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

New Jersey (Disability Rights New Jersey) - H161A180031 - FY2018

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Rights New Jersey
Address210 S Broad Street
Address Line 2FL 3
CityTrenton
StateNew Jersey
Zip Code08608
E-mail Addressadvocate@drnj.org
Website Addresshttp://www.drnj.org
Phone609-292-9742
TTY 609-633-7106
Toll-free Phone800-922-7233
Toll-free TTY
Fax609-777-0187

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

Name
Address
Address Line 2
City
Zip Code
E-mail Address
Website Address
Phone
TTY
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY
Fax

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorLillie Lowe-Reid
Person to contact regarding reportLillie Lowe-Reid
Contact Person Phone609-292-9742

Part I. Non-case Services

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program10
2. Information regarding independent living programs5
3. Information regarding American Indian VR Service projects1
4. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
5. Other information provided0
6. Information regarding CAP30
7. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1 through A6)47

B. Training Activities

DRNJ CAP advocate was a guest speaker at Rutgers School of Health’s Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling. The M.S. students were in the Rehabilitation Counseling, Clinical Health Counseling Track. Topics included: CAP, PABSS, vocational rehabilitation services, and DRNJ programs and services. (December 13; 2017, 14 professionals attended)

DRNJ CAP staff provided information to teachers and other school professionals at the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City on CAP, AT, transition, and all DRNJ programs on November 9, 2017. 100 consumers, 100 family members and 2,000 professional attended.

DRNJ CAP Coordinator provided training to a consumer group at Oaks Integrated Care Program in Berlin. Topics included: SSI and SSDI specific programs, work incentives and SSA work rules. Additional information was provided on PABSS and WIPA services, CAP, PAIR, DVRS and CBVI employment programs, Ticket to Work and Employment Networks. (November 16 2017; 16 consumers, 2 professionals attended)

DRNJ CAP advocate was a guest speaker at Rutgers School of Health’s Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling. The M.S. students were in the Rehabilitation Counseling, Clinical Health Counseling Track. Topics included: CAP, PABSS, vocational rehabilitation system and services, DRNJ programs and services. (January 19, 2018, 10 graduate students and two professionals attended)

1. Number of training sessions presented to community groups and public agencies.4
2. Number of individuals who attended these training sessions.2,144
3. Describe training presented by the staff. Include the following information:
  1. topics covered
  2. purpose of the training
  3. description of the attendees

C. Agency Outreach

Describe the agency's outreach efforts to previously un-served or underserved individuals including minority communities.

DRNJ participated in the Annual Legislative Conference sponsored by Latino Action Network. (Newark; February 3; 2018. DRNJ/PABSS information was available to 20 consumers, 20 family, 200 professionals)

DRNJ participated in the National Minority Health Forum sponsored by the NJ Department of Health. (April 27; 2018 in Blackwood NJ; 100 professionals attended)

Throughout FY 2018, CAP staff continuously provided brochures to local places of worship in minority communities.

D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency

For each method of dissemination, enter the total number of each method used by your agency during the reporting period to distribute information to the public. For publications/booklets/brochures (item 4), enter the total number of documents produced. Agencies should not include website hits. See instructions for details.

1. Agency Staff Interviewed or Featured on Radio and TV1
2. Articles about CAP Featured in Newspaper/Magazine/Journals0
3. PSAs/Videos Aired about the CAP Agency0
4. Publications/Booklets/Brochures Disseminated by the Agency2563
5. Number of Times CAP Exhibited at Conferences, Community Fairs, etc.26
6. Other (specify below)0

E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage

Describe the various sources and information disseminated about your agency by an external source.

An overview of DRNJ's programs and priorities, including the CAP program, was aired on The Dialogues with Dan Internet Radio Show on September 18, 2018.

Part II. Individual Case Services

A. Individuals served

An individual is counted only once during a fiscal year. Multiple counts are not permitted for Lines A1-A3.

1. Individuals who are still being served as of October 1 (carryover from prior year)83
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year29
3. Total individuals served (Lines A1+A2)112
4. Individuals (from Line A3) 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 A3 above.)2
5. Individual still being served as of September 30 (Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line A3.)37

B. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information1
2. Communication problems between individual and VR counselor3
3. Conflict about VR services to be provided6
4. Related to VR application/eligibility process13
5. Related to assignment to order of selection priority category0
6. Related to IPE development/implementation
  1. Selection of vendors for provision of VR services
  2. Selection of training, post-secondary education
  3. Selection of employment outcome
  4. Transition services
90
7. Related to independent living services0
8. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems1
9. Non-Rehabilitation Act related
  1. TANF
  2. SSI/SSDI
  3. Housing
  4. Other:
0
10. Related to Title I of the ADA0

C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases

(Choose one primary service the CAP provided for each closed case file. There may be more case files than actual individuals served.)

1. Short Term Technical Assistance18
2. Investigation/Monitoring30
3. Negotiation28
4. Mediation and other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution0
5. Administrative / Informal Review0
6. Formal appeal / Fair Hearing0
7. Legal remedy / Litigation1
8. Total77

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.)

Client had issue with childcare

Client prepared preliminary plan but could not have plan reviewed by Small Business Development Center due to financial, housing and health issues.

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor35
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)16
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual8
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)3
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual withdrew complaint5
7. Issue not resolved in clients favor0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual not responsive/cooperative with CAP8
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Conflict of interest0
12. Other (Please explain below)2

E. Results achieved for individuals

(Choose one primary outcome for each closed case file. There may be more case files than the total number of individuals served.)

Client did not respond = 3

Client refused to cooperate = 1

Client withdrew = 1

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual14
2. Application for services completed4
3. Eligibility determination expedited2
4. Individual participated in evaluation9
5. IPE developed/implemented/Services Provided26
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party11
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office3
8. Alternative resources identified for individual3
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR complaint made0
10. Other (Please explain below)5

Part III. Program Data

A. Age

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Up to 182
2. 19 - 2415
3. 25 - 4035
4. 41 - 6453
5. 65 and over7
6. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A5. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)112

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females59
2. Males53
3. Total (Lines B1+B2. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)112

C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race (for individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only)11
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian3
4. Black or African American25
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White72
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown1

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Acquired Brain Injury8
2. ADD/ADHD6
3. AIDS/HIV0
4. Amputations or Absence of Extremities1
5. Arthritis or Rheumatism0
6. Anxiety Disorder4
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder9
8. Autoimmune or Immune Deficiencies (excluding AIDS/HIV)0
9. Blindness (Both Eyes)2
10. Other Visual Impairments (Not Blind)8
11. Cancer1
12. Cerebral Palsy2
13. Deafness5
14. Hard of Hearing/Hearing Impaired (Not Deaf)3
15. Deaf-Blind0
16. Diabetes1
17. Digestive Disorders0
18. Epilepsy0
19. Heart & Other Circulatory Conditions2
20. Intellectual Disability9
21. Mental Illness25
22. Multiple Sclerosis0
23. Muscular Dystrophy2
24. Muscular/Skeletal Impairment0
25. Neurological Disorders/Impairment6
26. Orthopedic Impairments12
27. Personality Disorders0
28. Respiratory Disorders/Impairment0
29. Skin Conditions0
30. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)5
31. Speech Impairments0
32. Spina Bifida1
33. Substance Abuse (Alcohol or Drugs)0
34. Other Disability0
35. Total (Sum of Lines D1through D34. Total must equal Part II, Line A3.)112

E. Types of Individual Served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicant of VR21
2. Individual eligible for VR services currently on a wait list1
3. Individual eligible for VR services not currently on a wait list89
4. Applicant or individual eligible for Independent Living1
5. Transition student/High school student0
6. All other applicants or individuals eligible for other programs or projects funded unther Rehabilitation Act0

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities

1. Number of non-litigation systemic activities not involving individual representation that resulted in the change of one or more policy or practice of an agency.0
2. Describe the systemic activities conducted by CAP during the fiscal year and its impact on other agency's policies or practices.

B. Litigation

1. Total number of CAP cases requiring litigation involving individual representation resulting in, or with the potential for, systemic change.
a. Number of cases requiring litigation involving individual representation filed during fiscal year.0
b. Number of on-going cases pending at start of fiscal year (carryover from prior fiscal year).0
c. Number of cases resolved through litigation during fiscal year.0
2. Describe the agency's on-going and completed systemic litigation activities involving individual representation.

Part V. Agency Information

A. Designated Agency

1. Agency Type (select only one option) External-Protection and Advocacy agency
2. Name of designate agencyDisability Rights New Jersey
3. Is the designated agency contracting CAP services?No
4. If yes, name of contracting agency:N/A

B. Staff Employed

Provide a description of all CAP positions (see instructions)

(A) Coordinator; (B) 70%; (C) 100%; (D) 0.7

(A) Professional; (B) 50%; (C) 100%; (D) 0.5

(A) Professional; (B) 50%; (C) 100%; (D) 0.5

(A) Professional; (B) 50%; (C) 100%; (D) 0.5

(A) Clerical; (B) 100%; (C) 100%; (D) 1

Part VI. Case Examples

Provide some examples of some interesting cases during the past fiscal year.

*** DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 22-year-old with an anxiety disorder and orthopedic impairments. She was attending Penn State University pursuing a degree in Biological Anthropology with sponsorship of DVRS to the capitated amount of $2,500 per semester allowed by their policies. The client obtained loans and grants in order to pay the balance of college costs.

In the summer of 2017, the client had the opportunity to study abroad in Israel. The course was a six credit course in archaeological sciences and would allow her to graduate in the fall of 2017, instead of the spring of 2018. DVRS denied her request and informed her that they do not pay for summer courses. Because the client had changed her major from Forensic Science to Biological Anthropology, her graduation date was extended, and she had reached the limit of financial aid that Penn State would allow. The client’s mother took out her own loan in order for the client to travel to Israel, where she earned the six credits with a grade of A-.

DRNJ requested an Administrative Review of DVRS’s decision not to provide financial assistance, and met with two field chiefs, the client's DVRS counselor, and his supervisor. At the Administrative Review DRNJ was successful in arguing the following points: there is nothing in federal and state regulations or DVRS policies that states that summer courses will not be sponsored; sponsoring the client's summer course was going to save DVRS money, because if she passed her fall courses the client would graduate, and would not need to be sponsored for the spring semester; an unofficial transcript showed that the client’s grades were exemplary and there was no reason to believe that she would not graduate in the fall; the client was in an internship that was likely to result in an employment offer after graduation; and the Rehabilitation Act’s goal is to assist individuals like the client gain the skills and degrees that they need to pursue employment. DVRS approved payment of the summer course in anthropology, including tuition, room and board.

The graduated in December and is now employed.

*** DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 28-year-old resident of Cape May County, diagnosed with a TBI, intellectual disability, visual impairment, and neurological disorders. The client’s mother contacted DRNJ when her daughter was advised by the assigned VR counselor that he was closing her case because she had achieved successful employment. The client was concerned that she would lose her job coach, as she required support at work, especially for required online work-related trainings. DRNJ contacted the VR counselor to discuss the client’s need for continued long-term follow-along job coach services. DVRS agreed to cointinue long-term follow-along job coach services.

*** DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 29-year-old old Salem County resident, diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He was seeking employment assistance in janitorial work and/or cooking. His vocational goal was not approved due to lack of experience. The client participated in a 30-day Trial Work Experience (TWE). Upon completion of the TWE, client received an assessment, which deemed him ineligible for competitive employment. The report portrayed the client as easily distracted and influenced by external stimuli. His mother contacted DRNJ to dispute the results of the report, stating that her son performed better on individual tasks, rather than in group settings. DRNJ requested a review of the evaluation with the job site and DVRS, which showed that the majority of the tasks he engaged in were group activities. Another TWE assessment was scheduled, with a mixture of group and individual assignments showing an increase in production by 50%-60%. The client was re-evaluated for competitive employment. The client is currently employed at a fast food chain and has completed his first 90 days. He is performing exceptionally well at work. He has implemented problem solving techniques during conflicts and is being considered for a promotion. He will receive long term follow along services from DVRS.

*** DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 49-year-old Essex County resident, diagnosed with visual impairment and classified as legally blind. The contacted DRNJ because he was dissatisfied with CBVI's assistance in helping him open his real estate firm. DRNJ's investigation identified that CBVI, the Business Enterprise (BENJ) contact, and the consultant from Rutgers Small Business were not collaborating and filtering information to the client. Also, client had not received the latest edition of JAWS screen reader software needed since upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10. DRNJ attended a meeting where a written agreement was made to provide the client with the JAWS screen reader software, the remaining hours of assistive technology training, in accordance with his IPE; and to provide him with the necessary resources (including an accountant) to create and review a business plan. The business plan was approved and client received a start-up grant for $40,994. His real estate firm is currently registered with NJ Start.

*** DRNJ’s intervened on behalf of a 34-year-old Union County resident diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a disease that affects nerve endings, who is a SSDI recipient. DRNJ intervened on the client’s behalf regarding DVRS’s limited college sponsorship. The client’s vocational goal of social worker was identified as requiring a Masters Degree. After she graduated with her undergraduate degree, she prepared to enroll in a Master's program, but was denied funding through DVRS, who claimed that the client’s vocational goal was not in demand, and she should be able to obtain employment with an undergraduate degree. DRNJ and the client met with the VR Counselor and Supervisor. DRNJ staff successfully challenged the assertions made by DVRS, who ultimately agreed to cover the cost of tuition for the client's Masters' level education, adding her chosen school to the DVRS vendor database.

*** DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 25-year-old Gloucester County resident diagnosed with mental illness. She contacted DRNJ after reporting that DVRS denied her the chance to take an examination for work readiness titled the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). CAP investigated the matter and determined that RBANS was no longer available her chosen site, but was available elsewhere. The evaluation results revealed a need for cognitive training. DRNJ monitored until the client was cleared for employment. She participates in cognitive rehab two days a week and works part time as a dance fitness instructor. Client is also receiving intensive case management services.

*** DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 53-year-old Essex County resident diagnosed with mental illness. The client contacted DRNJ after vocational services were delayed. After completing the eligibility process at the Essex DVRS office, the client was approved to begin a heavy machine operator's training program. He missed the first rollout of the training program due to delays in obtaining travel vouchers and was concerned about missing the second rollout as a result of parole requirements. DRNJ agreed to investigate and confirmed that he would receive a transportation voucher in time to begin classes. He also had parole and Department of Corrections compliance mandates and when DRNJ spoke with the parole Department, they were satisfied with the client’s level of compliance, and he received clearance to begin training on time.

*** DRNJ intervened on behalf of a 25-year-old Passaic County resident diagnosed with cognitive impairments. She moved from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. She lives with her aunt and uncle and has been working with DVRS. Because of the language barrier she requested that her aunt be the primary contact person with DVRS. Because the client and her aunt had concerns about inconsistent communication, they contacted DRNJ. DRNJ investigated and asked that DVRS recognize the aunt as a point of contact. As a result, the client will participate in a 25-day diagnostic vocational evaluation and start job coaching/job placement. In the interim, the aunt discovered a culinary program. The client registered for the course and is actively participating in the culinary program.

Certification

Reports are to be submitted to RSA within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this report. Please be reminded that you can enter data directly into RSA's website via the internet. Information on transmittal of the form is found on pages 19 and 20 of the reporting instructions.

Name of Designated Agency OfficialJoseph B Young
Title of Designated Agency OfficialExecutive Director
Date Signed12/11/2018