DVI of Lebanon County Deputy Director, Mike Ritter, discusses 24/7 support to victims of domestic violence.

Listen to DVI of Lebanon County, Inc. Deputy Director, Mike Ritter discuss the assistance that is available in Lebanon County for all persons of domestic violence. Domestic Violence occurs in every sector of life without regard to age, race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, income level or profession. DVI is available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week, 365 days a year to support the victim of domestic violence offering confidential assistance, safety, education, empowerment and advocacy. ALL services are free of charge and do not require health insurance.

ASA is Excited to Announce its Theme for 2021-2022 Advancing Economic Security

https://www.asaging.org/

Throughout this year, much of our programming and content will be viewed through the lens of advancing economic security for older adults. Learn more about ASA’s priority areas. To launch this year’s programming, we invite you to join Edward Jones CEO Ken Cella, MBA, and Ken Dychtwald, PhD, to learn about the second stage of their joint research project on retirement.

The Four Pillars of the New Retirement, What a Difference a Year Makes

Getting to Know Bellomo & Associates

Bellomo & Associates LLC is located in York, PA and able to service clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Attorney Jeff Bellomo shares in this interview how Bellomo & Associates can help you in their specialties of estate planning, asset protection, wills and trust planning, powers of attorney, elder law, Medicaid application, qualification and crisis planning as well as special needs, disability planning and veterans’ benefits. Bellomo has recently added a Client Care Advocate Social Worker to assist with the integration of health-related issues into the estate and transition process. Bellomo has several free videos on its website, “bellomoassociates.com,” to assist in an awareness of these vital legal services.

Resources for Advocates Serving Older Immigrants

Many older immigrants face barriers to accessing services and public benefits, as well as immigration law challenges. As new immigrants from Afghanistan are arriving in the United States this month, aging services advocates and legal assistance providers can play a role in helping older immigrants navigate these barriers to critically needed services and explain their rights. Immigration status generally determines eligibility for benefits programs and services, such as cash assistance and health insurance. Some Afghans may qualify for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and others may be seeking refugee status. Aging services and legal assistance providers might find it helpful to reach and assist older immigrants through partnerships with resettlement agencies and similar organizations aiding in the resettlement efforts. Here are some resources for advocates to help deliver trauma-informed services and better understand eligibility issues, available services, and asserting language access rights:

NCLER: Access to Public Benefits for Older Immigrants (webinar recording and Chapter Summary)
NCLER: Language Access Rights: Tips for Advocates of Limited English Proficient Older Adults
NCLER: Trauma-Informed Lawyering
Justice in Aging: Older Immigrants and Medicare
Social Security Administration: Spotlight on SSI Benefits for Noncitizens
HealthCare.gov: Health Coverage for Immigrants
Immigrant Legal Resource Center: Public Charge Resources
National Immigration Law Center: Overview of Immigrant Eligibility for Federal Programs and Overview Table National Immigration Law Center: FAQ- Eligibility for Assistance Based on Immigration Status

September 3 – Lebanon Partners meeting cancelled

Please be advised that the Friday, September 3 meeting of the Lebanon County ADRC partners meeting has been cancelled due to a conflict in scheduling. We will reschedule Jessica Kemp in the near future. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Public Hearing TODAY!!

Below you will find a link for public hearing taking place today and instructions on how to access it.  The hearing is regarding Maximus and the issues with them.  I apologize for the late notice as this is happening today at 12:30.  There are several AAA’s testifying.   

This link takes you to the PA Senate Health and Human Services Committee page, below upcoming meetings is the Monday meeting.  To the right of the meeting notice is a (LIVE STREAMED).  Click on that to watch the hearing

Resources for Veterans

Veterans from all eras are reacting to the events in Afghanistan, such as the U.S withdrawal and the takeover by the Taliban. Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service. It’s normal to feel this way. Talk with your friends and families, reach out to battle buddies, connect with a peer-to-peer network, or sign up for mental health services. Below is a list of resources available to you.
Veterans Crisis Line If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255, then PRESS 1 or visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/

For emergency mental health care, you can also go directly to your local VA medical center 24/7 regardless of your discharge status or enrollment in other VA health care.

Service Access and Management (SAM) Crisis Line of Berks County- If you are experiencing crisis call 610-236-0530, 24/7.

Vet CentersDiscuss how you feel with other Veterans in these community-based counseling centers.

70% of Vet Center staff are Veterans. Call 1-877-927-8387 or find one near you.

VA Mental Health Services Guide – This guide will help you sign up and access mental health services.

MakeTheConnection.net – information, resources, and Veteran to Veteran videos for challenging life events and experiences with mental health issues.

RallyPoint – Talk to other Veterans online. Discuss: What are your feelings as the Taliban reclaim Afghanistan after 20 years of US involvement?

Download VA’s self-help apps – Tools to help deal with common reactions like, stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) –  Request a Peer Mentor

VA Women Veterans Call Center – Call or text 1-855-829-6636 (M-F 8AM – 10PM & SAT 8AM – 6:30PM ET)

VA Caregiver Support LineCall 1-855-260-3274 (M-F 8AM – 10PM & SAT 8AM – 5PM ET)

Together We ServedFind your battle buddies through unit pages

George W. Bush Institute – Need help or want to talk? Check In or call:1-630-522-4904 or email: checkin@veteranwellnessalliance.org

Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes – Join the Community

American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver NetworkPeer Support and Mentoring

Team Red, White & BlueHundreds of events weekly. Find a chapter in your area.

Student Veterans of AmericaFind a campus chapter to connect with.

Team RubiconFind a local support squad.

Lebanon County Christian Ministries

Lebanon County Christian Ministries assists people in need of emergency services such as food, clothing and shelter. Download their brochure below.

Medical Assistance Amendment Gives People with Mobility Impairments Greater Access to their Communities

https://www.phlp.org/en/news/medical-assistance-amendment-gives-people-with-mobility-impairments-greater-access-to-their-communities

Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) has amended the state’s Medical Assistance plan to cover removable medical equipment for children and adults with mobility impairments. Removable medical equipment is necessary to the health and wellbeing of individuals with disabilities as it can support activities of daily living and help an individual enter or exit their home, facilitating greater engagement with their community. 

The new coverage is part of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by Disability Rights Pennsylvania on behalf of a class of children in the state’s Medical Assistance program. The plaintiff class alleged that DHS violated the Social Security Act by denying requests for removable medical equipment. Further, the suit alleged that DHS failed to inform the plaintiff class of the availability of such equipment under Medicaid and even led youth, hospitals, equipment vendors, families, advocates, and others to believe that such devices were not covered. As detailed in the resulting settlement, the state’s Medical Assistance plan has updated the definition of covered home health services to explicitly include wheelchair lifts, ceiling lifts, stair glides, metal accessibility ramps, and other such equipment that can be reused and removed without damage to the item. 

The amendments, which are applicable to all Medical Assistance recipients regardless of age, have been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for coverage retroactive to April 1, 2020. Considering this, PHLP encourages individuals who have previously applied for and been denied removable medical equipment to reapply for approval with an updated letter of medical necessity from their physician. For those who denied after April 1, 2020 but have since paid out-of-pocket for removable medical equipment, this amendment may open the door for individuals to submit a claim for reimbursement from the state. 

While this update increases access to necessary devices for individuals with mobility impairments, there are still gaps in coverage. Although the update includes coverage for certain elements of the installation process of these devices, the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance program does not cover home modifications outside of waiver services. This means that when a structural change to the home, like electrical updates or demolition of existing structures, is required for proper installation of removable medical equipment the beneficiary will have to pay for that service as separate from the installation. 

For more information on the new Medical Assistance coverage and questions about how to apply for removable medical equipment, please call PHLP’s Helpline at 1-800-274-3258 or email us at staff@phlp.org.  

For more information about the lawsuit and settlement agreement, contact Disability Rights Pennsylvania by calling 1-800-692-7443, Option 6, or sending an email to equipment@disabilityrightspa.org

ACL Policy Update: What the Changes in the “Public Charge” Immigration Rule Mean for the Aging and Disability Networks



July 30, 2021

Summary: Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rescinded the “public charge” rule implemented in 2019. This means that receiving or applying for most Medicaid benefits, public housing, or nutrition assistance are no longer grounds for denying an individual seeking a visa to come to the United States or to become a lawful permanent resident. Services provided through ACL’s programs, and medical treatment or preventive services for COVID-19, including vaccinations, also will not count against people seeking legal entry to the country.

Background

The “public charge” doctrine allows U.S. immigration officials to bar a person from getting a visa or becoming a lawful permanent resident if they are determined to be likely to become a “public charge,” meaning a person who is likely to primarily rely on the government for assistance. This long-standing policy was put into immigration law in the 1990s. In 1999, Interim Field Guidance clarified that this policy applies only to immigrants likely to become dependent on direct cash assistance, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or to individuals who rely on Medicaid-financed “long-term institutionalization,” such as a nursing or psychiatric facility.

The Trump administration issued a new public charge rule in 2019 to significantly expand the policy to include anyone who lawfully used virtually any public benefit for more than 12 cumulative months over any 36-month period. For example, enrollment in Medicaid for acute medical care or for home and community-based services (not just institutional care), or receiving housing or nutrition assistance, could all be used to designate a person as a “public charge” and deny them a visa or permanent legal residency.

What Changed

One of the first executive orders issued by President Biden directly addressed immigrant access to public benefits and the public charge rule. Implementation of the order caused a series of actions by DHS and the Department of Justice that ultimately resulted in the 2019 rule being removed from the Code of Federal Regulations, and DHS announced in March that it would revert to 1999 Interim Field Guidance.

In an April letter to interagency partners, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also stated that “medical treatment or preventive services for COVID-19, including vaccinations, will not be considered for public charge purposes. This policy will help ensure that noncitizens are able to access important government services for which they may be eligible.”

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued an informational bulletin reminding state Medicaid agencies that they may not share information with immigration officials about an person’s Medicaid coverage (or application) for the purposes of a public charge determination.

Looking Ahead

The 2019 Public Charge Rule had a chilling effect on immigrants accessing benefits to which they are legally entitled – research has shown that immigrant families have avoided both programs specified in the 2019 rule and those outside the rule for fear of immigration-related consequences. It created particularly devastating consequences for older adults and people with disabilities, who often rely on Medicaid to stay healthy and to live in their communities. That’s why sharing information about the changes is so critical.

As trusted messengers in your communities, the aging and disability networks have a particularly important role to play in dispelling fear and confusion. Please help spread the word that using public benefits to which people are entitled (with the longstanding exception of cash assistance and Medicaid-funded institutional care) will not adversely affect the immigration status of older adults and people with disabilities.

We will continue to keep you updated about policy changes like this one as they arise.

https://acl.gov/news-and-events/acl-blog/acl-policy-update-what-changes-public-charge-immigration-rule-mean-aging