs before an in-home appointment is made available to you.

April 22, 2021

As you may be aware, the Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities released day program re-opening requirements on March 15, 2021.

The Division understands that some participants and families are eager for more programs to re-open as soon as possible. In response to such feedback from individuals, families and guardians, and in continuous consultation with the New Jersey Department of Health, today the Division is releasing updated Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Requirements. The newly updated requirements allow providers to elect to open and operate congregate day programs at limited capacity, regardless of the current CALI designation.

Please note:

  • Day programs are congregate facilities serving individuals with varying levels of risk for developing complications following the contraction of COVID-19. An individual’s risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 is higher if they have not been vaccinated, if the individual is not able to adhere to distancing and masking guidelines, and when COVID-19 activity is higher in their region.
  • While all day programs may re-open, capacity is tied to the COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) for the region in which the program is located.
  • Operating capacity based on CALI designation is as follows:  25% in Very High (Red); 50% in High (Orange); 50% in Moderate (Yellow); and full capacity in Low (Green).
  • Day programs will generally need two weeks to coordinate re-opening but may re-open earlier if they are able to come into compliance with the Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Requirements.
  • While vaccination continues not to be required for attendance, all eligible individuals are encouraged to be vaccinated.
  • State supplemental payments for congregate day providers are continuing.

The Division’s next COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m., where this and other information will be shared. If you have not already done so, you may use the link below to register.

Register Now for April 29 COVID-19 Update Webinar

April 14, 2021

Recognizing the need for more options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce the availability of funding through a new Request for Proposals, RFP: Behavioral Health Stabilization Homes for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The funding will be awarded to a single entity for the development of three, four-bedroom behavioral health stabilization homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). (Smaller variations may be proposed so long as the total number of beds provided is twelve.) Please see additional details below and in the RFP itself, which is posted on the DHS Requests for Proposals/Information and Notices of Funds Available webpages.

We are also pleased to share an exciting new resource developed by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, in collaboration with the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities, the NJ Collaborative for Citizen Directed Supports, and people with disabilities and families: Understanding Self-Directed Services in New Jersey and the Role of the Supports Broker.

Finally, the Division’s next COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m. If you have not already done so, you may use the link below to register.

Register Now for April 29 COVID-19 Update Webinar

RFP for Behavioral Health Stabilization Homes

The Division is pleased to announce funding availability through a new Request for Proposals, RFP: Behavioral Health Stabilization Homes for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Funding will be awarded to a single entity to develop three, four-bedroom behavioral health stabilization homes for individuals with IDD. Smaller variations may be proposed so long as the total number of beds provided is twelve. Goals of this RFP include the following:

  • To provide out-of-home stabilization and assessment services on a statewide basis to individuals with IDD under DDD services who present with intense behavioral and/or emotional challenges that cannot be effectively managed in their current living arrangement (e.g. aggression toward others, self-injurious behavior, property destruction, elopement).
  • Create a short-term, highly structured, and nurturing environment with professional competencies to stabilize individuals and work to transition them back to their previous living arrangement, or to an alternate setting, as appropriate.

Providers interested in bidding can propose to locate the homes in the same area of the state, but additional points will be awarded to locate one home in the Northern, one in the Central, and one in the Southern region of the State. Homes will serve men, women, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Staff employed by the program will be trained, at a minimum, in Crisis Intervention, Positive Behavioral Supports, Trauma Informed Care, and in the Development and Implementation of a Behavioral Support Plan.

RFP Timeline

Posting of RFP and NOFA April 13, 2021
Close of Question and Answer Period April 27, 2021
RFP Submission Deadline July 2, 2021
Preliminary Award Notification August 6, 2021
Appeal Deadline August 27, 2021
Final Award Notification September 10, 2021
Deadline for Program Opening September 16, 2022

To subscribe to Division Update, send your name and email address to DDD.Communications@dhs.nj.gov with Division Update Subscribe in the subject line.

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April 1, 2021

Per OPIA’s April 5 Updated Employee Onboarding Requirements

  • Effective May 3, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is returning to the normal (pre-pandemic) onboarding requirement that all prospective agency staff and self-directed employees complete mandatory pre-employment screenings prior to being hired.
  • Effective May 3, the DHS Employee Controls and Compliance Unit (ECCU) will no longer process emergency requests for temporary clearance to hire.
  • Effective immediately, all provider agency staff and self-directed employees who began their employment based on temporary clearance from DHS ECCU are required to complete all pending onboarding requirements by June 4, 2021 (60 days from the date of the OPIA bulletin). This includes fingerprinting, drug testing, and Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) check applications.
  • Important Information to Self-Directed Services Participants: Individuals/families participating in either the Vendor Employer/Fiscal Agent model with PPL or Agency with Choice model with Easterseals NJ must ensure that all onboarding requirements are completed by their self-directed employees by June 4, including fingerprinting, drug testing and submission of CARI check application. Payments will be suspended for services delivered on or after June 5 by a self-directed employee who was hired through temporary clearance and who has not completed all onboarding requirements.

Self-directed employees (SDE), including family members, who received temporary emergency clearance from DHS ECCU to be hired and who still need to complete onboarding requirements should  contact their Fiscal Intermediary (PPL or Easterseals) as soon as possible. The FI will be able to advise SDEs which of the onboarding requirements they are missing and provide instructions and email links for completing:

PPL Customer Service: 844-842-5891  |  Easterseals Customer Service: 800-471-3086

Per OPIA’s April 5 Guidance on Marijuana

  • DHS will not take negative action against a provider/employer that does not take adverse employment action against an applicant, employee, or volunteer who tests positive for marijuana.
  • DHS may take negative action against a provider/employer that permits an employee or volunteer to use or be under the influence of marijuana (i.e., be impaired) while on duty.

This information will be discussed on the next COVID-19 update webinar, scheduled for Thursday, April 15 at 10:30 a.m. If you have not already done so, please use the link below to register:

Register Now for April 15 Webinar

March 31, 2021

Continuing New Jersey’s efforts to ensure equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly in underserved communities and those at higher risk of exposure or infection, Governor Murphy announced the opening of a mass vaccination site in Newark. The Newark Community Vaccination Center, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is located at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and can accommodate up to 6,000 individuals per day, seven days per week. Eligible individuals can call 855-568-0545 or visit NJ COVID-19 Vaccine for information or to schedule an appointment.

Please distribute these NJ Department of Health Newark Community Vaccination Center fliers to your networks: [English] [Haitian Creole] [Portuguese] [Spanish]

Also, a reminder that the Division’s next COVID-19 update webinar is tomorrow, April 1 at 10:30 a.m. If not already registered, you can use the link below to register. Register Now for April 1 Webinar

March 26, 2021

!! IMPORTANT UPDATE !!

Hello Division Constituents and Community Partners,

We are pleased to share good news with you! Governor Murphy announced today that eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey will expand on April 5 to include more frontline essential workers and high-risk groups, including people age 55 and above and all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities over age 16. Please see the statement below from Department of Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman:

“The strength and resilience of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout this public health emergency has been amazing. We’re very pleased to be able to make vaccination more accessible so individuals can return to their normal lives in the community,” Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman said. “In partnership with the Department of Health, we have been working since January to help vaccinate individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in congregate settings, and have been encouraging individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who met other criteria to sign up for vaccination. We’re now thrilled to be able to include all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities over the age of 16, who, along with their families and caregivers, have persevered through so much in the past year. I encourage all eligible individuals to register to get vaccinated and help bring this pandemic closer to an end.”

The Division is grateful to Acting Commissioner Adelman, as well as individual, family, and community advocates, for their committed and persistent efforts in getting us to this point. DDD also encourages all eligible individuals register to get vaccinated.

March 19, 2021

WEBINAR REMINDER! Transition into Adulthood: Information about DDD Services for the 2021 Graduates

When: Thursday, March 25, 1:00 – 2:30 PM
What: This webinar, presented by the Director of the Employment & Transition to 21 Unit, will provide information about accessing Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) services for students exiting the school system. It will include an overview of DDD, information about the eligibility process, and accessing services. The discussion will also include information about services during the current situation related to COVID-19 and ideas of some planning that can be done during this time. Use the link below to register.

Register Now for Transition into Adulthood Webinar

NEW WEBINAR SERIES! PPL Talks to Vendors

PPL launched a new monthly webinar series for vendors who bill self-directed services through PPL (e.g., Goods and Services), but anyone with an interest may attend any or all of the webinars in the series, including Support Coordinators, individuals and families.

Pre-registration is not required. To join the PPL Talks to Vendors webinar, simply click on the Join Webinar Now link below at 12:00 NOON on the date of the event.

Tuesday, March 23 at 12:00 Noon: Join PPL 3/23/21 Vendor Webinar Now
Tuesday, April 27 at 12:00 Noon: Join PPL 4/27/21 Vendor Webinar Now
Tuesday, May 25 at 12:00 Noon: Join PPL 5/25/21 Vendor Webinar Now
Tuesday, June 22 at 12:00 Noon: Join PPL 6/22/21 Vendor Webinar Now

March 19, 2021

NJ Human Services In the Community

Acting Commissioner Adelman Lauds Biden-Harris Administration Move to Repeal 2019 Public Charge Rule

Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman released the following statement on the Biden-Harris Administration taking steps to repeal the Trump Administration’s 2019 Public Charge Rule:

“I applaud President Biden’s Administration for righting the wrong and taking steps to repeal the unfair and damaging 2019 Trump Public Charge Rule.

“For years our immigrant communities have been fearful and concerned about accessing critical services such as health care and food and housing assistance, worried it would impact their ability adjust their immigration status. This rule heightened that fear and had a chilling effect on efforts to provide New Jersey residents with the assistance they need. This was especially worrisome during the COVID-19 public health emergency that has significantly impacted people’s livelihoods and economic security, and it’s notable that many of our frontline essential workers are immigrants.

“We commend the efforts led by advocates, local and state governments and communities that have fought to protect the health and well-being of our immigrant neighbors. No one should be fearful to access food, health care and housing assistance.

“Human Services’ Office of New Americans will closely monitor developments related to this announcement and will provide more information to advocates and residents as it becomes available. We are a big step closer to a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all.”

En español:

“Aplaudo a la administración del presidente Biden por corregir el mal y tomar los pasos para revocar la regla de carga pública injusta y dañina de Trump del 2019

“Por años, nuestras comunidades inmigrantes han tenido miedo y han estado preocupados sobre cómo acceder a servicios críticos como lo son el cuidado de la salud, asistencia de alimentos y de vivienda, preocupados de que podría impactar la capacidad de ajustar su estatus migratorio. Esta regla intensificó el miedo y tuvo un efecto negativo en los esfuerzos para proveer asistencia a los residentes de New Jersey que la necesiten. Esto fue especialmente preocupante durante la emergencia de salud pública de COVID-19, que ha afectado significativamente al sustento y la seguridad económica de las personas, y es notable que muchos de los trabajadores esenciales de primera línea sean inmigrantes. 

“Elogiamos a los esfuerzos de los activistas, gobiernos locales, estatales y comunidades que lucharon para proteger la salud y el bienestar de nuestros vecinos inmigrantes. Nadie debería tener miedo de acceder a la asistencia de alimentos, de vivienda y al cuidado de la salud. 

“La oficina de nuevos americanos del Departamento de servicios humanos, monitoreará de cerca los desarrollos relacionados con este anuncio, y proveerá más información cuando esté disponible a los activistas y residentes. Estamos a un paso más cerca de un New Jersey más fuerte y justo para todos.”

Division of Developmental Disabilities Updates

The Division of Developmental Disabilities on Monday released updated group home and supervised apartment visitation guidance effective March 19.

It also released new day program reopening guidance that states eligible providers may reopen beginning March 29 up to 50 percent of capacity, tied to their region’s COVID-19 Activity Level Index score.

During the past year, New Jersey has seen the resiliency of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends, direct support professionals, providers, support coordinators, and so many others. The Department and Division are grateful for their dedication and support, and are pleased to release these updates

Governor Declares March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Governor Murphy officially declared March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in New Jersey. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life. Acting Commissioner Adelman joined The Arc of New Jersey for a virtual ceremony marking the recognition of the month.

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Governor Murphy declared March to be Brain Injury Awareness Month in New Jersey. As part of the recognition, Human Services raised awareness of the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fund by introducing Jason, who received TBI support for his recovery from a major brain injury 2 ½ years ago. Watch the video below, and for more information on the TBI fund please visit here.

Division of Disability Services Executive Director Peri L. Nearon also promoted the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund in a letter-to-the-editor posted here.

It’s Social Work Month

We celebrate social workers and thank them for their dedication to enhancing the well-being of others, and their commitment throughout the past year’s public health emergency has been amazing” to ” We celebrate social workers and thank them for their dedication to enhancing the well-being of others. Their commitment throughout the past year’s public health emergency has been amazing. See more.

Governor Murphy Highlights Key Investments for Older Adults in State Budget Proposal

Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Commissioner Adelman joined New Jersey’s Age-Friendly Statewide Leadership Summit on March 2 to highlight key investments benefitting older adults in the Governor’s budget proposal.

The budget reaffirms Governor Murphy’s commitment to New Jersey’s older adults and ensuring access to health care by expanding the Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) program to make prescription drugs more affordable. Additionally, after expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 35 to 40 percent of the federal credit, the Governor’s FY2022 budget proposes making senior citizens without dependents eligible for the EITC this year, effectively cutting taxes for seniors.

Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order No. 227 creating the Age-Friendly State Advisory Council, which will work to identify opportunities for creating livable communities for people of all ages in New Jersey, recommend best practices for age-friendly work, and promote community inclusion across the state.

“Governor Murphy’s budget plan highlights his commitment to New Jerseyans at every stage of life, including several key investments in programs that help older adults confront some of the most pressing challenges they face,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “From allowing more seniors to save money on prescriptions and premiums to allowing older adults who are working to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit to making our communities more aging-friendly, accessible and inclusive, the Department of Human Services is committed to advancing the Governor’s exciting budget plans to improve the quality of life for older New Jerseyans.” Read more.

Human Services Distributes Naloxone to County Mobile Outreach Units

Human Services on Thursday distributed 6,384 two-dose naloxone kits for free to counties that operate Hope One mobile access units or similar services.

The distribution builds on Human Services’ effort during the Murphy Administration to make naloxone accessible, including giving 64,000 free doses to residents at pharmacies and delivering 70,000 free doses to police, EMS, homeless shelters, libraries and reentry organizations.

“Naloxone saves lives,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “With this distribution, we’re continuing our effort to get this life-saving antidote into as many hands as possible and to connect individuals to treatment.”

“Among our many strategies as we combat the opioid overdose epidemic is to ensure that the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone is readily available to as many people as possible,” said Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who directs Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “The mobile access units will have trained staffers giving out the naloxone and are required to provide materials about addiction treatment and recovery support services.This will be another tool in our work to save lives.” Read more

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET BOOSTS HEARING AID REIMBURSEMENT FOR OLDER ADULTS & DISABLED INDIVIDUALS

Governor Phil Murphy’s budget plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 would significantly increase hearing aid purchase reimbursement available under the state’s Hearing Aid Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (HAAAD) program. The HAAAD program provides a $100 reimbursement to offset the cost of purchasing a hearing aid per calendar year. Beneficiaries must be enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) program or the Lifeline Utility Assistance program – or meet the eligibility criteria for those programs – to participate.

Governor’s Murphy’s budget plan for next fiscal year would increase the reimbursement to $500 per hearing aid per calendar year.

“This would be significant savings for those eligible for this valuable program,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “The Governor’s budget proposal is all about continuing to make New Jersey a stronger and fairer state that works for everybody, and that includes older adults and individuals with disabilities who need hearing assistance. This increase would be big help for some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Immigrants and Advocates Hail Governor’s Budget Plan

Johanna Calle, senior policy advisor for the Office of New Americans, joined a virtual forum on March 9 to highlight New Jersey’s publicly-funded detention and deportation legal defense program and Governor Murphy’s budget proposal to increase funding for such individuals to $8.2 million.

Participants shared stories of family reunification and praised the Governor’s commitment to a New Jersey for all.

Among those participating were the New Jersey Coalition for Immigrant Representation, American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, Seton Hall Law School Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, Rutgers Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, Make the Road New Jersey, New Jersey Policy Perspective and Church World Service’ Jersey City Immigration and Refugee Office.

NJ SNAP Recipients Continued to Receive Enhanced Food Assistance Benefits in March

New Jerseyans who receive food assistance through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) continued to receive enhanced food assistance benefits in March to help address needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits that began in January remains in effect through June. Human Services has also been providing SNAP households with the maximum benefits since March 2020, and those supplements were provided this March to about 278,000 households. Human Services has now distributed $547.4 million in total supplemental monthly SNAP payments since March 2020 to New Jersey residents.

“We’re steadfast in our commitment to provide as much additional food security as possible to New Jersey families,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said.

“Increased food assistance remains crucial,” Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “We are dedicated to helping as many families as we can during this challenging period, and are pleased to continue this assistance.” Read more

Governor Murphy Announces Expansion of Eligibility for New Jersey’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Governor Murphy announced the expansion of eligibility for more frontline essential workers and high-risk groups in New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Eligible groups include educators and staff in pre-K through 12th-grade settings, childcare workers, and transportation workers, among others. As of last Monday, the following categories are now eligible for vaccination:

  • Educators, including support staff, in pre-K through 12th-grade settings;
  • Childcare workers in licensed and registered settings;
  • Public and local transportation workers, including bus, taxi, rideshare, and airport employees; NJ TRANSIT workers; and Motor Vehicle Commission staff;
  • Public safety workers who are not sworn law enforcement or fire professionals, including probation officers and fire safety inspectors;
  • Migrant farm workers;
  • Members of tribal communities; and,
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters.

Additionally, beginning on Monday, March 29, frontline essential workers in the following categories are also eligible for vaccination:

  • Food production, agriculture, and food distribution;
  • Eldercare and support;
  • Warehousing and logistics;
  • Social services support staff;
  • Elections personnel;
  • Hospitality;
  • Medical supply chain;
  • Postal and shipping services;
  • Clergy; and,
  • Judicial system.

Additionally, the eligibility list will indicate that all individuals ages 16-64 with certain medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that increase the risk or might increase the risk of severe illness from the virus, are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.

For more information about eligibility, statewide vaccination site locations, and to preregister for a vaccination, visit https://covid19.nj.gov/vaccine

“New Jersey has made great strides in opening vaccination to more and more residents, and we are very pleased to be able to expand availability to vulnerable communities such as individuals experiencing homelessness and critical workers such as those caring for older residents, children and providing social services supports,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “We cannot express enough thanks to frontline essential workers for their commitment throughout this entire public health crisis and look forward to more and more of them getting protection against this virus and to further protecting our most vulnerable residents.” Read more

Governor Murphy Signs LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights Legislation

Governor Murphy on March 3 signed legislation (S2545) to establish rights and protections for LGBTQI+ older adults and HIV-positive residents of long-term care facilities. The LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights prohibits long-term care facilities from taking any of the following actions based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, intersex status, or HIV status:

1. Denying admission to, transferring, discharging, or evicting a resident;

2. Opposing a request by residents to share a room;

3.  Assigning or reassigning a room based on gender;

4.  Forbidding a resident from using a restroom based on gender;

5.  Repeatedly failing to use a resident’s chosen name or pronouns despite being informed;

6. Denying a resident from wearing clothing, accessories, or cosmetics of their choice;

7. Restricting a resident’s right to engage with other residents or with visitors;

8. Denying, restricting, or providing unequal medical or non-medical care; and

9. Declining to provide any service, care, or reasonable accommodation.

“A long-term care facility is a health care setting, but it’s also someone’s home,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “Every person deserves to feel safe, respected, and comfortable where they receive their medical care, and especially in the place they call home. This law is an important step in New Jersey’s continued protection and support of LGBTQI+ individuals throughout their lifespans, including persons with medical conditions and disabilities.”  Read more.

SPOTLIGHTS ON NJ HUMAN SERVICES PROGRAMS

Help with Emotional support

NJMentalHealthCares offers New Jerseyans a safe place to call to discuss our anxiety, worry and concerns as we experience this unprecedented pandemic. The call line is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit HERE to learn more about NJMentalHealthCares, call 1-866-202-HELP (4357) or text NJHOPE to 51684.

ACCESS at St. Joseph’s Health provides mental health support via videophone in American Sign Language. It is available at 973-870-0677 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit HERE to learn about ASL mental health care support.

The HEAL NJ Healthcare Workers COVID Hope & Healing Helpline offers health care workers a safe place to call for crisis counseling support. The call line is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with emergency support available 24/7. Visit HERE to learn more about the HEAL help line or call 1-833-416-8773.

The RISE NJ First Responders Covid Hope & Healing Helpline offers police, firefighters, EMS, National Guard, military and veterans, their families and caregivers a safe place to call for crisis counseling support. The call line is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with emergency support available 24/7. Visit HERE to learn more about the RISE help line of call 1-833-237-4325.

The NJ Hopeline provides support, assessment and, if needed, intervention in the most cooperative and least restrictive manner to New Jersey residents in emotional distress and suicidal crisis. The help line is open 24/7 at 1-855-654-6735. Visit HERE for more information.

NJ SNAP – ENGLISH / SPANISH

NJ FAMILYCARE – ENGLISH / SPANISH

NJHELPS –   ENGLISH / SPANISH

March 17, 2021

NEW WEBINAR! Transition into Adulthood: Information about DDD Services for the 2021 Graduates

When: Thursday, March 25, 1:00 – 2:30 PM

What: This webinar, presented by the Director of the Employment & Transition to 21 Unit, will provide information about accessing Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) services for students exiting the school system. It will include an overview of DDD, information about the eligibility process, and accessing services. The discussion will also include information about services during the current situation related to COVID-19 and ideas of some planning that can be done during this time. Use the link below to register.

Register Now for Transition into Adulthood Webinar

March 15, 2021

March marks one year since the Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities announced the closure of congregate day service facilities and restrictions on visitation in group homes and supervised apartments. During these months we have seen heartbreak and loss. But we have also seen the resiliency of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends, direct support professionals, providers, support coordinators, Division staff, and so many others. The Department and Division are grateful for your dedication and support and are pleased to release the eagerly awaited updates below. Please note that providers are expected to comply with all updates.

Day Program Re-Opening

Residential Visitation Update

  • Effective as early as March 19, 2021 so long as all required documents are signed by the resident’s legal guardian.
  • Indoor visitation within a group home can now occur if the residence has not experienced any new COVID-19 positivity in staff and residents in the last 14 days.  This was previously 28 days.
  • Outdoor visits can now take place whenever indoor visits cannot.  This was previously only available if the residence had not experienced any new COVID-19 positivity in staff and residents in the last 14 days.
  • Residents can participate in either visit type, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Physical touch is permitted while wearing PPE if the resident so chooses.
  • Off-site visits with family and friends are now permitted for any duration – regardless of the vaccination status of resident.  Isolation upon return to the residence, regardless of vaccination status, is only required if the resident or the person returning them relay that the person has experienced an exposure (15 minutes or more within 24-hours of someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19) while on the visit.  Exposure is no longer assumed by simply engaging in an off-site visit.
  • Please see Guidance for Residential Providers on Visits with Family and Friends for more information.

Other important updates

  • Fully vaccinated staff (day and residential) who may have a recent exposure (15 minutes or more within 24-hours of someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19) and who are asymptomatic do not need to be restricted from work for 14 days following their exposure. Additionally, those asymptomatic staff who have recovered from COVID-19 infection in the prior 3 months should follow the same guidance
  • However, work restrictions for fully vaccinated staff with exposure (15 minutes or more within 24-hours of someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19) who have underlying immunocompromising conditions, or those who have not been vaccinated, must isolate for 14 days following an exposure.
  • Regardless of vaccination status or living arrangement, if an individual has been exposed (15 minutes or more within 24-hours of someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19) they cannot return to day program for 14 days following the last day of that exposure.  For those in a Division funded congregate residential setting, they must continue to isolate for 14 days following the last day of that exposure.
  • Please see Screening in Residential and Congregate Day Program Settings for more information.

We want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to attend a live webinar overview of this updated day program re-opening and residential visitation guidance. Therefore, because our attendance capacity for the Division’s COVID-19 Update Webinar is 1,000, we will hold two webinars this week, each covering the same information. Use the links below to register:

Tuesday, March 16 at 11:00 am: Register Now for March 16 Webinar

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 amRegister Now for March 18 Webinar

March 3, 2021

REMINDER! DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar Tomorrow, March 4

The Division’s March COVID-19 Update Webinars are scheduled for Thursday, March 4 and Thursday, March 18, both at 10:30 am. Use the links below to register.

Register Now for March 4 Webinar

Register Now for March 18 Webinar

February 24, 2021

NJ Human Services Extends COVID-19 Child Care Assistance Programs Through End of School Year

New Jersey Human Services is extending several COVID-19-related child care assistance programs through the end of June as part of the Murphy Administration’s continued effort to support families and child care providers impacted by the pandemic.

The extensions include programs that have helped families pay for child care during remote schooling and support the sustainability of child care providers.

“This has been a difficult time for everyone, but parents can now know that these critical child care programs will continue helping through the remainder of the school year,” Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman said. “We have worked hard to use all resources and means to help working families and the child care sector, and remain very concerned about the data that shows women have faced difficult choices to leave their jobs during this pandemic. With these extensions, we hope to provide families and the child care industry some peace of mind for the rest of the school year.”

“We are very pleased to be able to extend these programs through the end of the school year,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “We know that child care is crucial to a strong economy, and we know that quality child care is crucial to strong childhood development. With these extensions, we are giving families and child care providers vital support during the ongoing pandemic.”

Read more here.

First Lady Tammy Murphy and Human Services Announce New Medicaid Initiatives to Help Improve Maternal & Infant Health

As part of the Murphy Administration’s continued effort to improve maternal and infant health, First Lady Tammy Murphy and Human Services Acting Commissioner Adelman announced the state Medicaid program now covers doula care, while also no longer paying for non-medical early elective deliveries. Also, the Medicaid program will require obstetrical providers, nurse midwives, or other licensed health care professionals to complete a perinatal risk assessment form during a beneficiary’s first prenatal visit to help identify trends in risk factors. These initiatives are outlined in the First Lady’s Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan, which aims to the combat New Jersey’s maternal and infant health mortality crisis by eliminating racial disparities in maternal and infant care.

“With these critical steps forward, we continue making strides toward improving maternal and infant health in New Jersey,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “This is about positive outcomes for mothers and babies – and a healthier New Jersey for everyone. Doulas support healthy pregnancies, and by not paying for non-medical early elective deliveries, Medicaid is promoting healthier deliveries. This is more progress in our fight to improve care for women and children throughout our state.”

Read more here

Human Services to Expand Availability of Medication that Supports Recovery from Addiction

Medicines proven to help people recover from opioid dependency will soon be available during longer, non-traditional hours under a $4 million grant program announced by Acting Commissioner Adelman.

As part of the Murphy Administration’s continued commitment to increasing access to medication-assisted treatment in the state’s efforts to reduce overdoses and fight the opioid epidemic, Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has notified treatment providers that it will award five-regional contracts not to exceed $800,000 each to expand availability of the life-saving medicines throughout the state.

“Addiction isn’t 9-to-5,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “Cravings don’t limit their grip to the work day, and many people work varying hours and rely on Medication Assisted Treatment to keep them on the path of recovery. We need to do everything we can to make sure the medication is available where and when it is needed.”

“For many people, the availability of medications at earlier and later-than normal program hours and a dedicated program offering medications and case management will improve access to care,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who oversees DMHAS. “Data from pilot programs in other states indicates that people seek treatment more readily when services are available at times that accommodate their work, school and family obligations.”

Read more here.

NJ Human Services to Help Advance Health Care Affordability Efforts

NJ Human Services will be part of an Interagency Health Care Affordability Workgroup created by Governor Murphy to identify opportunities administration wide and across the public and private sectors to advance shared goals of improved health care affordability, accessibility, and transparency.

“Medicaid is New Jersey’s largest health insurance program, providing affordable health care coverage to one in five New Jerseyans. Our goal is to ensure that Medicaid members have accessible, equitable, high-value, and high-quality care as we also work to balance the rising health care and prescription drug costs that put pressure on our state budget,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “DHS looks forward to working with our partners across state government to continue our Administration’s commitment to smart policy solutions that promote affordable health care access.”

Read more here.
Vaccine information Available for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Visit here to download copies of communication cards presented by the Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing to assist with vaccine prescreening for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Also, Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Executive Director Elizabeth Hill explained the vaccine process in American Sign Language.

Elizabeth Hill explains the vaccine process in ASL. 

NJ Human Services Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

This past year, NJ Human Services and its Division of Disability Services celebrated an important milestone – the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This monumental law ensured that individuals with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

A video looking back at ADA’s 30th anniversary.

NJ Human Services Partners with Area Agencies on Aging During COVID-19

Human Services has partnered with Area Agencies on Aging to help older adults during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All 21 New Jersey counties have an Area Agency on Aging that serves as the primary entity responsible for developing comprehensive, coordinated systems of community-based services for older adults.

A Call for Entries: 2021 New Jersey Teen Media Contest Celebrates Family & Loved Ones During Challenging Times

New Jersey Human Services announced teens across the state can begin submitting entries for the 26th Annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights Human Services’ mission to support families, especially during these challenging times.

The contest, run by Human Services’ Division of Family Development, is open to all New Jersey middle- and high school-age children. This year, the contest will once again accept entries in the hand-painted/hand-drawn and written-word categories.

The 2021 contest challenges teens to illustrate – through art or the written word – how they and their loved ones have supported each other through all of the changes that have happened this year, from remote schooling to finding new ways to stay connected to friends and family.

“These have been challenging times and so much has changed in the world around us,” Deputy Commissioner Neira said. “From spending time with our families and loved ones while socially distanced to doing activities on a computer we usually do in-person, this year affected us all in many ways. With that in mind, we again look forward to the creativity of New Jersey teens and to celebrating their talents.”

Read more here.

Murphy Administration Reminds New Jerseyans of Coverage Benefits for COVID-19 Vaccine

As New Jersey continues to scale up its statewide vaccination program, the Murphy Administration is reminding New Jerseyans that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available without cost-sharing barriers.

Pursuant to the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement, all providers must vaccinate individuals regardless of whether they have health insurance coverage or what type of coverage they have, and are prohibited from balance billing or otherwise charging vaccine recipients.

“NJ FamilyCare recipients can get the COVID vaccine at no cost and at any vaccination site,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “That means zero co-pays for the vaccine and its administration, no matter the provider, so we urge everyone to sign up and get the vaccine when they are eligible.  We are all eager to end this pandemic and save lives. For NJ FamilyCare recipients, you can protect yourself at no cost.”

Read more here.

NJ Human Services Awards $1.3M in Grants to Create Inclusive Healthy Communities for Individuals with Disabilities

Human Services recently announced it has awarded 18 grants to help communities across the state develop and/or implement inclusive initiatives that support the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities where they live, work, learn and play.

“We are excited by the creative and innovative solutions proposed by the applicants,” Deputy Commissioner Neira said. “From taking steps to create fully accessible community spaces to developing plans to assess and evaluate current community practices, to expanding critical health services such as oral health, to creating new, inclusive coalitions and cross-sector partnerships, it is important for communities across the U.S. to adopt the inclusive and healthy communities model to improve access for individuals with disabilities.”

“People with disabilities are disproportionately affected with chronic diseases and conditions such as obesity and high blood pressure,” Division of Disability Services Executive Director Peri L. Nearon said. “This program will help these communities improve the local environments and systems that can support individuals with disabilities stay active and access community resources so they can have better health outcomes.”

Read more here.

SPOTLIGHTS ON NJ HUMAN SERVICES PROGRAMS
Need help affording groceries? 

Go to www.njhelps.org to apply for NJ SNAP.

NJ SNAP – New Jersey’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program –  provides New Jerseyans with lower incomes help buying groceries. NJ SNAP recipients get money on a benefits card each month that is accepted in most grocery stores, many bodegas, and through online shopping at Aldi, Amazon, Walmart, ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer.

Eligibility is determined by income and households size.

Visit njsnap.gov to learn more about NJ SNAP.

Affordable health insurance 

Go to www.njhelps.org to apply for NJ FamilyCare.

NJ FamilyCare is free or low-cost health insurance for individuals and families who need help affording coverage. NJ FamilyCare covers doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, mental health services, vaccines and more.

Visit njfamilycare.org to learn more.

NJ SNAP – ENGLISH / SPANISH
NJ FAMILYCARE – ENGLISH / SPANISH
NJHELPS –   ENGLISH / SPANISH

February 22, 2021

Caregivers are invaluable to the people they support, which can include older adults and individuals with disabilities, chronic health conditions or mental health issues. Governor Murphy and the New Jersey State Legislature created the New Jersey Caregiver Task Force to determine the current availability of caregiver support services and provide recommendations for improving and expanding caregiver support services in New Jersey.

The Task Force has announced that it will be conducting virtual Caregiver Listening Sessions on March 6, March 10, and March 18, for which caregivers may register to speak, listen or share written testimony. Caregivers may register here to attend or speak at one of these listening sessions.

Please share this important information with your networks.

Please also see the dates and registration links below for the Division’s March COVID-19 update webinars.

February 18, 2021

REMINDER! DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar TODAYFebruary 18
The next live DDD COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, February 18 at 10:30 am. If you already registered, you do not need to register again.
REGISTER NOW for February 18 Webinar

February 3, 2021

January 22, 2021

!! IMPORTANT UPDATE !!

January 15, 2021

NJ Human Services Celebrates the ADA
This past year, NJ Human Services and its Division of Disability Services celebrated an important milestone – the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. This monumental law ensured that individuals with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Please watch this video as we take a look at the significance and impact of the ADA.

And we will continue the important work to advance the ideals of the ADA in building a more equitable and accessible New Jersey.

January 6, 2021

DDD January Webinars

The Division’s bi-weekly COVID-19 Update Webinars for January 2021 are scheduled for Thursday, January 7 and Thursday, January 21, both at 10:30 am. There is a separate registration link for each webinar:

Webinar on COVID-19 Vaccine for People with IDD

We are also pleased to let you know about a free webinar, COVID-19 Vaccinations for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in New Jersey with speaker Dr. David Adinaro, NJ Department of Health Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services, that will be presented by The Arc of New Jersey on Monday, January 11, 20201 at 11 AM. Attendance is open to everyone and you can register here for The Arc of New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine webinar.

DDD to Conduct NCI Surveys in 2021

We are pleased to share that in 2021 the Division will again administer National Core Indicators (NCI) surveys for individuals and their families and guardians. Beginning in January, Division staff will begin outreach to individuals and families to request voluntary participation in one of the following surveys:

  • In-Person Survey (will be conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic) – for individuals 21 and older who are receiving at least one Division-funded service in addition to Support Coordination.
  • Adult Family Survey – an online survey for family members who have an adult (21 years or older) with an intellectual/developmental disability who lives in the family home and receives at least one DDD service in addition to Support Coordination.
  • Family/Guardian Survey – an online survey for family members/guardians who have an adult (21 years or older) with an intellectual/developmental disability who lives outside of the family home and receives at least one DDD service in addition to Support Coordination.

Please see the Division’s NCI Survey Overview for more information.

2020

December 29, 2020

New Jersey has experienced over 400,000 positive cases and approximately 16,000 deaths associated with COVID-19.  Vaccination is the latest tool in our toolbox to stop the spread.  New Jersey recently rolled out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all who live, work, or study in the state.

Beginning in mid-December and continuing into early 2021, vaccine access will be given to New Jersey’s Phase 1A Group: health care workers, who are paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.  Phase 1A also includes long-term care residents and staff.

The Phase 1A definition of health care workers includes Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in the State’s Developmental Centers and IDD group homes, day programs, and Self-Directed Employees in private homes.  DSPs are now eligible to receive a vaccine at one of the COVID vaccine locations listed in the link below.  We are working with the Department of Health to ensure that residents in group homes, which are considered high-risk congregate settings, receive vaccinations as Phase 1A continues.  Information will be forthcoming regarding eligibility for individuals with disabilities and chronic medical conditions not residing in high-risk congregate care settings.

Please view and distribute the three (3) documents:

1.       Letter from New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Commissioner Judith Persichilli
2.       Phase 1A Factsheet
3.       List of current New Jersey Vaccine Sites (subject to change)

We request your assistance sharing this key information with DSPs and other health care workers, paid and unpaid.   The State of New Jersey’s goal is to ensure an equitable and efficient COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Thank you for your assistance.

December 29, 2020

Please review and share the important updates below related to provider payments that go into effect on January 1, 2021.

FY2021 Wage Increase for Direct Support Professionals and Supervisors

Included in New Jersey’s FY2021 Appropriations Act, the wage increase for direct support professionals (DSPs) and supervisors will be implemented January 1 via increases to the fee-for-service reimbursement rates for the following services: Career Planning, Community Based Supports, Community Inclusion Services, Day Habilitation, Individual Supports, Prevocational Training (Individual and Group), Respite, and Supported Employment (Individual and Group). For information, please see:

COVID-19 Temporary Residential Provider Funding

The Division is pleased to announce that the temporary 20% enhanced payments to residential providers will continue. In addition, the temporary $3-per-hour wage increase for DSPs working in provider-managed residential settings that are claiming Individual Supports-Daily Rate has been renewed for another three-month period, from January 1 – March 31, 2021. For information, please see:

Also, please note the bi-weekly DDD COVID-19 Update Webinars for January 2021 are scheduled for Thursday, January 7, and Thursday, January 21, both at 10:30 am. There is a separate registration link for each webinar and you must register twice (once for each webinar) if you wish to attend both:

Register Now for January 7 DDD Webinar
Register Now for January 21 DDD Webinar

December 18, 2020

Today, the Division issued a Request for Letters of Interest (RLI) to be Added to a Provider Ready Directory, which has been posted on the Department of Human Services’ Requests for Proposals/Information (RFPs, RFIs) webpage, under the Request for Information heading.  This directory would be utilized in uncommon circumstances where a provider is no longer viable, indicates it will no longer engage in service provision or loses its ability to be a DDD/Medicaid approved provider of services.

We encourage agencies to review this RLI and, if interested, submit a Letter of Interest per the RLI guidelines.

Anticipated RLI Schedule:

December 18, 2020

Notice of Request for Letters of Interest

December 31, 2020

Deadline for questions

January 8, 2021

Responses to questions released

January 15, 2021

Deadline for receipt of letters

February 1, 2021

Preliminary notification

February 8, 2021

Appeal deadline

February 15, 2021

Final notification

March 1, 2021

Completion of the Provider Ready Directory.  Letters of Interest will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.

Please share this information with your colleagues and networks.

December 9, 2020

REMINDER! Next DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar is Tomorrow, December 10
Will include EVV Overview

The bi-weekly COVID-19 Update Webinars for December are scheduled for Thursday, December 10 and Wednesday, December 23, both at 10:30 am. Below are separate registration links for each webinar. You must register twice (once for each webinar) if you wish to attend both.

PLEASE NOTE: A portion of the December 10 webinar has been set aside for a representative from the NJ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) to provide an overview of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV).

Register Now for December 10 DDD Webinar
Register Now for December 23 DDD Webinar

November 30, 2020

Hello Division Constituents and Community Partners,

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce the continuation of the 20% residential payment through December 31, 2020.  This reimbursement is directed to providers submitting claims for Individual Supports – Daily Rate and accounts for increased staffing costs during the day due to individuals not attending day program during the pandemic.

Please note the temporary $3-per-hour wage increase for direct support professionals working in provider-managed residential settings and providing Individual Supports – Daily Rate, which was in addition to the 20% residential payment, will end December 31, 2020.

For more information, please see the Division’s Temporary Residential Funding guidance and the Department of Human Services’ updated Notice of Temporarily Enhanced Residential Daily Rates.

November 20, 2020

Hello Division Constituents and Community Partners,

The 2020 holiday season is upon us and, unfortunately, New Jersey is experiencing increases in COVID-19 positivity across the State.  Many individuals, families, and friends are inquiring about visitation for those who reside in licensed community residential settings during this time.

As a result, the Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities is releasing Holiday 2020 Residential Visitation Guidance for licensed community residential settings.  This guidance is intended to protect the health and safety of all individuals living and staff working in Division-funded licensed residential settings.

Individuals, their families and friends, and licensed community residential provider agencies and their staff, are urged to carefully review this information.

Thank you for your continued support as we work together to navigate this most challenging and unprecedented public health emergency during this holiday season.

November 18, 2020

Hello Division Constituents and Community Partners,

As you may know, positivity rates and community spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey have increased in recent weeks. To reduce exposure risk for the individuals we serve, and their families and caregivers, the Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities has made the difficult decision to close all Division-funded in-person congregate day service facilities for a second time.

All Division-funded in-person congregate day service facilities are directed to close again effective close of business November 25, 2020, through at least January 19, 2021. 

Please review the Division’s Temporary Closure of Congregate Day Services guidance for answers to frequently asked questions and additional information.

November 18, 2020

The notice below was distributed today to Division-funded residential providers.

Dear Providers:

The Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), and the Office of Program Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) continue to closely monitor the fluid nature of the COVID-19 health emergency and proactively respond by implementing strategies to further safeguard the health, safety, and well-being of individuals receiving services, their guardians and families, providers and our employees.

NJ state government remains open. It is critical that DHS and its providers continue to work together to maintain important oversight and do all we can to assist individuals and their families.

The current health situation necessitates that effective 11/23/20, OPIA is temporarily pausing its non-emergency field activities and targeting field-related responses to those situations where a field response is critical to ensuring immediate health and safety.  Visits will resume as soon as possible.

Specific strategies include the following:

  • The Field Safety and Services Unit (FSSU) will maintain and expand tele-visits with an ongoing emphasis on immediate health and safety concerns.
  • The Incident Verification Unit (IVU) staff will continue virtual verification activities and all incidents involving abuse and neglect will be screened by an IVU supervisor to determine the most appropriate verification method.
  • The Office of Licensing (OOL) will utilize established inspection protocols as determined by the OOL supervisor.

In addition to the measures identified above, it is expected that all providers maintain ongoing, direct administrative oversight of their respective sites and ensure consistent implementation of the identified, rigorous health and safety protocols within these settings. As a reminder, in September 2020, DHS, the Department of Health, and DDD issued detailed guidance to providers; all of which is available on the Department of Human Services Coronavirus Information Hub and the Department of Health COVID-19 Information Hub. This critically important guidance includes tracking of provider surge planning, risk mitigation strategies, such as regular health screenings, monitoring for signs and symptoms of illness, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Please note that failure of any Division-funded residential provider to implement all applicable COVID-related health and safety protocols may be determined to constitute neglect of individuals served. Further, such a finding of neglect may result in the imposition of negative licensing or other administrative/legal action against the responsible entity.

Please continue to closely monitor compliance across all residential locations and ensure that all program supervisors, managers, and staff understand and consistently adhere to the requirements.

Thank you for your cooperation and continued commitment to maintaining the health and safety of the individuals we mutually serve.

Sincerely,
Lauri Woodward
Director, Office of Program Integrity and Accountability

October 23, 2020

I am pleased to share that the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) has announced a new funding opportunity, Access to Technology During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This opportunity is open to adults (21 and older) with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) enrolled with the Division’s Community Care Program or Supports Program who have been affected by the statewide Coronavirus pandemic. Items considered for funding include and are limited to one item: handheld electronic device (Samsung Galaxy Tablet/iPad/Fire Tablet/Smartphone), reimbursed up to $250.00, or computer device (Chromebook/Laptop/Desktop Computer), reimbursed up to $500.00. Questions can be directed to NJCDD at Grants@njcdd.org.
 
Please also see the information below regarding New Jersey’s minimum wage law, as well as a reminder about the Division’s next bi-weekly COVID-19 update webinar.
 

 
NJ Minimum Wage Law
 
In February 2019, Governor Murphy signed a law to incrementally raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024. The next increase goes into effect on January 1, 2021, and every January 1 after that through 2024, as follows:
 
EFFECTIVE DATE:
NJ MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES TO:
Jan. 1, 2021
$12 per hour
Jan. 1, 2022
$13 per hour
Jan. 1, 2023
$14 per hour
Jan. 1, 2024
$15 per hour
 
This law may impact some DDD-funded provider agencies and individuals who receive DDD-funded services from self-directed employees:
  • Provider agencies should familiarize themselves with the new law and make whatever wage adjustments are needed to comply with the law. 
  • Individuals who receive DDD-funded services from a self-directed employee will need to make sure they comply with the new law by ensuring their employee’s hourly wage for any service provided is at least $12 by January 1, 2021. To increase a self-directed employee’s hourly wage, individuals must contact their Support Coordinator, and the fiscal intermediary that issues payments to their employee. Please note that fiscal intermediaries are prohibited by law from compensating self-directed employees for any amount less than $12 per hour beginning January 1, 2021.
 

 
REMINDER! Next DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar is October 29
 
The next DDD COVID-19 update webinar for October will be held Thursday, October 29 at 10:30 am. If you already registered for the October webinars, you do not need to register again. If you did not already register, please use the link below.
 
 

 
To Subscribe to Division Update, send an email to DDD.Communications@dhs.nj.gov with Division Update Subscribe in the subject line.

October 20, 2020

Hello Division Constituents and Community Partners,

As announced in a joint press release yesterday, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) have launched an initiative to reimburse providers of community-based services for certain COVID-19-related expenses they have incurred since the onset of the current public health emergency.  Eligible expenses can include costs for personal protective equipment, cleaning and infection control, and HIPAA-compliant technology to facilitate remote services.

Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) resources will be used to provide up to $25 million for the initiative, intended to assist home health, developmental disability, child welfare, and homeless service providers remain open and accessible during the pandemic.

The deadline for providers to submit reimbursement requests is November 13, 2020. Please note that this funding opportunity is available to Division day services providers who submit their re-opening attestation on or before October 23, 2020.
DHS/DDD providers should review the Information Regarding Coronavirus Relief Funding Available, which provides an overview and links to the following related documents:

Information about the initiative for DCF providers is available at DCF COVID-19 Resources for Contracted Providers.
Please share this important information with your networks.

October 19, 2020

Friends – NJ Human Services is here to help during these challenging times. Visit us at nj.gov/humanservices and share the attached  English and Spanish resources to help us help New Jersey’s families.

October 9, 2020

Just a few important reminders as we head into a long holiday weekend:

  • The deadline to register to vote in the November General Election is Tuesday, October 13. Visit the 2020 New Jersey Vote Information Portal for information about how to register, to register online, or to find out whether you are already registered.
  • The Census deadline is extended through October 31. If you haven’t already, please visit NJ Census 2020 to complete your census.
  • The NJ Department of Human Services has numerous COVID-related resources available to assist residents and their families:

Finally, the Division’s next bi-weekly COVID-19 Update webinar is Thursday, October 15, from 10:30 – 11:30 am. If you did not already register, you can register here for the October COVID-19 Update Webinars. (Registering once will register you for all webinars in October.)

October 8, 2020

I am pleased to share a new funding opportunity from our sister division, the NJ Division of Disability Services (DDS).

As announced in a Department of Human Services’ press release earlier this week, the intent of the DDS grant is to promote the creation of inclusive and healthy communities for people with disabilities. The DDS is accepting proposals for the new Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) Grant Program. Details are available in the DHS/DDS IHC Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability and Request for Proposals.

Interested applicants can learn more about the program and submit a proposal by visiting the Rutgers-DHS/DDS Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) Grant Program website.

Please share this important opportunity with your networks and colleagues.

September 30

As you may know, Division-funded congregates day service facilities began re-opening last week with limited capacity and in adherence to Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Requirements The Division wishes to express its deep appreciation to individuals, families, day and residential service providers and staff, and support coordinators for working together to ensure a safe and phased transition back to congregate day services. We continue to closely monitor this system-wide transition and remain prepared to make adjustments based on the evolving nature of the COVID pandemic.

The Division is pleased to announce the continuation of the temporary 20% supplemental payments to residential providers through October 31. In addition, the FY2021 State budget signed yesterday by Governor Murphy includes funding for a second $3-per-hour wage increase, from October 1 through December 31, 2020, for direct support professionals working in provider-managed residential settings that are claiming Individual Supports-Daily Rate.

For more information, please see the Division’s updated Temporary Residential Funding guidance and the Department of Human Services’ updated Notice of Temporarily Enhanced Residential Daily Rates.

As the November 3 elections draw closer, the Division is pleased to share the information below from Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ) outlining the free resources they have available to the New Jersey intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) community.

And finally, please make note of and share the reminder below about the Division’s next COVID-19 update webinar, which is scheduled for Thursday, October 1.

September 3

The closure of congregate day program facilities in March was an unprecedented step taken by the Division as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. We understand how challenging this closure has been for individuals, families and providers and are pleased to release this comprehensive Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Requirements document, together with the following related forms:

·Congregate Day Program Re-Opening Attestation
·Facility Readiness Tool
·Individual Needs and Risk Assessment
·Receipt of COVID-19 Information Form

The Division has also updated the following guidance documents:

·Residential and Day Program Screening Policy
·Residential Moves
·Temporary Service Modifications

Please note that all forms and documents are available on the DHS Coronavirus Information webpage, and please direct any questions to the Division’s COVID-19 Helpdesk at DDD.COVID-19@dhs.nj.gov.

September 2

DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar is September 3
There are two DDD COVID-19 update webinars scheduled for September:

  • Thursday, September 3 at 10:30 am
  • Thursday, September 17 at 10:30 am

REGISTER NOW for September COVID-19 Update Webinars<
If you already registered for the September webinars, you do not need to register again. Registering once will register you for both webinars in September.

August 31

Hello Division Constituents and Community Partners,
As day programs remain closed, the 20% enhancement to Individual Supports-Daily Rate to compensate for additional staff needed during the day is extended through September 30, 2020.
Residential providers in particular can review the Department of Human Services’ new Notice of Temporarily Enhanced Residential Daily Rates and the Division’s updated Temporary Residential Funding guidance.

August 25

Voting Safely in 2020 Webinars

To ensure that people with disabilities understand their right to vote and have the information they need to vote safely in the 2020 election, Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ) will be hosting two Voting Safely in 2020 webinars:

Thursday, August 27, 2 – 3 pm: REGISTER NOW
Tuesday, September 22, 1 – 2 pm: REGISTER NOW

REMINDER! DDD Bi-weekly COVID-19 Update Webinars: SEPTEMBER 2020

There are two DDD COVID-19 update webinars scheduled for September:

  • Thursday September 3 at 10:30 am
  • Thursday September 17 at 10:30 am

REGISTER NOW for September COVID-19 Update Webinars

If you already registered for the September webinars, you do not need to register again. Registering once will register you for both webinars in September.

August 19
On another important note, the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) has reached out to the Division of Developmental Disabilities for assistance in letting stakeholders know that NJCDD is seeking input on their

REMINDER! Next DDD Bi-weekly COVID-19 Update Webinar is August 20

The next live DDD COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for Thursday, August 20 at 10:30 am. If you already registered for the August webinars, you do not need to register again.Register Now for August COVID-19 Update Webinars

August 7
On another important note, the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) has reached out to the Division of Developmental Disabilities for assistance in letting stakeholders know that NJCDD is seeking input on their Five-Year State Plan for 2022–2026.

To assist in this effort, interested stakeholders are encouraged to visit NJCDD 5-Year Plan 2022–2026 to complete an online survey or learn about other ways to submit input. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact NJCDD by phone at 609.292.3325 or by email at njcdd@njcdd.org.   

August 7
The Division is pleased to release updated guidance on Temporary Service Modifications, which includes specific parameters and flexibilities around the delivery of modified services. Please review this updated guidance thoroughly, as it affects providers, individuals and families, and support coordinators.

Questions related to this updated guidance can be directed to the Fee-for-Service Helpdesk at DDD.FeeForService@dhs.nj.gov.

August 4
REMINDER! DDD Bi-weekly COVID-19 Update Webinars: AUGUST 2020

There are two DDD COVID-19 update webinars scheduled for August:

Thursday, August 6 at 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, August 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Register Now for AugustCOVID-19 Update Webinars

Please note this is a new registration link for the August webinars. Even if you registered for previous COVID-19 update webinars, you will need to register at the link above for the August webinars. Registering once will register you for both webinars in August.

JULY 30
As previously communicated, the $3-per-hour temporary wage increase for direct support professionals (DSPs) working in provider-managed residential settings will end on July 31, 2020.  As day programs remain closed, the 20% enhancement to Individual Supports-Daily Rate to compensate for additional staff needed during the day is extended through August 31, 2020.

Residential providers, in particular, should review the Department of Human Services’ new Notice of Temporarily Enhanced Residential Daily Rates and the Division’s updated Temporary Residential Funding guidance

JULY 23
The Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities is pleased to release updated Residential Visitation Guidance that now permits indoor visitation, when certain conditions are met, with family and friends of individuals who reside in provider-managed settings such as group homes. The Division’s Residential Screening Policy has also been updated to reflect this adjustment. 

Visitation will require an attestation from the residential provider, guardian consent, and each visitor to sign a visitor agreement ahead of their visit. These forms can be found below and are also available here: NJ Department of Human Services COVID-19 Information

Further adjustments to the policy will be made as more is learned about the virus. Please distribute this important information to your networks.

JULY 22
REMINDER! DDD Bi-weekly COVID-19 Update Webinar: July 23
The Division’s next bi-weekly COVID-19 update webinar is scheduled for July 23 at 10:30 a.m.
If you already registered for the July webinars, there is no need to register again for the July 23 webinar. If you are not already registered, please use the link below.  Register Now for July COVID-19 Update Webinars

JULY 15
NEW WEBINAR! Service Documentation for Self-Directed Employees (SDEs)

Maintaining service documentation is mandatory for providers of Division-funded services, including Self-Directed Employees (SDEs) enrolled in either the Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent model with Public Partnerships (PPL) or the Agency with Choice model with Easterseals.

This training webinar is intended to ensure that self-directed employees and those who hire them have an understanding of how to appropriately maintain service documentation. The Division strongly recommends SDEs and the individuals/families who employ them register and attend this webinar on Wednesday, July 22, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm:
Register Now for Service Documentation for SDEs Webinar

JULY 14
As you are aware, congregate day services remain closed.  Last week, the Division released important guidance related to provider payments for those settings.

Today, the Division is releasing State Supplemental Payments for Day Providers – Frequently Asked Questions, as well as an updated Attestation for Congregate Day Payments.  Updates include an extension of the deadline for receipt of Attestation to July 21, 2020 (email and hard due this date).  Agencies that previously submitted the Attestation must resubmit on or before this deadline.
Providers of Division-funded congregate day services (Career Planning, Community Inclusion, Day Habilitation, Prevocational Training-Group, and Supported Employment-Group) should carefully review this updated information:

JULY 8
Based on Governor Murphy’s travel advisory for people entering New Jersey from states with significant COVID-19 spread, the Division has updated its Residential Screening Policy. As indicated in that advisory, anyone visiting or returning from one of the identified states should quarantine for 14 days.
I also want to call your attention to new resources available from the federal government:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a new resource, Guidance for Direct Service Providers, which includes comprehensive information and guidance for direct support professionals who provide services to people with disabilities.
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released a new Provider Relief Fund Fact Sheetwhich includes specific guidance for providers applying for funds from the Medicaid and CHIP provider distribution of the Provider Relief Fund. Applications are due July 20, 2020. A HRSA webinar regarding this distribution is scheduled for today, Wednesday, July 8 at 4:00 pm EDT.

Please share the Division’s updated screening policy and these new federal resources with your networks.

JULY 7
While congregate day services remain closed, the Division is releasing this important, time-sensitive guidance related to provider payments for those settings. Providers of Division-funded congregate day services (Career Planning, Community Inclusion, Day Habilitation, Prevocational Training-Group, and Supported Employment-Group) should carefully review the following:

JULY 1
DDD Bi-weekly COVID-19 Update Webinars: July 2020

There are two DDD COVID-19 update webinars scheduled for July:

Thursday, July 9 at 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, July 23 at 10:30 a.m.

Register Now for July COVID-19 Update Webinars

Please note this is a new registration link for the July webinars. Even if you registered for previous COVID-19 update webinars, you will need to register at the link above for the July webinars. Registering once will register you for both webinars in July.

JUNE 30
On June 27th, members of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) ratified a COVID 2020 Emergency Agreement that furloughs many of its members an average of 10 business days between June 29 and July 24, 2020. This includes nearly 600 workers here at the Division of Developmental Disabilities, in our Community Services Offices.

It is important for you to know that the Division remains open and all operations are continuingdespite a reduced workforce over the next four weeks. Our priority, as always, is ensuring the health, safety and well-being of the individuals we serve. For vital issues, you may continue to call the Division Community Services office for your county or 1.800.832.9173. Please also note the Division’s 24/7 on-call system for emergencies remains active.

We ask for your patience and understanding during this time, as you may encounter slight delays to some inquiries. If you need assistance and are having trouble reaching Division staff, please email our Fee-for-Service Helpdesk at DDD.FeeForService@dhs.nj.gov.

JUNE 24
I am pleased to share two new COVID-related resources developed by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities:

This guidance about face masks will be particularly helpful as New Jersey moves forward with the COVID-19 Recovery and Re-Opening.

Another important resource, Your Options for Voting in the 2020 Primary Election>, is a one-pager developed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by our community partners, The Boggs Center, Disability Rights New Jersey, and the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities. It is important to note that, due to COVID-19, New Jersey’s 2020 Primary Election was delayed until July 7th.

Finally, a reminder that the Division’s bi-weekly COVID-19 update webinar will be held tomorrow, Thursday, June 25 at 10:30 a.m. If you already registered, you will receive a reminder email with login information and you do not need to re-register. If not, you can register now for the COVID-19 update webinar.

JUNE 22

REMINDER! DDD COVID-19 Update Webinar this Thursday, June 25

The Division’s COVID-19 update webinars have moved to a bi-weekly format for June, with webinars scheduled as follows:

Thursday June 11 at 10:30 a.m.
Thursday June 25 at 10:30 a.m.

If you previously registered for any of the weekly webinars, you will automatically receive a reminder on Wednesday – there is no need to re-register. If you did not previously register, you can register now for the DDD COVID-19 Update Webinars.

Please note that the 6/11 and 6/25 webinars will take the place of the quarterly update webinar that was originally scheduled for 6/17. The next DDD quarterly update meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

June 19, 2020
A Message from Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson

Friends:

As we look forward to this weekend and the opportunity to celebrate fathers and father-figures in our lives, we are pleased that the Division of Developmental Disabilities has been able to issue new guidance for beginning family visits at group homes starting this Sunday.

The guidance is specific about the screening and safeguards that must be in place for these outside visits to occur. And, agencies are working hard to prepare for these visits and will do their best to accommodate everyone they can.

Safety is our top priority — and we are anxious to ensure safe and enjoyable visits are able to start on Sunday. Masks must be worn. And social distancing must be practiced.

We know that the past several months have been difficult as visits have been curtailed. We thank you for your forbearance, and we thank residents for their patience and resilience during these unprecedented times.

For specific information related to this, please review our newly released Residential Visitation Guidance and our updated Residential Screening Policy.

Happy Father’s Day and stay well.

Best,
Carole Johnson

June 18, 2020
Dear Division Constituents and Community Partners,

On March 20, in response to the emerging COVID-19 public health emergency, the Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities issued visitation and screening guidance for provider-managed residential settings.

As COVID-related restrictions in New Jersey ease and the state moves forward with the Governor’s multi-stage recovery and re-opening plan, families are understandably eager to visit with their loved ones who are living in group homes, supervised apartments and other provider-managed residential settings.

Today, the Division is issuing an updated residential screening policy, as well as new residential visitation guidance.

The new guidance on visits with family and friends will go into effect on June 21, 2020, allowing time for providers time to prepare. Also, it is important to note that the new visitation guidance will be amended over time as we learn more about the virus.
Please share this information widely, and feel free to send any questions or concerns to the Division’s COVID-19 Helpdesk: DDD.COVID-19@dhs.nj.gov.

June 10, 2020
Hello Division Constituents and Community Partners,

Please see two important, time-sensitive announcements regarding potential funding assistance for providers.

  • The NJ Department of Human Services issued a press release today urging Medicaid and CHIP providers to review and apply quickly for the new $15 million in federal COVID-19 funding assistance. The full text of the press release is available below.

Please distribute this information to your networks.

May 29, 2020
Please review and share the following new and important COVID-19 resources:

Please also note the Division’s COVID-19 update webinars are moving to a bi-weekly format, with upcoming webinars scheduled for Thursday June 11 and Thursday June 25 at 10:30 a.m.  If you previously registered for any of the weekly webinars, you do not need to re-register. If not, you can register now for the COVID-19 update webinars.

May 21, 2020

Many of you are familiar with the Quick Guide for Families, a resource developed by the Division of Developmental Disabilities in 2017 in collaboration with the Regional Family Support Planning Councils that provided information about entering Division services through enrollment in the Supports Program.

I am thrilled to announce that the Quick Guide for Families has been updated and now provides condensed, easy-to-understand information from the policy manuals for both of the Division’s Medicaid waiver programs, the Supports Program, and Community Care Program.

As before, printed copies can be requested through the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD), using their Quick Guide Request web form. Please note that, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, NJCDD staff are working remotely and requests for printed copies will be fulfilled when NJCDD staff are able to return to the physical office.

A Spanish translation of the Quick Guide for Families will also be available soon.

This guide can be helpful for any family whose loved one will be entering Division services but is particularly valuable for middle and high school students with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families. Please share this updated resource with your networks, and encourage schools to make it available to students and their families.

May 14, 2020

Thank you for your help spreading the word about last night’s live discussion on NJ Human Services’ available supports and services during this challenging time.
Here is a link for a YouTube video of the entire discussion with CART captioning, as well as ASL interpretation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1vQaUhnJKs&t=2539s. Please feel free to share.
You can also find the video on our Facebook page at facebook.com/NJDHS/

ICYMI-NJ Human Service Informational Session

May 13, 2020

Struggling with basic needs during Covid19-LivestreamFacebook-NJDHS-May13-7pm

May 12, 2020

Struggling with basic needs during Covid19-LivestreamFacebook-NJDHS-May13-7pm

May 8, 2020

Thank you for your continued commitment to supporting the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities we mutually serve. I am truly humbled by the skill, patience and compassion you bring to the hard work you are doing each and every day. As you are caring for others, I hope you are remembering that your health and well-being are equally as important and I hope you are finding ways to take care of yourself.

Many of you have been asking questions about what the Division is doing related to 2020 graduates who will be seeking our services. I’m pleased to let you know about a webinar the Division has scheduled for May 19th that will provide information about this. Please see the detailed description and registration link below.

I also want to bring your attention to newly-updated information on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Social Security and COVID-19 page about the economic impact payments for SSA benefit recipients.

 

NEW WEBINAR! Transitioning into Adulthood – Information about DDD Services for the 2020 Graduates

Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Time: 
1:00 p.m.
Presenter: Jennifer Joyce, Director of the Division’s Employment and Transition to 21 Unit

This webinar will provide information about accessing the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) services for students exiting the school system. It will include an overview of DDD, information about the eligibility process, and accessing services. The discussion will also include information about services during the current situation related to COVID-19 and ideas of some planning that can be done during this time when we are staying at home.

REGISTER NOW for the Webinar

 

May 4, 2020

Public Charge Quick Guide

As we urge New Jerseyans across the state to take advantage of the various resources available to them through food assistance and other programs, we are aware that immigrant residents may be less likely to participate due to the fear created by the federal public charge policy. The Department of Human Services has created a quick guide to help residents make informed decisions for their families as it relates to public charge and public benefits.

It is important that families understand that they have access to some resources regardless of their immigration status, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. We hope this is helpful to the communities impacted. Thank you for your continued partnership.

April 29, 2020

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Support Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic
$24 Million in Temporary Wage Increases for Direct Support Professionals in Group Homes & Supervised Apartments; New Guidance for Hospitals on Families and Loved Ones
April 29, 2020
(TRENTON) – The Murphy Administration today announced $24 million in state and federal resources for temporary wage increases for the direct support professionals who care for adult individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in group homes and supervised apartments – $10.6 million in state funding and $13.4 million in federal matching resources.  With these funds, beginning May 1 the Department of Human Services will implement a temporary $3 per hour wage increase for these professionals for three months, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The Administration also announced new guidance to require hospitals to allow a designated support person to be with an individual with a disability during hospitalization.
            “Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in the community benefit from the dedicated work of direct support professionals who provide critical care and supports in group homes across our State,” said Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “Direct support professionals are essential workers ensuring that there is 24/7 support for some of our most vulnerable residents.  Their hard work with residents, who often have underlying health conditions, is making a tremendous difference at this critical time.  Today’s action is intended to recognize and value this essential work. With today’s hospital guidance, the Administration is also recognizing the critical role DSPs, families and guardians play in supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at this challenging time.”
Having a family member or other support person by your side while in the hospital can provide a reassuring and familiar presence during what may be a stressful situation,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “At the same time, through appropriate screening, we are continuing to maintain the safety of hospital staff and other patients.”
New Jersey Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities provides supportive services to about 8,000 adult individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in group homes and supervised apartments across the State.  These settings are staffed by direct support professionals (DSPs) who ensure that residents receive daily support with their needs and are able to achieve their personal goals. The wage increase will apply to DSPs in these settings, begin on May 1 and be in place for three months.
The New Jersey Department of Health also announced new guidance requiring hospitals to allow a designated support person to accompany an individual with a disability during a hospitalization despite other restrictions on visitors at this time.  The designated support person may be a family member, personal care assistant or another disability service provider and is subject to screening by the hospital and required to be asymptomatic for COVID-19.
Today’s announcements build on the steps the Administration has taken to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Human Services has:
·         Closed day programs where individuals participated in daily congregate activities to reduce risk;
·         Provided bridge payments to day program providers;
·         Enhanced payments to group home providers to allow them to bring in additional staff given the added time residents are at home;
·         Modified rules to quickly allow families and providers to hire workers to support their loved ones;
·         Restricted visitors to group homes to reduce risk;
·         Delivered PPE to group homes and supervised apartments, as well as family homes where aides come into the home;
·         Released guidance on requirements surrounding hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, and critical supplies for group home providers; and,
·         Worked proactively to address the critical needs of individuals during this unprecedented event.
The Administration understands that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities face particular challenges in this difficult time, including having their regular routines disrupted, being unable to participate in day programs and employment, and not being able to receive visitors in their homes.  These are tremendous challenges, and the Administration will continue to take all available steps to best support their needs in this very difficult time.

April 27, 2020

Most of you are already familiar with the wealth of information and resources available through The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, New Jersey’s University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service.
I want to bring your special attention to The Boggs Center COVID-19 Information and Resources page, and in particular to their Just In Time Webinar Series. This series was developed to assist providers, direct support professionals and other caregivers as they work to support the health and well-being of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I also want to share information about a national survey for direct support professionals (DSPs). The National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), in partnership with the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota, developed a survey to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the DSP workforce and identify the most effective ways to protect DSPs and the people they support. Please feel free to forward this survey to providers or other entities who employ direct support professionals. Survey answers will be anonymous.

April 22, 2020

We have been made aware that many people who registered for the Division’s COVID-19 Update webinar on Thursday received a reminder email identifying 2:30 GMT as the webinar start time. Since 2:30 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is 10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the reminder email is not actually wrong – just very confusing! The webinar does start at 10:30 a.m. EDT (New Jersey time).
Please note that clicking on the blue Join Webinar box in the reminder email you received should take you to a screen that identifies 10:30 a.m. as the start time, and should enable you to log in to the webinar on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. You do not need to re-register.
If, however, you did not previously register, please see the information below:
Event:   DDD Weekly COVID-19 Update Webinar
Date:    Every Thursday from 4/23/20 – 5/28/20
Time:    10:30 a.m.

April 15, 2020

We have been made aware that many people who registered for the Division’s COVID-19 Update webinar on Thursday have received a reminder email identifying 2:30 GMT as the webinar start time. Since 2:30 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is 10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the reminder email is not actually wrong – just very confusing! The webinar does start at 10:30 a.m. EDT (New Jersey time).
 
We are looking into why this glitch occurred. Please note, however, that clicking on the blue Join Webinar box in the reminder email you received should take you to a screen that identifies 10:30 a.m. as the start time, and should enable you to log in to the webinar on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. You do not need to re-register.
 
Please also see the announcements below about some new and updated guidance documents that are available on the NJ Department of Human Services Coronavirus Information page.

April 15, 2020

NEW! PPL Step-by-Step Process Documents for SDE On-Boarding During COVID-19
Based on stakeholder requests for clearer guidance, the Division worked with Public Partnerships LLC (PPL) to create documents outlining the temporary self-directed employee on-boarding process with PPL during the COVID-19 public health emergency:
 

 
UPDATED! Temporary Service Modifications Guidance
We understand there was some confusion around the announcement of the temporary availability of remote service delivery as an option during the COVID-19 emergency. Based on this, the COVID-19 Temporary Service Modifications guidance document was updated on 4/15/2020. The updated guidance reflects that the Division has not placed restrictions on one-to-one in-home supports, as long as the planning team has carefully considered the potential health risks and is in agreement with the continuation of in-home supports. The guidance related to remote delivery of services (via secure videoconferencing or telephone) was intended to convey the availability of remote service delivery as an option, not a requirement.
 

April 14, 2020

Last Thursday, we held the first of what is planned as a weekly webinar update to ensure that individuals, families, providers and other stakeholders receive the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 public health emergency as it relates to the Division of Developmental Disabilities.

Update webinars will be held Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. through the end of May, at which time we will review the need to continue holding weekly updates beyond May.
Register one time using the link below for all weekly update webinars from April 16 through May 28.

Event: DDD Weekly COVID-19 Update Webinar
Date: Every Thursday from 4/16/20 – 5/28/2
Time:    10:30 a.m.

Register for DDD Weekly COVID-19 Update Webinars (only register once)
Below are the links to the April 9 webinar slides and recording and the new guidance documents referenced in the webinar.

DDD Weekly COVID-19 Update (4/9 Webinar Slides)
DDD Weekly COVID-19 Update (4/9 Webinar Recording)
COVID-19 Temporary Provider Funding
COVID-19 Temporary Service Modifications

All webinars and guidance documents are available on the NJ Department of Human Services Coronavirus Information page.

April 9, 2020

DDD Update: COVID-19 Webinar Scheduled for Thursday, April 9
Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried will conduct a webinar on Thursday, April 9 to bring stakeholders up-to-date on Division guidance and information related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

DDD Update: COVID-19
Date: Thursday, April 9, 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location:Register for DDD Update: COVID-19 Webinar

NJ Self-Advocacy Project Announces Webinar Series to Assist Individuals with I/DD During COVID-19
The Division-funded New Jersey Self-Advocacy Project announced a new webinar series for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), Stay Healthy at Home: Living Your Best Life During Quarantine. Webinars will be held every Tuesday in April, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and registration links are available below.

April 7: Internet Safety for Students and Adults with I/DD
April 14: COVID-19 Information and Resources for Advocates
April 21: Healthy Communication and Staying Connected
April 28: Healthy Stress Management and Outdoor Safety Tips

Readoption with Amendments and Repeal
Notice of Readoption: N.J.A.C. 10:46CCommunity Care Program Waiting List Procedures, was published on the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Rule Adoptions page on April 6, 2020.

April 1, 2020

As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve in New Jersey and across the nation, staff from the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Division are working around the clock with our partners to ensure that individuals, families, providers and stakeholders receive the most up-to-date information. Please review the following new and updated guidance documents, which are also available on the DHS Novel Coronavirus Information webpage:

We encourage you to share this information with your networks and to continue to submit any non-health-related questions or concerns to the Division’s COVID-19 Helpdesk at DDD.COVID-19@dhs.nj.gov.

The Department and Division also wish to acknowledge the dedication and caring of our direct support professionals, families, community providers, developmental center staff, state staff and stakeholder community. We know it is your tireless hard work that is helping to move the people we serve through this difficult time.

March 30, 2020

UPDATED Residential Screening Policy

The COVID-19 Residential Screening Policy distributed by the Division on March 20 has been updated as of March 27. Residential providers should review the updated policy.

Two-Week Limited Extension of Payments for Day and Residential Providers
Impacted day and residential providers received a communication today with details about the Division’s two-week limited extension of payments, as follows:

  • Closed facility-based day providers will receive a retainer payment equal to 75% of the amount paid for the first two weeks. This is intended to assist with fixed facility and overhead costs, as well as supporting those staff who have not been redeployed to residential or in-home services.
  • The enhanced residential payment will remain the same. Providers should continue to bill the daily rate and should be able to demonstrate that they have arranged for additional staffing during the hours when day programs are closed and are meeting all licensing and program requirements.

REMINDER! Report COVID-19 Related Cases to DDD
Please note that instances of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in individuals served and provider staff must be reported to the Division of Developmental Disabilities via the standard incident reporting protocols.

Federal and State Assistance for NJ Businesses
The COVID-19 public health emergency is impacting many businesses, including community providers and vendors who provide services to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities in New Jersey. The following resources may be helpful:

NJCDD Grant Funding Available to Assist Individuals/Families Impacted by COVID-19

The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) is partnering with The Arc of New Jersey to process requests for emergency funding from any individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and any qualified community-based organizations that provide supports to people with I/DD who are affected by the statewide COVID-19 response. For information about funding criteria and request process, please visit NJCDD Emergency Funding to Maintain Health, Safety and Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

March 18, 2020

REMINDER! March 18 Quarterly Update Meetings via WEBINAR ONLY  No In-Person Meeting
The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) quarterly update meetings will be held Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Please note that the first webinar time slot has changed from previous meetings and is now 1-3 pm. Please also note that both meetings will take place this quarter via webinar – there is no in-person option. After clicking on the registration link, please select your preferred meeting time.

Quarterly Update Meeting for PROVIDERS, INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
Date: Wednesday, March 18  |  Time: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. |  Location: Webinar
Quarterly Update Meeting for INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
Date: Wednesday, March 18  |  Time: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.  |  Location: Webinar

REGISTER for Quarterly Update Webinar

March 16, 2020

FAQs on DDD Closures Related to COVID-19

As communicated on Friday, March 13, the Division of Developmental Disabilities has directed all facility-based day program settings to close and provider-facilitated community outings to be discontinued. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions on DDD Closures Related to COVID-19 for Individuals, Families and Providers document for the most up-to-date information.

A DDD help desk has been established for you to submit questions related to these closures and to DDD’s response to the COVID-19 situation: DDD.COVID-19@dhs.nj.gov.  Please do not submit health-related questions to this help desk, including questions about COVID-19 testing, treatment, etc. For health-related questions and concerns, please contact a health care professional or call 911. And please continue to utilize the following websites:

March 13, 2020

To: Individuals, Families and Stakeholders of the Division of Developmental Disabilities
DDD GUIDANCE: DAY PROGRAM CLOSURES & DISCONTINUED COMMUNITY OUTINGS RELATED TO COVID-19

Dear Individuals, Families and Stakeholders:

The highest priority of the Division of Developmental Disabilities is the health and safety of the individuals we serve. Early information on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) suggests that older adults and people with chronic or underlying health conditions have a heightened risk of getting very sick if they become infected. An important step to preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to eliminate large groups of people congregating together.

For this reason, DDD is calling for immediate actions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). No later than Tuesday, March 17, all Division-funded, facility-based day services have been directed to close until advised otherwise.

Additionally, the Division has directed that community outings facilitated by providers that are not for the health or safety of an individual should be discontinued immediately.

The immediate health and safety of the individuals we serve are our top priority, and we are committed to working with our individuals, their families, and provider community to identify the best available solutions to keep individuals safe.

We recognize that this guidance will raise immediate questions about service delivery and reimbursement. The Division will provide additional details over the weekend, but we wanted to get this message to you all as quickly as possible.  This is an evolving situation, we will stay in touch often, and we encourage stakeholders to monitor state and national public health websites for the most up-to-date information and guidance.

March 13, 2020

Updates Related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Governor Murphy announced administrative actions this week to waive consumer cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and testing-related services and enable NJ Medicaid beneficiaries to receive 90-day prescription refills for maintenance medications, in addition to a number of other steps. Please see the Governor’s press releasefor complete details, and the NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) Coronavirus webpage for details specific to people served by DHS and its divisions and offices.

In addition, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued guidance to help Medicare Advantage and Part D plans respond to COVID-19.

For up-to-date information and recommendations regarding COVID-19 in New Jersey and nationally, please visit these public health websites:

March 6, 2020

WEBINAR: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Update for Individuals, Families and Providers

Monday, March 9, 2020 | 3:00 p.m.
Register Here for the COVID-19 Webinar

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the respiratory illness caused by a new virus that first emerged in December 2019 and has since spread to at least 70 countries, including the United States. The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) is leading the state’s response to COVID-19 and is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For up-to-date information and recommendations, please visit the NJDOH coronavirus webpage and the CDC coronavirus webpage.

This webinar will provide an overview of what is known about COVID-19, methods of prevention to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease or becoming infected, and some planning/preparation tips that households and providers can consider.

The webinar can accommodate 1,000 attendees. If registration exceeds this capacity, we will schedule a second webinar later in the week.

To Subscribe to Division Update, send an email to DDD.Communications@dhs.nj.gov with Division Update Subscribe in the subject line.

March 2, 2020

NEW WEBINAR! OPIA REVISIONS to Risk Management System: Risk Indicator Report

Based on stakeholder input, the Department of Human Services Office of Program Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) is pleased to share with you the updated Risk Management System: Risk Indicator Report for DDD Licensed Providers. The webinar will  provide an overview of the OPIA Risk Management System and the newly integrated revisions.

Webinar: Overview of Revisions to the Risk Management System and Risk Indicator Report
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m.

Click Here to Register for the Webinar!

Revised reports covering the following time periods will be available on the DHS Risk Management System Risk Indicator Reports page in March 2020, and will be sent in advance of posting to DDD Licensed Providers:

  • July 2018 – June 2019
  • October 2018 – September 2019
  • January 2019 – December 2019

Proposed Readoption with Amendments

A Proposed Readoption with Amendments: N.J.A.C 10:46, Determination of Eligibility, was published on the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Proposed Rules and Amendments page on March 2, 2020. There is a 60-day formal public comment period, which ends May 1, 2020. Written comments may be submitted as follows

  • Electronically: DDD-CO.LAPO@dhs.nj.gov
  • USPS Mail: Carol Jones, Administrative Practice Officer, Division of Developmental Disabilities, PO Box 726, Trenton, NJ 08625-0726

Access the DDD_COMMUNICATIONS Home Page and Archives

February 11, 2020

I’m pleased to forward details about a free webinar being conducted on February 13 by The Arc and the National Disability Rights Network to discuss the 2020 Census and how it relates to the disability community. Please share this information with your colleagues and networks.

The Census and the Disability Community: Get Ready to be Counted!
Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 2 pm – 3 pm CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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