RSA-227 - Annual Client Assistance Program (CAP) Report

Maryland (MARYLAND DIVISION OF REHAB SERVICES -- CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM) - H161A130021 - FY2013

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameMaryland Division of Rehabilitation Services -DORS
Address2301 Argonne DR
Address Line 2
CityBaltimore
StateMaryland
Zip Code21218
E-mail Addresscap@dors.state.md.us
Website Addresshttp://www.dors.state.md.us
Phone(410)554-9361
TTY
Toll-free Phone1-800-638-6243
Toll-free TTY
Fax410-554-9362

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameMaryland Division of Rehabilitation Services -DORS
Address2301 Argonne DR
Address Line 2
CityBaltimore
Zip Code21218
E-mail Addresscap@dors.state.md.us
Website Addresshttp://www.dors.state.md.us
Phone(410)554-9361
TTY
Toll-free Phone1-800-638-6243
Toll-free TTY
Fax410-554-9362

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorTom Laverty
Person to contact regarding reportTom Laverty
Contact Person Phone410-554-9363

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act677
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA0
3. Other information provided0
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)677
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)77

B. Individuals served

An individual is counted only once during a fiscal year. Multiple counts are not permitted for Lines B1-B3.

1. Individuals who are still being served as of October 1 (carryover from prior year)17
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year103
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)120
4. Individuals (from Line B3) who had multiple case files opened/closed this year. (In unusual situations, an individual may have more than one case file opened/closed during a fiscal year. This number is not added to the total in Line B3 above.)0

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 18

D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files

Choose one primary reason for closing each case file. There may be more case files than the total number of individuals served to account for those unusual situations, referred to in Line I.B4, when an individual had multiple case files closed during the year.

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor73
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)7
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual16
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution6
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP0
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

N/A

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual21
2. Application for services completed.2
3. Eligibility determination expedited4
4. Individual participated in evaluation8
5. IPE developed/implemented29
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party17
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office19
8. Alternative resources identified for individual2
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made0
10. Other0
11. Other (please explain)

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

As of the beginning of the fiscal year. Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. 21 and under14
2. 22 - 4042
3. 41 - 6459
4. 65 and over5
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)120

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female57
2. Male63
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)120

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race3
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American67
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1
6. White46
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown2

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)4
2. Other visual impairments2
3. Deafness6
4. Hard of hearing4
5. Deaf-blind1
6. Orthopedic impairments18
7. Absense of extremities3
8. Mental illness46
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation3
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)12
12. Neurological disorders9
13. Respiratory disorders0
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions1
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive1
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)7
20. All other disabilities3
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)120

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program11
2. Clients of VR Program107
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program2
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act0

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only119
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only1
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources0
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information0
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor14
3. Conflict about services to be provided38
4. Related to application/eligibility process16
5. Related to IPE development/implementation52
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related0
8. Related to Title I of the ADA0

H. Types of CAP services provided

Choose one primary CAP service provided for each case file/service record.

1. Information/referral2
2. Advisory/interpretational24
3. Negotiation58
4. Administrative/informal review15
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing2
7. Legal remedy1
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

B. Sources of Funds Expended The information detailed in this section and the next was provided by the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) Branch Chief for Fiscal Operations. FEDERAL FISCAL YEAR 2013 SOURCE OF FUNDING TOTAL EXPENDITURES SPENT ON INDIVIDUALS Federal Funds 183,311 State Funds 0 All Other Funds 0 Total from all sources 183,311 C. Budget for Current and Following Fiscal Years The CAP budget detailed in Section II C reflects the application of funds expected to be received from the federal formula grants. CATEGORY STATE FISCAL ‘14 STATE FISCAL ‘15 WAGES & SALARIES 113,723 113,554 FRINGE BENEFITS - FICA, UNEMPLOYMENT, ETC. 58,259 14,231 MATERIALS/SUPPLIES 3,000 3,000 POSTAGE -0- -0- TELEPHONE 1,000 1,000 RENT -0- -0- TRAVEL 6,225 6,225 COPYING 5,000 5,000 BONDING/INSURANCE 61 61 EQUIPMENT RENTAL/PURCHASE 1,218 1,218 LEGAL SERVICES 25,677 32,000 INDIRECT COSTS 0 0 MISCELLANEOUS* (includes interpreter services) 2,656 6,000 TOTAL BUDGET 216,819 182,289 D. Person —Years Professional: There were two (1.80) full-time permanent, professional position dedicated to the delivery of CAP services during FY 2013. A CAP employee left on July 24, 2012 and a new CAP employee began on December 12, 2012. Total Professional Person Years: 1.80 Clerical: 0 CAP received no clerical support during FY 2013. Total Professional and Clerical Person Years: 1.83 E. Summary of Presentations 18 information and outreach efforts were made regarding the services provided by the Maryland Client Assistance Program and the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services during FY 2013, reaching approximately 300 individuals. Attendees included a diverse mixture of individuals with disabilities, family members, rehabilitation professionals, and other interested parties. CAP presented to new vocational counselors with the Division of Rehabilitation Services at the Workforce and Technology Center (WTC) as a guest speaker as part of their initial training about the services provided by the Division of Rehabilitation Services. CAP attended all 5 of the Public meetings conducted by the Division of Rehabilitation Services as part of the development of the Division’s yearly State Plan, and discussed CAP services. Approximately 91 individuals were in the audience of these public meetings. CAP attended numerous meetings of the Statewide Independent Living Council, and the IL Partners meetings, as staff support to assist in the development and improvement in the SILC, and periodically discussed CAP information and provided advocacy related input. Approximately 12 individuals attended each of these meetings. One presentation was made to the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council (MSRC) regarding the CAP FY 2012 Annual Report, as well as systemic advocacy issues. This presentation addressed approximately 25 individuals/council members and meeting attendees. CAP presented at the Office of Administrative Hearing to the Administrative Law Judges that hear the appeal cases brought by clients or applicants to the Division of Rehabilitation Services. This presentation addressed approximately 60 individuals and covered the structure and services provided by the Client Assistance Program, the Division of Rehabilitation Services and the Maryland State Rehabilitation Counsel. F. Advisory Boards The CAP Director has an active role on the Maryland State Rehabilitation Council (MSRC). The CAP Council member serves on two sub-committees, the Public Relations and Quality Assurance subcommittee, and the Policy and Planning subcommittee. The CAP Director is the Committee Chair of the MSRC Policy and Planning committee. The CAP Director and CAP Specialist also serve on the DORS Policy Review Committee, where policy issues are examined and debated. This membership facilitates CAP input into the policy development process. The CAP Director served on the DORS and State Rehabilitation Council committee that conducted the development and completion of the State Wide Needs Assessment that is required under the Act. G. Outreach to Un-served and Underserved Populations CAP attended all scheduled MSILC meetings to provide outreach to IL consumers, applicants, and referral sources. CAP attended all DORS Public Meetings for purposes of outreach to attendees. These meetings are attended by both stakeholders, and clients and families. H. Systemic Advocacy CAP has significant opportunity to advocate for consumers on a systemic level as a member of the Division of Rehabilitation Services’ Policy Review Committee. Additionally, the CAP Director has frequent contact and ready access to all members of the DORS Executive leadership and administration for purposes of systemic advocacy. CAP participation on other committees listed in section F also allowed for CAP to have significant input into systemic advocacy issues. CAP systemic advocacy issues during FY 2013 included: 1. Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) funding and budget issues were the priority systemic advocacy issue for CAP in FY 2013 as they had been for the previous year; those serious concerns are anticipated to continue into FY 2014. Currently, individuals classified as having a significant disability have an approximate 23 month wait for services. The waiting list is now primarily a matter of human resource limitations, as well as budget, because of state government budget problems and resulting hiring delays and restrictions for all state agencies. The financial limitations that exist at both a Federal and State level as well as human resource limitations within the State have had an effect on all aspects of the rehabilitation process from the application for services to the successful closure of the record of services. The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services endeavors to make the resources that they have available impact as many individuals as possible and in doing so, it seems that some consumers may not receive important client services or there may be a delay in service provision. The provision of client services has also been affected by the Division’s change in instituting Regional control over client services funding. This may be affecting how counselors view the available resources in high service need areas of the State where allotted budgets may be quickly depleted. J. Interesting Cases 1. An 18 year old young man who was transitioning from High School to adulthood and his parents contacted the Client Assistance Program and requested information and possibly help in resolving funding issues that they were having with the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) for him to attend college courses. The young man had questions about the amount of funding he might be able to arrange to receive from DORS for the cost of tuition, books and supplies, room and board, and attendant care while attending school out of state. He was receiving the amount of funding that it would cost him for tuition and books and supplies to attend a Community College in Maryland from DORS. A review of the DORS case file for this individual showed that he had completed an Individualized Plan for Employment with a vocational goal of becoming an Actuary. The funding that was to be provided by the Division towards the first 60 credits of the training needed to reach this goal was based on the cost of an individual attending Montgomery College. Montgomery College is a Community College located in Montgomery County Maryland. This individual was attending a College in another State in a degree program that allowed him to become an Actuary after completing a Bachelor of Science Degree instead of having to complete a Master’s of Science program. The Client Assistance Program reviewed the Division of Rehabilitation Services’ policy regarding funding for college tuition at programs in another State as well as their policy regarding funding tuition at a rate consistent with the cost at a four year institution. These two issues were discussed with the Division in light of this individuals circumstances and the Division agreed to adjust their funding level upward to better meet the needs of this individual. 2. A 46 year old male client of the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) contacted the Client Assistance Program (CAP) after filing an appeal of a denial of service by his Vocational Specialist at DORS related to his plan to start his own business. He requested assistance with legal representation from CAP that he would require as the appeal process with DORS proceeded. The Client Assistance Program reviewed this individual’s case file with DORS and found that he had been found eligible for services from the Division and had completed an Individualized Plan for Employment with Self Employment as his vocational goal. This Gentleman was requesting financial help from DORS with the cost of completing product testing of the Smoothies he wished to sell at his business per a recommendation made by vendor that provides business plan development to the clients of DORS. CAP spoke with this individual about meeting with his vocational counselor and his Supervisor to discuss this denial of service and his business plan to determine if the issue could be resolved without having to participate in an appeal hearing. All parties involved in the rehabilitation and appeal process agreed to meet and discuss the individuals concerns about this issue. A meeting was held including the staff of the Division of Rehabilitation Services, the Client Assistance Program, the DORS Client and his Supportive Business job coach from the Community Rehabilitation Program assisting him with his business plan was held. This meeting resulted in the following conditions being agreed to, the individual will withdrawal his appeal with the Office of Administrative Hearings, DORS will submit the client’s business plan to the DORS vendor for approval, the client will include the taste test information he had developed to that point in time. DORS agreed to continue to help this individual with refining his business plan if the plan was not approved when it was resubmitted. 3. A 27 year old male client of the Division of Rehabilitation Services contacted the Client Assistance Program and requested help in appealing the Division’s decision not to fund the expenses associated with his attending graduate school. He explained that DORS had provided him with minimal financial assistance towards the cost of his undergraduate degree and that in order for him to reach his vocational objective he would have to obtain the credentials provided by a graduate degree. The Division of Rehabilitation Services had reviewed this individuals request and had advised him in that they believed that he had the skills needed to find employment consistent with the vocational goal stated on his Individualized Plan for Employment and would not be providing financial help with the costs of graduate school. The Client Assistance Program explained to this Gentleman that if he wished to formally appeal this denial for service he must do so within 60 days of the denial of services by the Division. He requested help from the Client Assistance Program with writing the appeal letter that would be required to be sent to the Division of Rehabilitation Services to begin the formal appeal process. CAP provided this Client with a letter that could be used with or without modification to send to the Division of Rehabilitation Services to begin the appeal process. This individual was referred to the Client Assistance Program’s legal services provider for preparation for the Pre Hearing Conference that would take place before the formal hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings. During the Pre Hearing Conference regarding this issue the parties agreed to participate in Mediation prior to the Hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearing. The Mediation Hearing was held at the Office of Administrative Hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge and resulted in an agreement that required the individual to consult with an individual who was a knowledgeable authority in the field of employment that was consistent with the Client’s vocational goal. It was agreed that the Individual and the Division of Rehabilitation Services would base the additional services to be provided on the recommendations of this consultation. The Individual attended the agreed to consultation and discussed his vocational goals and his completed and desired training with the chosen knowledgeable authority. This meeting resulted in a recommendation that indicated that in order for this Individual to reach his agreed to vocational goal he would need to complete the graduate training he was requesting. 4. A 19 year old woman who was studying to become a Special Education Teacher and her parents contacted the Client Assistance Program and requested information and assistance in resolving funding issues that they were having with the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) for her to attend college courses and receive funding for room and board A review of the DORS case file for this individual showed that she had completed an Individualized Plan for Employment with a vocational goal of becoming a Special Education Teacher at Gallaudet University. A letter from the client’s doctor stating that the client should be allowed to stay on campus due to medical limitation that affected her ability to commute to classes was submitted along with an Administrative Approval form for room and board at school to the Director of the DORS Office of Field Services. This request was denied based on lack of sufficient documentation regarding functional limitation. The client then submitted additional medical documentation that stated due to her disabilities, the client would be best served by staying on campus to access all the services the college has to offer. The request was again denied by the Director of Field Services for DORS. The client and her family chose to send a formal letter of appeal to the Assistant State Superintendent of the Division of Rehabilitation Services with the assistance of CAP. The client case was referred to the Office of Administrative Hearing and a Telephone Prehearing Conference was scheduled to begin the appeals process. The Client Assistance Program reviewed the Division of Rehabilitation Services’ policy regarding funding for room and board for individuals attending a training program. This issue was discussed with the Division before the Prehearing Conference to see if a resolution could be agreed upon. In light of this individual’s circumstances and medical documentation supporting this request for room and board, the Division agreed to support the client’s request for room and board for the previous semester, as well as all future semesters. 5. A 39 year old man contacted CAP to request assistance with appealing the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) denial to provide vehicle modifications. The client had been told by his DORS counselor that his request was being denied because his case has been open for 10 years, and because he had received funding from DORS for a prior van modification, that too much money had been spent and no additional funding could be approved. He was also informed that since he had been working for almost three months his case was being prepared for closure and he could reapply for services in the next fiscal year. A review of the DORS case file showed that he had last had vehicle modifications 10 years prior, and DORS policy states that vehicle modification services could be provided no more frequently than every seven years without approval of the DORS director. The Client Assistance Program scheduled a meeting to discuss the Division of Rehabilitation Services policy regarding funding for vehicle modification services before proceeding with a formal appeal. The issue was discussed with the Division, and in light of the client’s safety and maintaining his employment, the client was approved for the vehicle modifications before a formal appeal was needed.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:02-Dec-13
Name of Designated Agency Official:Tom Laverty
Title of Designated Agency Official:Director, Client Assistance Program