Division of Developmental Disabilities Resources

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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

2023

January 31, 2022

!!UPDATED!! – Community Care Program and Supports Program Manuals

The Division has updated program manuals for its Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers, the Community Care Program and Supports Program.  A summary of all changes can be found on page two of each respective manual, with detail in the respective section indicated.  The February 23rd DDD Update Webinar (Registration link found here) will provide a detailed overview of the changes.  While all updates are important, the Division wishes to highlight the below change that will be of interest to Support Coordinators and individuals utilizing Self-Directed Employees (SDEs).

Self-Directed Employee (SDE) Wages – To date, the Division’s policy had been that SDE wages were to be Reasonable and Customary – being between the prevailing minimum wage and $25 per hour, with wages above that range being permitted in limited circumstances.  Those limited circumstances were not sufficiently detailed so Section 8.3.2.0.1 and 8.3.2.0.2 have been added program manuals to better detail how SDE wages are arrived at.  In summary, the new policy still allows the Reasonable and Customary wage range of the prevailing minimum wage to $25 per hour.  However, it now details two additional defined Enhanced Reasonable and Customary wage ranges depending on the documented needs of the individual and education of the SDE.  Please see the Community Care Program or Supports Program Manual for more detail.

Each manual can be found at (Please hit Refresh on your browser to be sure you are viewing the most recent version):

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for Thursday, February 23, 2023

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, February 23rd at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the February Webinar.

Webinar dates for 2023 can be found on our Public Update Meetings website, with registration available for January through September. Sign up for DDD Email Updates

January  18, 2022

!!NEW!! Webinar – DHS OPIA Introduction to the DDD Licensed Provider Report Card

Effective February 1, 2023, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of Program Integrity and Accountability is replacing the current Risk Management Report with a newly designed, user-friendly Report Card. This webinar will introduce the Report Card and it’s components. The target audience is the DDD stakeholder community, licensed community providers and individuals/families residing in DHS licensed settings.

Monday, January 23, 2023 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Register here

January  6, 2022

!!NEW!! DDD is Currently Conducting the 2022-2023 NCI In-Person Survey

We are pleased to share that in 2023 the Division will again administer National Core Indicators (NCI) surveys for individuals and their families and guardians. Beginning in this month, Division staff will begin outreach to individuals and families to request voluntary participation in one of the following surveys:

  • In-Person Survey – 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.

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January  6, 2022

!!NEW!! – Message from the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services

The Division is re-broadcasting the below message from the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS).  The message explains that beginning April 1, 2023 all States, including New Jersey, are required to resume their Medicaid Eligibility Processes.  The Division recommends that stakeholders review this material, especially the Frequently Asked Questions found at the Community Toolkit link below.

Dear NJ FamilyCare community,

I hope you have enjoyed a happy and healthy holiday season.  As many of you know, we had been anticipating an announcement from the federal government about the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).  Late in 2022, we began to hear that Congress might separate the Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement from the ongoing PHE – and they in fact did so in late December, in the omnibus spending bill signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022.  As a result, while the PHE continues, states are now required to resume Medicaid eligibility processes beginning April 1, 2023

We are anticipating guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in early January, and we will be prepared to share an update with you at our February 1 meeting of the Medical Assistance Advisory Council.  We will also be updating our StayCoveredNJ website, removing references to the end of the PHE and clearly stating the April 1 date for when eligibility processes will resume.  Please visit our Community Toolkit page for posters in English, Spanish, and 19 other languages.

In the meantime, here are the two most important things for our NJ FamilyCare members to know:

  • Make sure NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid has your correct mailing address
    • Members can confirm or update their contact information by calling NJ FamilyCare at 1-800-701-0710 (TTY: 711). NJ FamilyCare will use this information to communicate with members about their healthcare coverage.
  • Respond to mail from NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid
    • Members need to look for and respond to mail from the State of New Jersey or their local County Board of Social Services. If NJ FamilyCare requests information, they need to respond right away to avoid a gap in their NJ FamilyCare coverage.

On behalf of the whole DMAHS team, I wish you happiness and health in 2023.  We look forward to working together with you to serve people the best way possible in the months ahead!  

Jennifer Langer Jacobs (she/her)
Assistant Commissioner, Division of Medical Assistance & Health Services
NJ Department of Human Services

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2022

December 13, 2022

!!REMINDER!! – NJ Minimum Wage Law

In February 2019, Governor Murphy signed New Jersey’s Minimum Wage Law which requires a minimum hourly wage of $15 to be implemented statewide by 2024.  The next incremental increase of $1.13 takes effect on January 1, 2023.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE: NJ MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES TO:
Jan. 1, 2023 $14.13 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 law and make whatever wage adjustments are needed to be in compliance.
  • Individuals who receive DDD-funded services from a self-directed employee (SDE) 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 $14.13 by January 1, 2023. 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 $14.13 per hour beginning January 1, 2023.

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December 6, 2022

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for Thursday, December 15, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, December 15th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the December Webinar.

Webinar dates for 2023 can be found on our Public Update Meetings website, with registration available for January through September. Sign up for DDD Email Updates

The Division is releasing Frequently Asked Questions: FY2023 DSP & Supervisor Rate Increases in advance of January 1, 2023 in order to address questions around when these rates will be increased and how these increases will be reflected in DSP and Supervisor wages.  The FY2023 Rates will be posted shortly.

November 23, 2022

!!New!! Frequently Asked Questions: FY2023 DSP & Supervisor Rate Increases

Effective January 1, 2023, certain fee-for-service Medicaid rates will receive an upward adjustment to increase Direct Support Professional (DSP) and Supervisor wages. At that time, all individuals enrolled in a fee-for-service program (Supports Program and Community Care Program under Fee-for-Service) will see an increase in their budget to accommodate this.

The Division is releasing Frequently Asked Questions: FY2023 DSP & Supervisor Rate Increases in advance of January 1, 2023 in order to address questions around when these rates will be increased and how these increases will be reflected in DSP and Supervisor wages.  The FY2023 Rates will be posted shortly.

November 23, 2022

!!TRAINING OPPORTUNITY!! Mealtime Safety and Documentation

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is pleased to offer individuals, families, support coordinators, service providers and other interested stakeholders training opportunities on Mealtime Safety and Documentation.  This training will be offered twice in December 2022.  Interested persons can register using one of the below links:

·       Mealtime Safety and Documentation – December 12, 2022 10am to 11:30am
·        Mealtime Safety and Documentation – December 20, 2022 10am to 11:30am

November 15, 2022

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for Tuesday, November 15, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the November Webinar.

The link to register for the December DDD Update Webinar is below.  Please note that the December webinar will occur on the third Thursday of December.

Webinar dates for 2023 can be found on our Public Update Meetings website, with registration available for January through September.

October 11, 2022

!!NEW!! – Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services Releases the Statewide Transition Plan for Public Comment

In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to ensure that Medicaid’s home and community-based services (HCBS) programs provide beneficiaries full access to the benefits of integrated community living and person-centered care.  Known as the HCBS Settings Rule, the rule was established to support the delivery of high quality HCBS in state Medicaid programs and to provide certain protections to participants.  In describing the rule’s intent, CMS emphasized individuals having full access to the benefits of community living and the opportunity to receive services in the most integrated setting.

The Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) has released the updated Statewide Transition Plan for public comment.  The Statewide Transition Plan, including Addendums, describes how New Jersey will comply with the HCBS Settings Rule and can be found on the DMAHS Statewide Transition Plan Website.  Alternatively the link to the public notice and current Statewide Transition Plan can be found here.

Other helpful links:

Public comment can be submitted to DMAHS.HCBS-Settings-Rule@dhs.nj.gov through November 7, 2022.

October 11, 2022

Human Services Virtual Budget Listening Session

Thursday, November 3, 2022, 1 p.m.
New Jerseyans can offer verbal or written testimony to inform the Department of Human Services budget for 2023-24.

To accommodate as many speaks as possible, verbal testimony can be no more than 3 minutes.

Email humanservices@dhs.nj.gov for a time slot reservation. Include your full name, phone number and organization, if applicable. Sign language and captioning will be provided. Please note any other accommodations needed to participate in your email.

September 29, 2022

!!NEW!! – Office of Program Integrity and Accountability Releases Update on Employee Onboarding

Effective September 28, 2022, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide expedited approval of emergency hiring requests for direct support professionals and self-directed employees through December 31, 2022. Please note that effective October 15, 2022, DHS will revert to normal pre-employment drug testing procedures.

Please see the Employee Onboarding Information Bulletin for more information.

September 26, 2022

!!UPDATE!! Updated Participant Rights and Responsibilities Form

The Division of Developmental Disabilities has updated the Participant Rights and Responsibilities Form.  The updated form is to be used in place of the older version at all future Annual ISP Meetings.  Please be sure to overwrite/replace any older versions of the form your organization may using.

·        Participant Rights and Responsibilities – English
·        Participant Rights and Responsibilities – Spanish

September 22, 2022

!!TRAINING OPPORTUNITY!! Mealtime Safety and Documentation

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is pleased to offer individuals, families, support coordinators, service providers and other interested stakeholders a training on Mealtime Safety and Documentation.  It will be held on September 30, 2022 from 10am to 11:30am.  Interested persons can register using the link below:

·        Mealtime Safety and Documentation – September 30, 2022 10am to 11:30am

September 22, 2022

Advance Notice of Proposed Readoption with Amendments Announced

An Advanced Notice of Proposed Readoption with Amendments: N.J.A.C. 10:48ABackground Checks, was published on the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Public Notices site on September 22, 2022.  There is a 30-day informal public comment period, which ends October 22, 2022. 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

September 19, 2022

!!NEW!! Save the Date!  Home and Community Based Services and the Statewide Transition Plan

Please Join Us On September 30th from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM For A Webinar Regarding New Jersey’s Statewide Transition Plan (STP) to Meet Federally Mandated Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) requirements.

This webinar is designed to provide Individuals and their Family Members/Caregivers, Providers, Support Coordinators and other interested stakeholders with an overview of the HCBS federal mandate.  Topics will include information on our State’s STP, what you can expect, next steps, and frequently asked questions. 

Please register for the September 30, 2022 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM webinar here.

In advance of the webinar, here are some helpful links:

Please help us by e-mailing any questions you may have about the STP to our HCBS helpdesk at DDD.HCBSHelpdesk@DHS.NJ.GOV. This will help us make sure we cover areas of interest and help guide the general discussion.

September 20, 2022

!!UPDATE!! Office Of Licensing Information Bulletin

The DHS Office of Program Integrity and Accountability’s Office of Licensing has released an update to its Information Bulletin on Privacy in Residential Living Spaces.  This update provides a compliance date of December 1, 2022 for Residential Service Providers and Community Care Residence Providers.  Please review the September 20, 2022 updated Privacy in Residential Living Spaces Information Bulletin for more information.

September 19, 2022

!!UPDATE!! – Community Care Program and Supports Program Manuals

The Division has updated program manuals for its Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers: The Community Care Program and Supports Program.  A summary of changes can be found on page two of each respective manual.  An overview of changes will also be provided during the September 22, 2022 10:30am DDD Update Webinar.  Below are direct links to each manual (Please be sure to REFRESH your web browser to ensure you see the new version!):

September 16, 2022

!!NEW!! COVID-19 Vaccination for Residents and Staff of Congregate Residential Settings

The Division of Developmental Disabilities continues its partnership with Walmart for COVID-19 Vaccination. This is open to eligible individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI) living in congregate residential settings, as well as their staff. All approved COVID-19 vaccines (i.e. all manufacturers – primary series and boosters) are available. Please note that eligible residents and staff are not limited to only using Walmart for vaccination.

Please see COVID-19 Vaccination for Residents and Staff of Congregate Residential Settings for more information.

September 15, 2022

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for September 22, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, September 22nd at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the September Webinar.

DDD Update Webinars for the remainder of the calendar year are below.  Please note that for November and December, the webinars will not occur on the typical fourth Thursday of the month.  Please note the dates as appropriate.

September 15, 2022

!!UPDATE!! Revision to NJDOH Executive Directive 21-011

In accordance with Executive Order 294, which continues to direct that COVID-19 vaccination is required for staff working in specific covered settings, the New Jersey Department of Health released Executive Directive No. 21-011 (2nd Revised) on September 2, 2022. 

This Directive clarifies that the testing frequency for staff granted an exemption from vaccination is based on the CDC Community Transmission Levels (which are different from the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels).  The transmission level information is also included in the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Weekly Surveillance Report under Community Transmission Levels used for Healthcare Settings (Typically found on page four). 

Please review Executive Directive No. 21-011 (2nd Revised) for complete information.

August 26, 2022

!!NEW!! Administrative Order 2:05 “Incident Reporting and Management”

 The Department of Human Services’ Office of Program Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) is pleased to announce the release of the updated Administrative Order 2:05 – Incident Reporting and Management and the revised Incident Reporting Levels and Categories Grid.  OPIA will be providing two webinar opportunities for interested stakeholders where an overview of these documents will be provided.  This will include detail on updated incident reporting codes, categories, and definitions.

Available webinar opportunities:

·  Tuesday, September 6, 2022 from 9:30 to 11:30am. Register here for the September 6th webinar at 9:30am.
·  Wednesday, September 7, 2022 from 1pm to 3pm. Register here for the September 7th webinar at 1pm.

 For more information, please visit the OPIA Critical Incident Management Unit webpage.

August 24, 2022

!!New!! Family and Provider Relations

In an effort to ensure communication and obtain feedback, the Division interacts regularly with various stakeholders (E.g. Individuals, Guardians/Families, Advocacy Groups, Service Providers, etc.) to exchange information.  Through this interaction, various subject areas are discussed.  One topic communicated to the Division by some families is their experience or fear of retaliation by the service provider of their loved one if they a lodge complaint about care.  The Division convened a small group of families and service providers to discuss this topic.  Please see Family and Provider Relations for more information.

August 23, 2022

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for August 25, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, August 25th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the August Webinar.

August 4, 2022

!!New!! Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule

The Department of Human Services is pleased to release two new resources for service providers to assist in compliance with the HCBS Settings Rule.

This guide will assist service providers with information, best practices, and examples to assist in HCBS compliance.

This Information Bulletin outlines requirements for licensed community residences. Service Providers must ensure that individuals who reside in provider owned or controlled settings have the means to lock/unlock their homes and bedroom doors so that they have privacy in their residential living spaces.

Additional information on the HCBS Settings Rule can be found at:

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August 2, 2022

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for August 25, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, August 25th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the August Webinar.

August 1, 2022

!!NEW!! DSP Support Professional Competency Survey

Earlier this year the Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division), in partnership with The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, launched the Money Follows the Person Direct Support Professional (DSP) Competency and Capacity Building Steering Committee.  This committee has been formed to establish a competency-based Career Pathway for DSPs employed by Division Service Providers across the state.  In support of the Steering Committee’s work and to help inform their recommendations, interested stakeholders are asked to complete the below anonymous survey on DSP competency.  It is open through August 17, 2022.

he Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers RWJMS, in collaboration with the Division of Developmental Disabilities, is seeking input from the New Jersey disability community to learn about the skill and competency needs of NJ’s Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). 

The New Jersey developmental disability community is encouraged to participate in this opportunity by completing a survey. The information obtained will be used to inform the recommendations made by the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities Money Follows Person (MFP) DSP Competency and Capacity Building Steering Committee and to help in the development of a Statewide Career Pathway for Direct Support Professionals.

The online survey can be found at: https://rutgers.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3k447ahjAe4Isxo [r20.rs6.net]

The deadline for completion is Wednesday, August 17, 2022. We appreciate the time you take to complete this important survey.

July 27, 2022

!!NEW!! – NJ Heightened Scrutiny Review – Request for Public Comment

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for July 28, 2022
DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, July 28th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the July Webinar.

July 22, 2022

!!NEW!! – NJ Heightened Scrutiny Review – Request for Public Comment

The Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) is requesting Public Comment on Heightened Scrutiny Review as part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Final Settings Rule.  This rule requires that Medicaid’s home and community-based services (HCBS) programs provide beneficiaries full access to the benefits of integrated community living and person-centered care.

Public comment is being sought for the sites that require Heightened Scrutiny, the tools that will be used, and the process by which the Department of Human Services is conducting this review.  The request for Public Comment is published on the DMAHS Public Notices website.  A direct link to the notice can be found here.  Public Comment  may be submitted to DMAHS.HCBS-Settings-Rule@dhs.nj.gov through August 19, 2022.

Additional information on the Home and Community Based Settings Rule can be found at:

July 18, 2022

!!NEW!! – FY23 Individual Supports Rate Increase

As part of the FY23 Budget, Individual Supports (Residential) rates are increasing.  The required Public Notice of this rate increase was published July 15, 2022.  For more information, including information on claiming, please review the below document:

July 13, 2022

!!NEW!! – Grant Program to Provide Technology Tools

The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center, in partnership with the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, is excited to offer a grant program designed to provide technology tools for individuals to support independence and community involvement.  Requests are limited to electronic devices to support the needs of adults (21 and over).  The deadline to apply is September 15, 2022.  Interested persons are encouraged to apply early funds are limited. 

For more information, and to complete an application, please click here.

July 13, 2022

NJ Human Services Commissioner Adelman Announces New Additions to Senior Leadership Team

(TRENTON) – Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced new additions to and reorganization within the Department’s senior leadership team, including the naming of three new Deputy Commissioners.

“I am deeply grateful for the hard-working and compassionate leaders and employees across Human Services who work every day to help others, and who make it possible for our Department to provide life-enhancing services and programs to one in three New Jersey children, and one in four adults,” Commissioner Adelman said.  “And I’m thrilled to announce the expansion of the Department’s senior leadership team under a new structure and to welcome our newest team members. Each of these leaders bring diverse experiences and expertise to our Department, they are passionate about our mission, and I look forward to all we will accomplish together for the residents of New Jersey.”

Lisa Asare has joined the Department as Deputy Commissioner of Health Services overseeing the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, which administers NJ FamilyCare, and the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and will lead the Department’s work on First Lady Murphy’s Nurture NJ maternal health initiative. Asare will also support the Catastrophic Illness in Children’s Relief Fund.

Asare comes to Human Services from the Department of Health, where she was Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Family Health Services. Asare oversaw units that provide public health programs and services, including Maternal and Child Health, Special Child Health, Early Intervention Services, WIC Nutrition Services and SNAP-Ed. This work included addressing Black infant and maternal mortality through the First Lady’s NurtureNJ plan.

Also joining the Department, Kaylee McGuire will serve as Deputy Commissioner for Aging and Disability Services overseeing the Division of Aging Services, the Division of Disability Services, the Division of Developmental Disabilities and will support the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Office of the Public Guardian.

McGuire comes to Human Services from Governor Murphy’s office, where she led on the administration’s health and human services policy agenda and COVID-19 response efforts as a Senior Policy Advisor. Before joining the Murphy Administration, Kaylee served as a health policy analyst in the Assembly Majority Office under Speaker Craig Coughlin, and formerly held a management role at one of the largest pediatric rehabilitation systems in the nation.

They join Elisa NeiraDeputy Commissioner for Social Services, who has been with Human Services since 2018 and continues to oversee the Office of New Americans, the Division of Family Development, the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Neira will also serve as the Department’s liaison for county human services directors.

Chief of Staff Andrea Katz will become Deputy Commissioner of Operations overseeing human resources and employee relations, department operations, legal and regulatory affairs, facilities, the Office of Emergency Management and the Human Services Police.

Katz has served as chief of staff at Human Services since 2018 and has spent most of her professional career working in human services policy and legislative affairs as associate general counsel at the Assembly Majority Office and chief of staff for Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle. Katz also worked in private practice as an attorney.

Deputy Chief of Staff Jonathan Chebra will become the department’s Chief of Staff.  Chebra joined Human Services in 2020 and he will continue to oversee legislative affairs, policy, outreach and constituent relations.

Previously, Chebra worked for the New Jersey Hospital Association, Assembly Health Chairman Herb Conaway, M.D. and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Eric Kaufmann, Director of Special Projects, will become Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. In this role, Kaufmann will support the Commissioner’s priorities and will oversee the offices of Research, Evaluation and Special Projects; Information Systems; and Boards and Commissions. Kaufmann began his career at the Office of Management and Budget in 2005 and joined Human Services in 2010, where he has worked in various finance, operations and policy roles, including as the Department’s assistant chief financial officer.

Also recently joining Human Services as deputy policy directors are Vineeta Kapahi who comes to Human Services from New Jersey Policy Perspective and Michael Petruzzelli from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

Commissioner Adelman said the new additions and promotions strengthen a senior executive team that includes:

  • Office of New Americans Executive Director Johanna Calle;
  • Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Executive Director Dr. Bernice Davis;
  • Chief Financial Officer Brian Francz;
  • Director of Communications Tom Hester;
  • Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Executive Director Elizabeth Hill;
  • Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs Gerard Hughes;
  • Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Langer Jacobs;
  • Division of Family Development Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson;
  • Human Resources Director Denise Meckel;
  • Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke;
  • Division of Disability Services Executive Director Peri Nearon;
  • Director of Appointments, Boards and Commissions Adam Neary;
  • Office of Program Integrity and Accountability Deborah Robinson;
  • Division of Aging Services Director Louise Rush; and
  • Division of Developmental Disabilities Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried.

July 12, 2022

!!NEW!! – 988 Suicide and Crisis Line Number Available July 16, 2022

Starting July 16, 2022, New Jerseyans will be able to use 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  988 will be available for call, text, or chat to those experiencing a mental health-related or suicidal crisis, or those looking to help a loved one through a crisis. The existing Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255, will continue to be available.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available to persons of all abilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).  The Division of Developmental Disabilities, and other governmental Departments, have worked with 988 to provide disability specific service information and other available resources.  This will equip 988 to meet the presenting need of the caller and, as appropriate, connect them with other appropriate resources depending on their unique needs.

Providers rendering services to persons with IDD and/or TBI are reminded that 988 is distinct from 911.  Under Danielle’s Law P.L. 2003, c.191, 911 must continue to be called in any situation where a prudent person could reasonably believe a life threatening emergency exists.  More information on Danielle’s Law can be found here.

For more information about 988, please visit the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline website.  Additionally, a helpful Frequently Asked Questions document for persons with IDD can be found here.

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June 23, 2022

!!NEW!! – Office of Program Integrity and Accountability Releases Update on Employee Onboarding

Effective June 29, 2022, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide expedited approval of emergency hiring requests for direct support professionals and self-directed employees through September 30, 2022. Please see the below document for details.

Sign up for DDD Email Updates

June 23, 2022

!!NEW!! Day Services Rate Increase

On October 1, 2021, Day Services Rates (i.e. Career Planning, Community Inclusion Services, Day Habilitation, Prevocational Training – Group and Individual, and Supported Employment – Group and Individual) were increased due to one-time funding.  The amount of the increase was calculated using projections that did not meet actual utilization of services.  To correct this moving forward the Division will increase day service rates by an additional 3% effective July 1, 2022.  Notice of rate increase has been published on the Public Notices section of the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services website.  A direct link to the notice can be found here.

!!UPDATE!! Temporary Service Modifications

The Temporary Service Modifications document has been updated.  The policy contents are unchanged from the November 2021 release outside of updating dates.  This document describes how referenced service modifications, including virtual services, will continue to be in place until six months after the Federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends.  Presently, the Federal PHE is scheduled to end on July 15, 2022, but may extend further.  Please be advised that policy adjustments are under review related to the long term continuation of Virtual Goods and Services.

!!REMINDER!! NCI Staff Stability Survey 2021

In April 2022, provider agencies who employ direct support professionals received an invitation along with instructions from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) to participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) Staff Stability Survey – 2021.  Invitations were sent to the provider email address associated with the iRecord.  The NCI Staff Stability Survey is open until June 30th, 2022.  It is critical that all eligible provider agencies complete this survey as it provides critical data on Direct Support Professional wages in New Jersey.

If your organization has not received an invitation to participate or needs assistance please contact DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.

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

!!NEW!! The NJ Department of Community Affairs Announces Open Enrollment for State Rental Assistance Program Waiting Lists

The State of New Jersey Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) is a state funded program that provides housing subsidies on behalf of very low-income New Jersey residents, for decent, safe and sanitary housing. Persons applying must meet all applicable SRAP income and eligibility requirements. A total of 4,000 households will be selected through a lottery system to be added to the waiting lists.  Eligible populations are elderly, family, homeless and disabled households.  The enrollment period is Monday, July 11, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. until Friday, July 22, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

Please visit DCAs SRAP webpage for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

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June 21, 2022

!!NEW!! – Proposed Amendments to Licensing Regulations for Residential Settings

The Department of Human Services has published proposed amendments to the three regulations governing different licensed settings.  These are:

• N.J.A.C. 10:44A – Community Residences for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.  This is the regulation that impacts persons living in group homes and supervised apartments funded by the Division of Developmental Disabilities;
• N.J.A.C. 10:44B – Manual of Standards for Community Care Residences.  This is the regulation that impacts persons living in Community Care Residences funded by the     Division of Developmental Disabilities;
• N.J.A.C. 10:44C – Standards for Community Residences for Persons with Head Injuries.  This is the regulation that impacts persons living in settings for persons with    Traumatic Brain Injury.

The Department is proposing amendments to update the rules governing these Community Residences to be consistent with best practices and to include provisions for the Fee-for-Service Initiative; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ guidelines for funding; the Central Registry of Offenders against Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (N.J.S.A. 30:4D-77); P.L. 2017, c. 328 (an act concerning background checks and licensing of certain entities); Stephen Komninos’ Law (P.L. 2017, c. 238); and updated organizational changes.  To that end, the Department is proposing substantive amendments to these chapters.

The rule proposals are available online on the Department of Human Services’ Proposed Rules and Amendments website, or can be found in the New Jersey Register’s June 20, 2022 edition, 54 NJR 1117(a); 54 NJR 1137(a); and 54 NJR 1146(a).

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments during the public comment period which is open through August 20, 2022.  Comments are to be submitted in writing during that time period and be directed to:

Douglas Swan
Office of Program Integrity and Accountability Department of Human Services
PO Box 700, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0700
Doug.Swan@dhs.nj.gov

June 8, 2022

!!NEW!! – Enhanced Funding for Day Services Reconciliation

On October 1, 2021, Day Services Rates (i.e. Career Planning, Community Inclusion Services, Day Habilitation, Prevocational Training – Group and Individual, and Supported Employment – Group and Individual) were increased due to one-time funding appropriated to the Division’s FY22 budget, as outlined in Payments for Day Services. As part of the rate increases, a portion was delivered as an Enhanced Rate requiring a monthly reconciliation.  Further, due to the nature of the increase and one-time legislative language, all underspent funds must be distributed by the Division to service providers rendering the aforementioned services. To address, the Division will administer a proportional one-time lump sum payment to providers of the projected underspent funds.

The below referenced document describes the manner in which final reconciliations will occur and the one-time lump sum payment will be calculated and released.

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June 8, 2022

!!Reminder!! DDD Prevention Bulletins

The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) is sending this important reminder to caregivers of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  There are certain medical conditions that can quickly lead to deterioration in health, or even death, in persons with IDD if left untreated.  Ensuring that caregivers are aware of them, know the signs that they are occurring, and what to do is paramount in ensuring quality care for persons with IDD.

The Division, for several years, has had a DDD Prevention Bulletin Series available to educate caregivers on these conditions.  All caregivers, especially service providers, are directed to these bulletins so that their staff are educated in these important areas.  Below are direct links to each bulletin:

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June 3, 2022

!!REMINDER!! NCI Staff Stability Survey 2021

 In April 2022, provider agencies who employ direct support professionals received an invitation along with instructions from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) to participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) Staff Stability Survey – 2021.  Invitations were sent to the provider email address associated with the iRecord.  The NCI Staff Stability Survey is open until June 30th, 2022.  It is critical that all eligible provider agencies complete this survey as it provides critical data on Direct Support Professional wages in New Jersey.

If your organization has not received an invitation to participate please contact DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.
Please see the Division’s NCI Staff Stability Overview for more information.

!!REMINDER!! DDD is currently conducting the 2021-2022 NCI In-Person Survey

The Division is once again virtually conducting the NCI In-Person Survey (IPS), for individuals 21 and older who are receiving at least one Division-funded service in addition to Support Coordination.  The 2021-2022 NCI IPS will be administered through June 30, 2022.

Please see the Division’s NCI In-Person Survey Overview for more information.
Questions regarding the NCI Staff Stability Survey or NCI In-Person Survey can be directed to DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for June 23, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the June Webinar
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June 3, 2022

!!UPDATE!! – Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Licensed Providers of Services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

On May 25, 2022 and in accordance with P.L. 2021, Chapter 292, the NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) published an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Licensed Providers of Services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (EPRP) on its website. This document is available to each unique Licensed Service Provider (LSP) to assist them in developing an EPRP that will address the specific needs, geographic area and population they serve. An LSP is any entity licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by DHS to provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

A webinar for impacted LSPs was held on June 2, 2022 at 10am.  The EPRP, webinar recording, and webinar slide deck can be found here.

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May 25, 2022

!!NEW!! – Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Licensed Providers of Services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

In accordance with P.L. 2021, Chapter 292, the NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) has published an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Licensed Providers of Services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (EPRP) on its website (Please see the Developmental Disabilities section of the DHS COVID-19 Information Page). This document is available to each unique Licensed Service Provider (LSP) to assist them in developing an EPRP that will address the specific needs, geographic area and population they serve. An LSP is any entity licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by DHS to provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

A webinar for impacted LSPs will be held on June 2, 2022 at 10am.  This webinar will provide an overview of the EPRP and provide an opportunity for questions and answers.  Please register for this webinar here.

May 23, 2022

!!REMINDER!! Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for May 26, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 26th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the May Webinar

May 16, 2022

!!Follow Up!! – Extension deadline is fast approaching for Applicable Self-Directed Employees (SDEs) with PPL to Complete All Mandated Trainings  

As communicated through a DDD Communication on April 27, 2022, the Division of Developmental Disabilities has permitted a one-time extension for SDEs with PPL who have exceeded the six-month timeframe to complete all mandated trainings.  Specifically, all SDEs who have been employed six (6) months or longer as of May 31, 2022 must complete all mandated trainings by that date.  All other SDEs have six (6) months from date of working/providing services to complete all mandated trainings. 

The deadline for compliance continues to be May 31, 2022.  Any impacted SDE not in compliance with the above requirements will be unable to process timesheets after May 31, 2022.  Employers of Record (EORs) who have SDEs and use PPL should ensure that their SDEs are up to date with trainings, with proper documentation having been submitted to PPL, to avoid any issues with timesheet processing.

If you are an EOR and are unsure if this has been completed, please reach out to PPL’s Customer Service; Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm EST, by phone: 1-844-842-5891 (English) / 1-844-842-5892 (Spanish), or E-mail: njddd-cs@pcgus.com.

Please see the below documents for additional details:

May 11, 2022

Human Services Announces New Help Line for Caregivers of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Caregivers Can Call 833-NJ-ADULT (833-652-3858) Daily from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

(TRENTON) – Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced a new help line available to support caregivers of adult individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Caring for a loved one with an intellectual or developmental disability is an incredible responsibility, and sometimes it presents challenges that can leave a caregiver feeling uncertain, frustrated or alone,” Commissioner Adelman said. “When an individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities is transitioning to adulthood, navigating those changes can sometimes feel like starting over. Caregivers of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities should know they are not alone. We are excited to offer a place for parents to call to speak with other parents who have navigated the transition to adulthood with their own children and have shared similar worries and pressures.”

In partnership with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, help and support is available to caregivers of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities at 1-833-NJ-ADULT (1-833-652-3858) daily from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A messaging system monitors for caregiver crisis-level calls that may need an after-hours return call.

The new MOM2MOM NJ Adult help line is an expansion of the MOM2MOM help line that has been helping caregivers of children with special needs since 2015.

“Callers will receive support from a parent of an individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities – someone whose understanding and knowledge comes from having gone through similar experiences,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried, who leads the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). “Please don’t hesitate to call. Help is available.”

DHS recognizes the challenges parents of adults with disabilities face. In addition to this help line, the Department offers a wide array of services to support adults with disabilities and their families, including assistive technology, behavioral supports and employment assistance. For more information about DDD services, click here.

In addition to peer support, callers to the help line also can receive clinical assessments and referrals to professional mental health resources.

Please note that this new help line is for caregiver support only.

If an individual receiving DDD services is experiencing a crisis, please contact Crisis Assessment Response and Enhanced Services (CARES) through Trinitas Regional Medical Center Behavioral Health at 1-888-393-3007, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

May 4, 2022

REMINDER Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for May 26, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 26th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the May Webinar

May 2, 2022

Updated! Individualized Support Plan (ISP) Worksheet for Residential Providers and ISP Worksheet for Day Habilitation Providers

The referenced ISP worksheets are completed by providers and sent to Support Coordinators to ensure that an individual’s supervision and support needs are included in the Individualized Service Plan (ISP). In addition to other minor revisions, the ISP Worksheet for Residential Providers and the ISP Worksheet for Day Habilitation Providers were both modified to include enhanced mealtime supervision and support needs, community integration, and a section for Home and Community Based Settings Modifications.  

Updated! ISP Revision and Notification Form

The ISP Revision and Notification Form is used by Residential and Day Habilitation Providers and sent to the Support Coordinator to convey all needed changes to the ISP, such as changes in services, support needs, health, nutrition and/or to document Planning Team (PT) Meeting Minutes for issues that come up during the plan year.  A new feature is that this form may also be used as a mechanism for written notification to the Support Coordinator of content changes to the ISP that do not require a formal meeting.  Examples may include a change in prescription medication, adaptive equipment, etc.  

New! ISP Signature Page Frequently Asked Questions

An ISP Signature Page Frequently Asked Questions document is available to help determine when a new ISP signature page is required. 

All of the above documents are available for immediate use and can be found on the Division’s  Support Coordinator Information web page under Support Coordination Documents and Forms.

April 27, 2022

NEW – Extension for Applicable Self-Directed Employees (SDEs) with PPL to Complete All Mandated Trainings

The Division of Developmental Disabilities has permitted a one-time extension for SDEs with PPL who have exceeded the six-month timeframe to complete all mandated trainings.  Specifically, all SDEs who have been employed six (6) months or longer as of May 31, 2022 must complete all mandated trainings by that date.  All other SDEs have six (6) months from date of working/providing services to complete all mandated trainings. Please see the below documents for details.

April 21, 2022

NEW – Office of Program Integrity and Accountability Releases Update on Employee Onboarding

Effective April 20, 2022, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide expedited approval of emergency hiring requests for direct support professionals and self-directed employees through July 1, 2022. Please see the below document for details.

April 21, 2022

REMINDER Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for April 28, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 28th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the April Webinar

April 13, 2022

!! REMINDER !! Walmart COVID-19 Vaccine/Booster Program for Residents with IDD, TBI, and Their Staff

The Division is sending this communication to remind residents and staff in Congregate Residential Settings that they can receive COVID-19 vaccination and/or booster doses (including an additional booster for eligible persons) through Walmart as described in Walmart COVID-19 First, Second, Third/Booster Vaccine Program for Residents with IDD, TBI and Their Staff.

Walmart will provide COVID-19 vaccination at 34 of its New Jersey locations for this program.  Vaccination can only be scheduled by the residential service provider calling their preferred participating Walmart to schedule their residents and/or staff.  When making contact, they will need to identify themselves as an IDD or TBI Disability Service Provider, communicate the names of those to be scheduled and whether they are a resident or staff person.

Residential providers, residents and families should review the Walmart COVID-19 First, Second, Third/Booster Vaccine Program for Residents with IDD, TBI and Their Staff overview document for important details on logistics and documentation requirements.

March 25, 2022

The NCI Staff Stability Survey 2021 is almost here!

On April 1st, 2022, provider agencies who employ direct support professionals will receive an invite along with instructions from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) Staff Stability Survey- 2021.  Invitations will be sent to the provider email address associated with the iRecord.  Provider agencies can take part in the NCI Stability Survey through June 30, 2022. It is critical that we hear from as many members of the DDD Provider Community as possible to ensure valid results. We are counting on your participation!

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

Reminder…DDD is currently conducting the 2021-2022 NCI In-Person Survey!

The Division is once again virtually conducting the NCI In-Person Survey (IPS), for individuals 21 and older who are receiving at least one Division-funded service in addition to Support Coordination.  The 2021-2022 NCI IPS will be administered through June 30, 2022.

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

Questions regarding the NCI Staff Stability Survey or NCI In-Person Survey can be directed to DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.

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March 24, 2022

!! UPDATED !! – Residential and Day Program Screening Policy

In response to the easing of COVID-19 related requirements, the Division has updated its Residential and Day Program Screening Policy.  This policy eases masking and social distancing requirements in certain circumstances and can be used by Residential and Day Providers serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or traumatic brain injury.  This updated policy supersedes and replaces the previous stand-alone documents entitled Guidance for Residential Providers on Visits with Family and Friends and Congregate Day Program COVID-19 Operating Requirements.  Please review the full policy here:

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March 16, 2022

REMINDER Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for March 24, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 24th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the March Webinar

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March 4, 2022

!! IMPORTANT !! Executive Order 290 Updates Timelines of COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Staff in High Risk Congregate Settings for People with I/DD and TBI

On March 2, 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 290which updates and clarifies timeframes for requiring covered workers at health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including having received a booster shot. This impacts many settings, including but not limited to: licensed community residences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) (e.g., group homes and supervised apartments); certified day programs for individuals with I/DD and TBI; and Support Coordination Agencies.

All covered workers employed in high risk congregate settings must now submit proof that they are up to date with their vaccination by May 11, 2022, including any booster for which they are eligible. Workers who become newly eligible for a booster shot after the May 11, 2022 deadline will be required to submit proof of their booster shot within three weeks of becoming eligible.  The previous date was March 30, 2022.

Executive Order No. 290 also requires a covered setting to take the first step toward bringing a noncompliant covered worker into compliance as part of the disciplinary policy required by Executive Order No. 283 (2022) within two weeks of the May 11, 2022 deadline.

Please review Executive Order No. 290 for full detail.

March 3, 2022

!!NEW!! Office of Prevention of Developmental Disabilities –  Request for Letters of Interest

The Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities, Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities (OPDD) is extending its deadline for the submission of letters of interest associated with its Fiscal Year 2023 Request for Letters of Interest (RLI).  This RLI is intended to solicit innovative ideas from vendors that will assist DHS in reducing the incidence of intellectual and developmental disabilities (“IDDs”) in New Jersey.


REMINDER Next DDD Update Webinar Scheduled for March 24, 2022

DDD’s next Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 24th at 10:30 am. Use this link to Register for the March Webinar

January  28, 2022

!! NEW !! – Agency with Choice Self-Directed Employee (SDE) Model Available to All Eligible Individuals February 1, 2022

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division) is pleased to announce that, starting February 1, 2022, the current Agency with Choice (AWC) SDE Model will be available for all eligible individuals to choose from!  The Division has offered the Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent (VF/EA) model with Public Partnerships LLC (PPL) as the fiscal intermediary for several years while the AWC model with Easterseals NJ as the fiscal intermediary was primarily available to those transitioning to Fee-For-Service.  Now that this process is complete, enrollment into the AWC SDE Model will be open to all eligible individuals.  Please note that there are no changes to the VF/EA model and those using it do not need to take any action.

Individuals are encouraged to discuss all service options with their support coordinator and choose what is right for them.  These include more traditional provider managed services, as well as SDE models.  There are differences between the two SDE models available.  These include, but are not limited to: who is identified as the employer of record; the availability of employer-sponsored health benefits and associated contribution; etc.  The below links contain more detail on this as well as other helpful information.

If an SDE model is selected by the individual, their support coordinator can select either VF/EA or AWC within the iRecord and electronically transmit the appropriate referral.  Please note that any goods and services (e.g., classes, gym memberships, etc.) an individual uses will run through the fiscal intermediary used for their SDE services.  If an individual only uses goods and services and does not utilize SDEs, the VF/EA model will continue to be used.

Enrollment into the AWC model is completely voluntary and the option is available to provide expanded choice and support for those who use SDEs, or are considering doing so.

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January  24, 2022

NEW – Office of Program Integrity and Accountability Releases Information Bulletin

Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases and the associated impact on employee onboarding, effective January 20, 2022, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide expedited approval of emergency hiring requests for direct support professionals and self-directed employees for 90 days. Please see the below document for details.

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January  20, 2022

!! IMPORTANT !! Executive Order Tightens COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Staff in High Risk Congregate Settings for People with I/DD and TBI

On January 19, 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 283, requiring covered workers at health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings to be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including having received a booster dose. This impacts many settings, including but not limited to: licensed community residences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) (e.g., group homes and supervised apartments); certified day programs for individuals with I/DD and TBI; and Support Coordination Agencies.

All covered workers employed in high risk congregate settings have until February 16, 2022 to obtain their first dose of the primary series of a COVID-19 vaccination and submit proof that they are up-to-date with their vaccination by March 30, 2022.  Additionally, covered workers currently submitting to COVID-19 testing pursuant to Executive Order No. 252 should continue to submit to testing once or twice weekly until they submit adequate proof that they are up-to-date with their vaccinations.

Covered workers will no longer be permitted to submit to testing as an alternative to vaccination, except for circumstances where an exemption from vaccination is granted by their employer for a qualifying medical disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or sincerely held religious belief pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Covered workers granted an exemption must continue testing once or twice weekly as required by Executive Order No. 252, released in the Summer of 2021.

Please review Executive Order No. 283 for full detail.

Federal Government to Provide Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

Residential households in the U.S. are able to order one set of 4 free at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 tests from USPS.com. There is a limit of one order per residential address and shipping is free.  Eligible households are encouraged to obtain COVID-19 tests so they are available if needed.  Please visit https://www.covidtests.gov/ for more information.

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January  5, 2022

!! REMINDER !! Walmart COVID-19 Vaccine/Booster Program for Residents with IDD, TBI, and Their Staff

As originally announced in October 2021, the Division is sending this communication to remind residents and staff in Congregate Residential Settings that they can receive COVID-19 vaccination and/or booster doses through Walmart as described in Walmart COVID-19 First, Second, Third/Booster Vaccine Program for Residents with IDD, TBI and Their Staff.

Walmart will provide COVID-19 vaccination at 34 of its New Jersey locations for this program.  Vaccination can only be scheduled by the residential service provider calling their preferred participating Walmart to schedule their residents and/or staff.  When making contact, they will need to identify themselves as an IDD or TBI Disability Service Provider, communicate the names of those to be scheduled and whether they are a resident or staff person.

Residential providers, residents and families should review the Walmart COVID-19 First, Second, Third/Booster Vaccine Program for Residents with IDD, TBI and Their Staff overview document for important details on logistics and documentation requirements.

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