RSA-509 - Protection & Advocacy of Individual Rights (PAIR) Program Performance Report

Alaska (DISABILITY LAW CENTER OF ALASKA) - H240A150002 - FY2015

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameDisability Law Center of Alaska
Address3330 Arctic Blvd. 103
Address Line 2
CityAnchorage
StateAlaska
Zip Code99503
E-mail Addressakpa@dlcak.org
Website Addresshttp://www.dlcak.org
Phone907-565-1002
TTY 907-565-1002
Toll-free Phone800-478-1234
Toll-free TTY800-478-1234
Fax907-565-1000
Name of P&A Executive DirectorDavid C. Fleurant
Name of PAIR Director/CoordinatorDavid C. Fleurant
Person to contact regarding reportDavid C. Fleurant
Contact Person phone907-565-1002
Ext.

Part I. Non-Case Services

A. Individual Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Individuals receiving I&R within PAIR priority areas490
2. Individuals receiving I&R outside PAIR priority areas196
3. Total individuals receiving I&R (lines A1 + A2)686

B. Training Activities

1. Number of trainings presented by PAIR staff3
2. Number of individuals who attended training (approximate)22

In FY15 the Alaska P&A presented 2 employment rights trainings. One on the island community of Kodiak and one in Anchorage, by request, to a Parkinson’s Support Group. We also held 1 training, also by invitation, at a subsidized apartment building in which we addressed a small group of residents with disabilities to introduce them to the P&A and our services, as well as answer social security related questions. In addition to those trainings, we attended 4 events in which staff members were present all day to hand out publications, answer questions about available services through the P&A, and/or conduct on-site intake. Those events included: *Stand Down — an event organized for the benefit of homeless veterans; *Project Homeless Connect — providing services to people who are homeless and (as the name suggests) connecting them with service providers and resources; * 29th Annual Retiree Appreciation Day at the local military base, attended by service people both active and retired; * Disability Awareness Event at the Alaska State Fair in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA. This was a two-day event in which multiple service agencies were present to introduce their services to fair goers. At those events we reached a total of 234 individuals.

C. Information Disseminated to the Public

1. Radio and TV appearances by PAIR staff0
2. Newspaper/magazine/journal articles0
3. PSAs/videos aired0
4. Hits on the PAIR/P&A website76,754
5. Publications/booklets/brochures disseminated6,247
6. Other (specify separately)0

Narrative

Popular publications created by the Alaska P&A include: *Social Security Disability Handbook (with a focus on the appeal process once a person has been denied benefits) *Applying for Social Security Benefits in Alaska (focuses on the initial application for benefits and gives helpful suggestions in moving through the process) *Prisoner Rights Handbook (Often requested by people with disabilities who are incarcerated or by their family members) And also: Educating Students with Traumatic Brain Injury, Your Mental Health Rights in Alaska, Guardianship in Alaska, Rights of Persons with Developmental Disabilities, and Self-Advocacy Guide & About Our Services. Newly added this year, in response to caller demand: *Service Animals in Public Places *Assistance Animals in Housing *Emotional Support Animals *Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program Reduction/Termination All of these publications are available at no charge both in printed form and as downloadable PDF’s on our website.

Part II. Individuals Served

A. Individuals Served

Count individual once per FY. Multiple counts not permitted for lines A1 through A3.

1. Individuals still served as of October 1 (carryover from prior FY)57
2. Additional individuals served during the year96
3. Total individuals served (lines A1 + A2)153
4. Individuals w. more than 1 case opened/closed during the FY. (Do not add this number to total on line A3 above.)1

B. Individuals served as of September 30

Carryover to next FY may not exceed total on line II. A.3 above 81

C. Problem Areas/Complaints of Individuals Served

1. Architectural accessibility0
2. Employment11
3. Program access0
4. Housing6
5. Government benefits/services73
6. Transportation1
7. Education4
8. Assistive technology0
9. Voting0
10. Health care31
11. Insurance1
12. Non-government services1
13. Privacy rights0
14. Access to records0
15. Abuse6
16. Neglect8
17. Other11

D. Reasons for Closing Individual Case Files

1. Issues resolved partially or completely in individual favor21
2. Other representation found1
3. Individual withdrew complaint4
4. Appeals unsuccessful3
5. PAIR Services not needed due to individual's death, relocation etc.1
6. PAIR withdrew from case4
7. PAIR unable to take case because of lack of resources6
8. Individual case lacks legal merit31
9. Other1

Please explain

Other: The client's case was not quite ready for the P&A's intervention, but we were able to direct him to the proper agency and we left the door open for our future assistance. Specifically: A 39 year old man with diabetes contacted the Alaska P&A when he was denied a job due to the cost of insuring him. The man had been informed that he would not be hired for a position he was otherwise qualified for because he had diabetes and would be too expensive to insure. Staff assessed the case and determined that the man should file a discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Commission. The man was also advised to re-contact the P&A for representation when his complaint made it to the point of mediation. The P&A’s assessment in this case was important because the man was unsure whether he had been discriminated against and did not know what to do if he was discriminated against.

E. Intervention Strategies Used in Serving Individuals

List the highest level of intervention used by PAIR prior to closing each case file.

1. Technical assistance in self-advocacy18
2. Short-term assistance48
3. Investigation/monitoring1
4. Negotiation1
5. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution0
6. Administrative hearings3
7. Litigation (including class actions)1
8. Systemic/policy activities0

Part III. Statistical Information on Individuals Served

A. Age of Individuals Served as of October 1

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. 0 - 40
2. 5 - 226
3. 23 - 59100
4. 60 - 6419
5. 65 and over28

B. Gender of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Females71
2. Males82

C. Race/Ethnicity of Individuals Served

For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race4
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native26
3. Asian4
4. Black or African American10
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander3
6. White83
7. Two or more races1
8. Race/ethnicity unknown22

D. Living Arrangements of Individuals Served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Independent88
2. Parental or other family home12
3. Community residential home15
4. Foster care0
5. Nursing home1
6. Public institutional living arrangement0
7. Private institutional living arrangement0
8. Jail/prison/detention center30
9. Homeless4
10. Other living arrangements3
11. Living arrangements not known0

E. Primary Disability of Individuals Served

Identify the individual's primary disability, namely the one directly related to the issues/complaints

1. Blind/visual impairment4
2. Deaf/hard of hearing6
3. Deaf-blind0
4. Orthopedic impairment38
5. Mental illness0
6. Substance abuse0
7. Mental retardation2
8. Learning disability3
9. Neurological impairment14
10. Respiratory impairment10
11. Heart/other circulatory impairment12
12. Muscular/skeletal impairment16
13. Speech impairment0
14. AIDS/HIV1
15. Traumatic brain injury4
16. Other disability43

Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation

A. Systemic Activities

1. Number of policies/practices changed as a result of non-litigation systemic activities2

2. Number of individuals potentially impacted by policy changes4,800

Describe your systemic activities. Be sure to include information about the policies that were changed and how these changes benefit individuals with disabilities. Include case examples of how your systemic activities impacted individuals served.

1. ALASKA’S MEDICAID EXPANSION For many years, it had been necessary for people to prove that they met SSI disability standards before they could get Medicaid. Part of national health reform was a nationwide expansion of Medicaid, so that people with family income at 133% or below of the poverty line would get Medicaid without having to prove that they had dependent children or met SSI disability standards. Especially for homeless people and people experiencing mental illness, it has been difficult to get SSI disability applications through Social Security — people drop out of contact with the system or don’t put together the kinds of medical records that lead to a successful SSI claim. So people in this situation would not qualify for Medicaid under the law that was in effect until 2010. National health reform was supposed to fix this through the Medicaid expansion. However, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that whether a State would have the Medicaid expansion was up to that State, because it would be unconstitutional to force a State to have the Medicaid expansion if it decided it didn’t want to do this. After this decision, Alaska P&A staff made a presentation to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, pointing out that many Trust beneficiaries (including individuals with mental illness, developmental disabilities, chronic alcoholism, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia) would only qualify for Medicaid if Alaska implemented the Medicaid expansion. Although the Trust may have been likely to support the expansion, the presentation helped focus the Trust’s attention on this issue. Late in 2014, after a new Governor was elected, P&A staff met with a state official who was charged with helping implement the Medicaid expansion, suggesting that the Medicaid expansion could go ahead without any changes in state law. Then, this past summer, after the Governor had decided to go ahead with the Medicaid expansion, P&A staff wrote an op-ed and follow-up op-ed supporting the decision to go ahead even though the Legislature had not changed state law. Then, in August, after the Legislature had announced that it would sue the Governor, P&A staff sent a legal argument over to the attorneys who would be defending the Medicaid expansion, which helped those attorneys successfully defend the expansion in court. The Medicaid expansion went into effect September 1, 2015. Two existing Social Security disability clients of the Alaska P&A immediately qualified for Medicaid. These two people had been unable to qualify for Medicaid under SSI disability standards and needed coverage under the expansion in order to pay for necessary medications and dental care. As one of them put it, “Now I do not have to choose between getting my medications and paying the space rent for my trailer.” Several thousand people, many of whom experience mental illness, developmental disabilities, or physical disabilities, have become eligible for Medicaid since the expansion went into effect on September. Now we have filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief, representing these two clients who experience mental illness, supporting the Medicaid expansion. The case is pending in Anchorage Superior Court, and there should be a final superior court decision sometime this winter; the Alaska Supreme Court will almost certainly get the case later this next year. 2. ANCHORAGE TAXI CAB PROJECT In 2014, the Municipality of Anchorage amended the ordinances that regulate the city’s taxicab industry. Throughout that process, the Alaska P&A was part of a collaborative effort to obtain an increase in the number of accessible taxicabs and to ensure appropriate training for cab drivers. Collaborators, including the Alaska Mobility Coalition, the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education, the Alaska Statewide Independent Living Council, and Access Alaska (the local ILC) reviewed multiple draft ordinances and offered comments to the Anchorage Assembly. The Alaska P&A did a comprehensive line-by-line assessment of the proposed ordinance that helped guide the advocacy effort. As a result of these efforts, Anchorage’s accessible taxi fleet grew in 2015 by 5 vehicles and drivers are required to attend disability awareness training. Also, a seat on the Transportation Commission is now reserved for an individual from the senior or disability communities. Data collection requirements were also enhanced which have since revealed that the increase of 5 accessible vehicles was inadequate. Based on factors such as average wait time, average calls per hour, and average accessible cabs operated per hour, it was determined that an additional 6 accessible cabs are needed to meet the demand. The report is presently before the Transportation Commission and should come up for a hearing in the near future. The above-referenced agencies remain engaged to not only ensure an adequate number of accessible cabs in Anchorage, but to carry this effort to other communities in the state. On the 2 issues below, there are no policies or practices yet changed, but the issue is one on which we’ve been working for some time and we felt it should be reported here. 1. ALASKA SOCIAL SECURITY DENIALS In FY13, the Alaska P&A noted a troubling trend that was having a significant negative impact on Alaskans with disabilities and their eligibility for Social Security benefits. The application process for Social Security benefits can involve multiple steps. If a claimant's initial application is denied, they have the right to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge where they can contest the denial. While statistics show that the approval rate of initial applications in Alaska is consistent with national rates, it is a very different story at the hearing level. Alaskans with disabilities are losing their hearings at nearly twice the rate as similarly situated claimants in the lower-48. The Alaska P&A and other Social Security advocates continue to try and ascertain the underlying cause(s) for this trend. A few of the issues that were looked at include: • Staffing at the Anchorage Office of Disability Adjudication and Review; • The increased use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants — the Administrative Law Judges do not always give full faith and credit to the reports prepared by these providers; • The high number of claimants in Alaska who are not represented at their hearing by a lawyer or other qualified advocate; and • The high rate at which hearing requests are being dismissed. Throughout FY13 and into FY14, the P&A worked with US Senator Mark Begich to get to the bottom of some of these questions with the Social Security Administration. (See the series of letters between Begich and SSA on our website here: http://www.dlcak.org/html/news.php) When State Representative Herron was informed of these efforts, he issued a joint resolution in our support. Unfortunately, these efforts have not resulted in a reversal of this trend. In FY15 the Alaska P&A decided to take a much different tack. After 20 years assisting clients who want to appeal their social security denial at the Administrative Law Judge level, it was determined we may be able to be more effective at other stages of the process. More specifically, it was decided that the P&A should assist individuals in avoiding the need to go to hearing. The Alaska P&A now primarily focuses on assisting individuals at the application stage, and no longer offers representation at the hearing level. Additionally, the P&A will review hearing decisions for possible appeal to the Appeals Council and to federal court in an effort to develop a body of cases that can be used to reverse this trend through litigation The idea was well received. The immediate changes will be that 1) we will start looking at taking appeals to federal court, even if we didn’t represent the person at the hearing level, and 2) we will take no more cases for representation at the administrative hearing level. Issues that the P&A will be looking for in hearing decisions include: 1) Adversarial and unprofessional tone of the hearings; 2) Anchorage ODAR holding claimants to an unreasonably high burden of proof (99% standard); 3) Improper credibility determinations; 4) Failure to develop the record; 5) Failure to properly apply the treating physician rule; and/or, 6) Failure to consider layperson testimony. 2. ALASKA INTEGRATED EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE (IEI) The purpose of the Alaska Integrated Employment Initiative is to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities across Alaska. A partnership consisting of the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, the Division of Senior and Disabilities Services (SDS), the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), the Department of Education and Early Development, Disability Law Center of Alaska (DLC a.k.a. the Alaska P&A), the Center for Human Development (CHD), and other community stakeholders, will address barriers and develop replicable, sustainable strategies using a three-pronged approach: 1) Policy development that will focus on implementation of policy at all levels (legislative, regulatory, day-to-day policies and procedures), including obtaining, allocating, or re-allocating resources (people, time, money); 2) Capacity building that will focus on building knowledge, training, consultation and technical assistance, and peer-to-peer learning; and 3) Resource leveraging that will include pooling of assets and resources, blending and braiding resources, and integrating IEI activities with other priorities and initiatives. In support of this Initiative, the Alaska P&A employed a part-time advisor (selected by Peer Power members) to assist in the implementation of mentoring/peer-to-peer support services. Additionally, the P&A completed a report identifying specific barriers to integrated employment in Alaska and offers some recommendations for change to create an environment where competitive employment for Alaskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities is the norm. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead, Alaska has made significant changes in its service system to enable people with disabilities to live in integrated settings required under the community integration mandate of the American with Disabilities Act. However, despite many Alaskans moving out of institutional living, employment opportunities are, in many cases, limited to segregated work settings that often pay low or subminimum wages. Alaska has taken an important first step towards creating a competitive employment environment with the passage of House Bill 211, making Alaska an “Employment First” state. In addition to the steps necessary to realize the promise of the Employment First legislation, it would be a mistake to divert attention from some of the more intractable barriers on the path to integrated employment. As an initial matter, the federal and state laws that create and support the segregated work environments should be repealed. As long as there is a legal framework under which individuals with disabilities can be segregated and underpaid, some will be. The report identifies the long-standing problem of getting accurate work incentives information to potential employees who fear the loss of benefits. New efforts to achieve this goal are presently under way and additional recommendations are offered in this report. Comprehensive transition services for students are critical to achieving the goal of integrated competitive employment. The Employment First legislation is a significant step towards that goal, which complementary transition services offered through other agencies can enhance. Private sector employers should have ready access to information that shatters unfounded myths and highlights the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. Similarly, employers must be aware that some commonplace work practices may actually be discriminatory and a barrier to employment. Access to employment is dependent on transportation. It is important that all parts of a city or community be serviced by some form of transportation that is both accessible and affordable throughout the day. Those individuals with disabilities who have experienced the criminal justice system should have a process by which their criminal record can be expunged, particularly if there is a nexus between that experience and their disability. We hope these recommendations will serve to increase the number of individuals with disabilities in integrated and competitive employment so that our state can fully achieve the goal of Employment First.

B. Litigation/Class Actions

1. Number of individuals potentially impacted by changes as a result of PAIR litigation/class action efforts1,568
2. Number of individuals named in class actions2

Describe your litigation/class action activities. Explain how individuals with disabilities benefited from your litigation activities. Be sure to include case examples that demonstrate the impact of your litigation.

ACCESS LITIGATION This first litigation case is one we first reported on in the FY14 report. The Alaska P&A was being called upon to defend its right to preserve the confidentiality of records obtained through the course of an investigation. Below is a recap of the issue and also an update on the conclusion. In 2011, the Alaska P&A conducted an investigation into an allegation that a female student with severe developmental and cognitive disabilities was injured as a result of the school’s staffs’ failure to provide adequate supervision while the student was being changed, as well as into allegations that the student had periodically come home from school with bruising for unknown reasons. This investigation was initiated following the receipt of an allegation of abuse. We conducted the investigation under our own access authority and did not have a client. We reported our findings that neglect did occur on behalf of the school to the foster parents of the student. The school district with was also notified of the P&A’s findings and was given suggestions for improvement. Two years later the foster parents of the student around whom those charges revolved decided, on the student’s behalf, to sue the school district for damages in the matter we investigated. They (the foster parents) sought access to a complete copy of the P&A’s investigation of the matter including, but not limited to, photographs, witness statements, Anchorage School District memos, and the like. Enclosed in the request was a release of information signed by the plaintiff’s foster mother. Our prompt response was that a release was not sufficient to overcome federal law or the work product doctrine, and that the student was not a client. A year later the family’s attorney resubmitted the request for discovery of the P&A’s investigation. We reiterated our refusal to provide any information and the attorney served a subpoena to dispose our investigator and review the investigative file. We filed a Motion to Quash the Subpoena and or a Protective Order based on the argument that the student was never a client of the P&A, most of the information contained in the investigative file was information that could be obtained through a release from the school district, and anything else contained in our could not be released as it was obtained through the P&A’s access authority or was work product. After several motions were filed in the court by both sides, an attorney for the P&A as well as the family’s attorney presented oral argument in front of Alaska Superior Court in late September. Protecting the integrity of the access authority granted to the Protection and Advocacy System is vital to our ability to conduct thorough and accurate investigations. Should the P&A be compelled to release information gathered under this authority, it will have a chilling effect on our ability to obtain records in subsequent investigations. It’s hard to put a number on how many people would be potentially impacted, depending upon the result of this litigation. On December 2nd, 2014, the Alaska Superior Court agreed with our assertions, stating that it would “oppress the organization” to have its investigator’s mental impressions, conclusions, and opinions subject to discovery. The court when on to say that we may become hesitant to begin investigations if its attorneys’ and representatives’ mental impressions and opinions are readily discoverable by a plaintiff who brings a claim that we opted not to pursue. The Court also agreed with us by stating that the Plaintiff had not demonstrated a substantial need for the materials requested and therefore would not have access to our files or written work. Though the court did allow the Plaintiff to depose our, investigator, the court made clear that the Plaintiff could not inquire into the investigator’s mental impressions, conclusions, or opinions resulting from the investigation. However, prior to the Plaintiff deposing the investigator, the matter was settled outside of court. The decision affirmed DLC’s need to carry out independent investigations and not be used as a source of discovery by future plaintiffs. Following up on 2 separate issues (below) from FY14, other grants are the primary source of funding for activity associated with the litigation. But the cases are notable here because the P&A serves many individuals with multiple disabilities, some of which make them PAIR eligible. 1. REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE CLASS ACTION Under this objective the Alaska P&A is representing 2 named plaintiffs and 66 other class members in a class action against a representative payee who was mishandling the funds of as many as 250 social security beneficiaries simultaneously. (Although that number is hard to pin down as she confessed to shredding all of her records.) The court entered judgment for approximately $600 per beneficiary, with interest accruing back to November 1, 2012, the date the original settlement payment was due. Although the P&A is doing everything we can to enforce the settlement, because of the defendant’s long history of alleged wrong-doing in many areas, we are only one in a long line of parties awaiting settlement. This, along with the defendant’s apparent lack of assets, makes it likely that the class members will be waiting many more years before seeing their money. 2. EX PARTE HOLDS LITIGATION In a case that started in FY11, the Alaska P&A filed on its own behalf to challenge the Department of Health and Social Services’ practice of allowing people with disabilities to be held in jails or hospitals for too long once an ex parte order for a psychiatric evaluation has been issued. The Alaska P&A found that some individuals were in jail up to 6 days with no care or treatment while they waited to be transported. The suit requested that evaluations be performed in the nearest community available to the individual. The P&A also sued the state psychiatric hospital for failing to accept individuals with mental illness up to its licensed capacity, creating unnecessary delays in individuals being able to obtain evaluations. While the court deliberated, the State of Alaska agreed to make alternative arrangements for individuals who do not arrive at the evaluation facility within 24 hours from the time they are taken into custody. A temporary restraining order was also issued that requires the State to deliver individuals notice of their rights upon detention. As part of settlement negotiations, we agreed with State officials in October 2015 to request that a new court system committee revise the procedures for doing evaluations. The P&A will be involved in that committee process.

Part V. PAIR'S Priorities and Objectives

A. Priorities and Objectives for the Fiscal Year Covered by this Report

For each of your PAIR program priorities for the fiscal year covered by this report, please:

  1. Identify and describe priority.
  2. Identify the need, issue or barrier addressed by this priority.
  3. Identify and describe indicators PAIR used to determine successful outcome of activities pursued under this priority.
  4. Explain whether pursuing this priority involved collaborative efforts by other entities. If so, describe this collaboration.
  5. Provide the number of cases handled under the priority. Indicate how many of these, if any, were class actions.
  6. Provide at least one case summary that demonstrates the impact of the priority.

DISABILITY LAW CENTER OF ALASKA FY2015 PAIR PRIORITIES, GOALS, OUTCOME INDICATORS PRIORITY: ABUSE AND NEGLECT GOAL A: To investigate allegations of abuse (including the use of seclusion and restraint) neglect, and exploitation of individuals with disabilities. ISSUE: People with disabilities have a right to be free from abuse and neglect. Outcome Indicators: A.1. Investigate 10 reports of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities; A.2. Assess whether, in at least 2 secondary investigations, all federal, state, and local agencies charged with the responsibility of investigating complaints of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities conduct their investigations in a timely, thorough and objective manner; A.3. Establish and maintain contact through monitoring with residents of assisted living homes, nursing facilities, psychiatric facilities (adult and child), prisons, jails, and in Division of Juvenile Justice facilities, and sheltered workshops through at least 3 facility visits; Collaboration: The Alaska P&A has developed and maintained cooperative, complimentary relationships with state agencies that have similar mandates and authority to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect and other complaints filed by or on behalf of individuals with disabilities. In Alaska, those agencies include, but are not limited to: Health Facilities Certification & Licensing (licensing and certifying health facilities as well as assisted living homes); the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman; Adult Protective Services; Medicaid Fraud Unit; and others such as the Alaska State Troopers and the Anchorage Police Department. Number of Cases: Under the heading of Abuse and Neglect, the P&A worked on 47 cases or projects in FY15 including investigations and monitoring. This breaks down to 24 primary investigations, 16 secondary investigations, and 6 monitoring visits. Case Summary demonstrating the impact of the priority: Most of the primary investigations are ongoing. Of the several that have concluded, no abuse or neglect was substantiated. 12 of the 16 secondary investigations (all of which are still in progress) are in regard to the death of individuals who were in the custody of the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC). This is part of a startling new trend seen with DOC. The department is currently under public scrutiny and more will be reported in our FY16 PPR. The monitoring visits included: * An assisted living care facility for Alaska resident elders sixty-five years old or older (168 beds) * Largest halfway house in Anchorage, housing many individuals with disabilities (272 beds) * 2 Assisted Living Homes (5 beds and 4 beds) * Skilled nursing facility (102 beds) * Long-term residential skilled nursing facility (22 beds) Overall, each facilities were clean and well-maintained. Suggestions for the facilities included: Halfway House: Improved accessibility for women's bathroom in ADA unit (specifically, widening the shower stall and replacing the showerhead with a handheld showerhead. Grab bars should also be placed in shower as well as in the bathroom in general.) Assisted Living: Opportunity for residents to partake of culturally relevant foods, such as Moose, Caribou and other traditional foods for Alaska Natives All in all, these monitoring visits helped to ensure the health and safety of 573 individuals. PRIORITY: OUTREACH GOAL B: To provide outreach to unserved/underserved individuals with disabilities in Alaska. ISSUE: People with disabilities who are unaware of their rights can neither exercise those rights, nor protect themselves from rights abuses. Outcome Indicators: B.1. To conduct 6 outreach, intake, and/or, training events statewide for the purpose of informing people with disabilities of the services available to them through the P&A; (cross-grant) B.2. To conduct 4 training events statewide for the purpose of informing people with disabilities of their legal rights and self-advocacy strategies; (4 cross-grant), B.3. To disseminate to 100 rural clinics information on education rights and appropriate educational programming for students with traumatic brain injury. Collaboration: PAIR, PAIMI and PADD programs work together to conduct outreach to unserved/underserved populations. Such collaboration helps defray the costs of travel in Alaska. Staff also collaborates with other state and local agencies in outreach efforts to the homeless to secure for them any necessary legal assistance. Number of Cases: There are no specific clients/cases to record under this priority, but specific outcomes for each indicator are listed below. Case Summary demonstrating the impact of the priority: B.1. During the last year, staff from the Alaska P&A conducted just 1 of the planned 6 outreach events to educate people about the services available through the P&A. Direct client service took precedence this year. B.2. For the same reason noted above, just 2 of the 4 planned trainings took place under this objective in FY15. B.3. In FY15 we did not mail out information to the rural health clinics. However, we are still receiving requests from rural clinics based on this outreach from last year, and this objective remains on our list for FY16. PRIORITY: HOUSING GOAL C: To advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities for housing and to prevent homelessness. ISSUE: Being part of the community and living as independently as possible are among the most important values and goals shared by people with disabilities, their families, friends, and advocates. A home of one’s own — either rented or owned -- is the cornerstone of independence for people with disabilities. However, across the nation, individuals with disabilities face a crisis in the availability of decent, safe, affordable, and accessible housing. Outcome Indicators: C.1. To advocate on behalf of 2 individuals with disabilities who have complaints of Fair Housing Act and other housing rights violations related to the disability, or require assistance in requesting a reasonable accommodation. Collaboration: Typically, PAIR, PAIMI and PADD work together to help Alaskans with disabilities secure housing or prevent the loss of housing. Number of Cases: The Alaska P&A served 5 PAIR-eligible individuals with housing complaints in FY15. Case Summary demonstrating the impact of the priority: In one instance, A 79-year-old woman and her adult daughter contacted the Alaska P&A for advice regarding the apartment they share. The woman has bad hips and knees and can no longer climb the stairs in her apartment to reach the bathroom. The women wanted to move to a more accessible unit their landlord currently had available but felt unable to do so because they could not afford to break their lease and lose their deposit. The staff explained the Fair Housing Act to the women and how it applied to their situation. The women were advised to explain their need for the more accessible apartment and ask to move without penalty as a reasonable accommodation. The staff provided a sample letter for the women to use and advised them to get any response in writing. They were told to call the P&A again if they encountered any problems. The women were grateful for the legal information and for the letter they were provided. Before contacting the P&A they had planned to either forfeit their deposit in order to move or continue to suffer in their current apartment until their lease expired. With the P&A’s advice and direction they were able to address their situation with knowledge of their rights and pursue a better outcome for themselves. In another case, two women with disabilities that are neighbors in an apartment building contacted the Alaska P&A for help when their apartment manager threatened to remove steps from their respective decks in 48 hours. One woman is 53 with a bad back and knees and the other is 85 with an oxygen tank, Alzheimer’s disease and a bad heart. The women were upset for two reasons. First, without the deck steps, they could only access their apartments via a flight of stairs which are too long for them to climb. Second, both had installed the steps at their own expense and with the previous property manager’s approval years earlier. Although the women protested and explained their need for the steps, the property manager still planned to remove the steps claiming they were a liability. The P&A wrote a letter to the apartment manager informing her that the steps qualify as a reasonable modification under the Federal Fair Housing Act (FFHA). As such, the steps could not be removed. Staff also included a Department of Justice statement explaining reasonable modifications for the manager’s future reference. Initially, the property manager balked at the letter and would not provide a solid response. In the end, the manager left the stairs in place. Shortly thereafter, the manager posted a Ten Day Notice to Vacate on the 85-year-old woman’s door. The manager stated that the woman had an unauthorized occupant in her apartment that violated her rental agreement and her housing voucher agreement. The P&A responded with another letter explaining that the occupant was the woman’s voucher-approved longtime personal care assistant (PCA) and that PCA’s are examples of reasonable accommodations under the FFHA. The manager was further advised that retaliation is prohibited by the FFHA. As a result, the PCA was allowed to stay in the apartment. The P&A’s work on this issue was important to the women because they lacked the resources and knowledge to adequately respond to the property manager’s threats. In addition, the information provided is likely to have a positive impact on other residents across Alaska because the property manager involved oversees a large apartment complex within a larger property management company. In a third case, a 51-year-old man with neurological disorders contacted the Alaska P&A after he received an eviction notice from the general manager of his assisted living home (ALH). The man was asked to vacate due to his refusal to provide information about his medical condition to the company running the ALH. P&A staff reviewed the notice and found that it was defective for several reasons, including requesting access to full medical information which was outside the scope of their authority and citing state laws, which they claimed supported their authority, but actually did not exist. In addition, the notice did not give the resident the right to contest the eviction and did not provide him with a 30 day notice that is required under Alaska statute. A staff attorney from the P&A wrote a letter to the general manager explaining why the eviction notice was deficient and why the information requested was outside the scope of their authority. The letter also explained why a letter, rather than full access to the man’s medical history, was sufficient to satisfy any licensing requirements. Based on this letter, the general manager halted the eviction proceedings and agreed to allow the man to provide a letter from his doctor to satisfy the state licensing requirements. Ultimately, because of this distasteful experience, the man decided that he did not want to live at the home any longer and elected to move to a new residence. Based on the P&A’s efforts, he was able to take his time to find a new place since the eviction proceedings were stopped. The general manager of the assisted living home was also educated about residents’ rights under Alaska Law and what information the home could and could not request. We hope this knowledge will benefit other current and future residents of the home. Lastly, the following case is a good example of how the Alaska P&A works to serve as many clients as possible with our limited resources. A 75-year-old woman and her partner were living in a condominium unit, owned by the woman. Both are seniors with mobility difficulties. The parking lot was not accessible, the front of the building had no curb cuts or ramps, and there was no loading zone close to their unit — only parking spaces across a lane that was usually ice-covered and slippery for 9 months of the year. Because of these conditions, the woman and her partner would unload groceries and passengers right behind the back of their unit, by pulling alongside the building and entering the unit through their deck, which had a ramp. Repeatedly, the condo association cited them for parking in a no-parking zone behind the building and charged fees. The woman went to the state commission on human rights and won a favorable decision, but needed assistance with filing a claim with HUD to get the parking lot problem addressed under federal standards. The Alaska P&A was able to assist her in that process. Because the needs of P&A clients are many, but our resources are few, we sometimes offer “unbundled” legal services. In instances like this, the attorney and client agree to limit the scope of the attorney’s involvement in the complaint, leaving responsibility for those other aspects of the case to the client. Here, we collaborated with the state investigator and filed a HUD complaint to further address the complete lack of ADA-compliant accessible parking spots, snow and ice problems, and pavement/asphalt issues, none of which issues were included in the state complaint. We then contacted the HUD investigator to confirm that all of the records were obtained with the complaint. Once everything was in place, we felt confident in turning the case back over to the client who was advised to contact the P&A again if any problems arose. The final result is ultimately unknown. But the HUD complaint was filed successfully, allowing the client to assert her rights in a way she would have been unable to without the P&A’s assistance. PRIORITY: COMMUNITY INTEGRATION GOAL D: To facilitate the community integration of individuals with disabilities by protecting their rights to receive appropriate supports and services in the most integrated setting. ISSUE: Under state and federal laws people with disabilities have the right to live in integrated settings in their local communities with the appropriate supports and services. However, many individuals with disabilities who are in both large and small facilities encounter barriers which make it difficult or prevent them from living in an integrated setting. Examples of such barriers include rules and policies that have a disparate impact on individuals with disabilities, the absence of community-based services, and the diversion of scarce resources away from community-based services. Outcome Indicators: D.1. To advocate on behalf of 3 individuals with disabilities who are being denied appropriate community-living and assisted-living options, including elders in need of dementia care; D.2. To assist 2 individuals with disabilities who have been denied access to programs or services, or who have had their rights infringed upon based on disability; Collaboration: PAIR, PAIMI and PADD work together to assist individuals with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting. P&A staff also collaborates with local independent living centers to help achieve this goal for our clients. Number of Cases: Under the heading of Community Integration the P&A worked on 10 cases of individual advocacy in FY15 (2 under D.1. and 8 under D.2.) Case Summary demonstrating the impact of the priority: The bulk of the cases in this priority area remain open and active. In the few that have concluded, the outcomes are not as clear as we would hope. Such is the case in the two examples below. In the first instance, a 56-year-old woman who is deaf contacted the Alaska P&A when a dentist denied her an interpreter for her appointment. Staff wrote a demand letter on behalf of the woman and advised her to wait for the letter to arrive before calling to try to make another appointment. The letter explained that the ADA requires dentists to provide interpreters for appointments. However, the woman did not wait for the letter to arrive. Instead, she walked into the dentist’s office on the day the letter was mailed and asked for an appointment and an interpreter on the spot. The dentist reportedly tried to call an interpreter but found that no one was available to interpret on short notice. The woman went forward with the appointment without an interpreter. Staff next advised the woman to file a discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Commission. She was told that if the complaint was substantiated she could contact the P&A for representation at the medication/conciliation stage. The P&A’s work in this matter was important because it attempted to advocate on the woman’s behalf by either making sure she had an interpreter or setting up a well-documented complaint for the Human Rights Commission. Although the resulting complaint may not be as clear as staff hoped, the woman was directed to the correct venue for her complaint, advised of the filing deadline and advised to seek representation with the P&A after the investigation was complete. In another instance, the Alaska P&A assisted a 59-year-old woman with muscular, skeletal and neurological disabilities regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims against a local branch of a national grocer. The woman wanted help assessing potential violations of the ADA for failure to maintain accessible parking as well as a potential ADA retaliation claim against the grocer for revoking her store membership. The P&A researched the applicable regulations and informed the woman in writing that the grocer’s parking lot maintenance complied with the ADA and that the revocation of her membership was not a violation of the ADA. The letter included general information about ADA parking lot requirements for the woman’s future reference and offered advice about alternative methods for regaining her membership. PRIORITY: EMPLOYMENT GOAL E: To advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities who face discrimination in employment. ISSUE: More than 25 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, many employers have discriminatory practices that adversely affect people with disabilities in hiring, retention, promotion and termination of employment. Outcome Indicators: E.1. To advocate on behalf of 3 individuals with disabilities threatened with an adverse employment action, such as termination, or denied a reasonable accommodation related to their disabilities, or required to work in segregated settings. Collaboration: PAIR, PAIMI and PADD work together to assist individuals with disabilities obtain and/or maintain employment. In many cases the P&A works in collaboration with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. Number of Cases: The P&A assisted 11 PAIR-eligible individuals with employment issues in FY15. Case Summary demonstrating the impact of the priority: A 50-year-old woman with a hearing impairment contacted the Alaska P&A because her employer was refusing several of her requests for a reasonable accommodation in connection with her new service animal. In addition, to the request of the service animal as a reasonable accommodation, the woman also wanted a particular office next to her current office that was larger and would accommodate her service animal. The office also had less windows which made it easier to hear conversations because windows bounced off sound. The P&A met with the woman several times and provided her technical advice about the law and her rights under the ADA. The P&A also helped her draft a letter and a response to her employer about her requests. Based on the efforts of the P&A, the woman was able to get her boss to agree to her request for the service animal in writing. However, she was not able to get the particular office she wanted though a close substitute was offered by the boss. The woman wanted to continue to negotiate for the office she felt was best for her disability, however, the P&A counseled her on her rights under the ADA which did not entitle her to the office she wanted. However, she was able to use this denial to negotiate a being able to work from her home more often. Based on the P&A’s assistance the woman learned rights under the ADA which empowered her to advocate strongly for herself. Though she did not get exactly what she wanted in her request for a reasonable accommodation, she was able negotiate what she felt was an even better situation for her and her service animal by being able to work from home. Often, when it comes to employment discrimination, the Alaska P&A first refers clients to the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights (CHR) for investigation. The CHR is the agency in Alaska tasked with enforcing the Alaska Human Rights Law to prevent and combat employment discrimination. The CHR also has greater resources than the P&A when it comes to investigating possible discrimination. Once a client has a finding of discrimination from the CHR, the P&A works with the individual on mediation or settlement. The 2 cases below are examples of this practice. In the first case, a police officer contacted the Alaska P&A when he felt he was about to be fired. The man had injured his knees and shoulder on the job and had needed multiple surgeries. As a result, he had used all of his Family Medical Leave Act leave and needed an extension for further recovery. The man’s extended leave request was denied and he was given a date upon which he must return to work or be terminated. P&A staff wrote to the city explaining that failure to approve a leave request in this situation was very likely a violation of the American’s with Disabilities Act. The letter explained that the officer was asking to return to work on the date requested but on restricted duty. His doctor’s had cleared him for full duty a month later. Staff explained that, because the leave requested had a specific return date, and did not appear to pose an undue burden on the City, failure to grant the leave as a reasonable accommodation would expose the city to liability. The city refused to allow the man back to work and preceded to terminate his employment. Staff advised the man on filing a complaint with the CHR and invited him to contact the P&A for representation once his complaint progressed to the mediation or settlement stage. The P&A was unable to save the man’s job in this case but it’s involvement was still beneficial because it informed the man of his rights and helped him stand up to his former employer. As a result of the P&A’s efforts, the city will have to respond to and defend its actions with the CHR. In the second case, a 39-year-old man with diabetes contacted the Alaska P&A when he was denied a job due to the cost of insuring him. The man had been informed that he would not be hired for a position he was otherwise qualified for because he had diabetes and would be too expensive to insure. Staff assessed the case and determined that the man should file a discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Commission. The man was also advised to re-contact the P&A for representation when his complaint made it to the point of mediation. PRIORITY: GOVERNMENT BENEFITS GOAL F: To advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities who seek access to government benefits. ISSUE: Access to basic individual and community supports through government assistance programs is necessary for people with disabilities before they can consider independent living, continued education and employment. These supports include Social Security programs, Alaska Public Assistance, in-home support services, individualized support from state government and private providers, Medicaid, Medicare, and managed care among others. Outcome Indicators: F.1. To assist 30 individuals with disabilities to obtain and/or maintain SSI/SSDI and related benefits, such as Adult Public Assistance; F.2. To represent 6 individuals with disabilities to obtain or retain services under Medicaid, Medicaid Waivers, Medicaid’s EPSDT program, or obtain or retain related services such as PCA services; Collaboration: PAIR, PAIMI and PADD work together in assisting clients to acquire benefits and in-home support services Staff also collaborates with other local agencies in outreach efforts to the homeless to secure for them the benefits to which they are entitled. Number of Cases: In FY15 the Alaska P&A assisted 83 PAIR-eligible individuals with Government Benefits issues (43 under F.1. and 40 under F.2.) Case Summary demonstrating the impact of the priority: F.1. Social Security Assistance 20 of the 43 cases in this area ended up having no merit to proceed once we assessed the details of the records. As we reported in FY14, because of the great demand for help with obtaining or maintaining government benefits in Alaska, and because of the P&A’s limited resources, we can only represent a fraction of the individuals who contact us for help in this issue area. In order to make the most of the resources we do have, for cases where we can’t represent the client at hearing we have developed one-to-one hearing preparation. This has been especially important since we changed our social security practice (see Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation, A. Systemic Activities, Alaska Social Security Denials) and have stopped representing individuals at their initial appeal of a denial. In FY15 we were able to sit down with 8 clients and go over questions that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) might ask at their hearing. To the extent that we knew the client’s medical and work history, we prepared them for what specific issue may be of concern to the ALJ. We also showed clients a short film that depicts what the hearing may look and feel like. The film was developed a few years ago when Alaska Bar Association asked the Alaska P&A to lend its knowledge (and the acting talent of its staff) to the effort. The Bar’s focus was on finding more attorneys to represent people at hearing. We don’t know what the outcome was for their organization, but for our clients this film has been very helpful. People often have in mind a criminal trial when they think of a hearing, and it can be a frightening prospect. Over and over again clients tell us how grateful they are for the one-to-one “walk through” we provide. Many of the P&A’s social security cases are still in progress. In a case that has concluded, a 56-year-old women with a neurological disorder requested the Alaska P&A’s assistance with an appeal of Social Security’s denial of her disability claim. Because of her disability she experienced visual problems, an unsteady gait, dizziness, migraines, weakness tingling and numbing in upper and lower extremities, lack of coordination, anxiety, and cognitive deficits. Her Social Security disability claim was denied on initial application because the Social Security Administration stated that her impairments were not severe enough. The client was present at her hearing in front of the Administrative Law Judge with her P&A representative and she received a fully favorable decision which will allow her to continue her medical treatment and have stable housing as she raises her two granddaughters. F.2. Medicaid assistance In a trend that began in FY14, our numbers under this objective have only continued to increase. This is because of a change in Alaska State Medicaid Regulations in 2012 that affected the way Medicaid does assessments for waiver services, including Personal Care Attendant (PCA) hours. In FY14 & 15, as the State moved through the list and more people came up for assessment, PCA hours were being dramatically reduced or terminated and it is no exaggeration to say that many desperately needed these benefits reinstated. For every case that we possibly could, the P&A jumped in to advocate for these clients. For example, the Alaska P&A successfully secured necessary personal care attendant (PCA) hours for a 70-year-old Alaska Native woman. The woman uses a wheelchair due to her Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) Disease and needs supplementary oxygen due to her lung disease (her lungs were damaged when she was caught in a house fire). POTS is a rare condition in which a patient’s heart rate speeds up 30 beats per minute or more without much change in blood pressure on standing, which causes lightheadedness, visual changes, headaches, tiredness, weakness, nausea, and can cause the individual to faint upon standing. The woman developed POTS as a child and has terrible memories of being institutionalized for the duration of her childhood. As a result she is adamantly opposed to and afraid of moving to and assisted living home. She contacted the P&A after receiving a notice in the mail reducing her PCA hours to 13 per week. With so few hours she would no longer be able to live independently. The P&A represented the woman in her appeal of the decision to reduce her hours. Through mediation the P&A increased the woman’s total hours to 41.5 hours, which was enough to allow her continued independence.

B. Priorities and Objectives for the Current Fiscal Year

Please include a statement of priorities and objectives for the current fiscal year (the fiscal year succeeding that covered by this report), which should contain the following information:

  1. a statement of each prioirty;
  2. the need addressed by each priority; and;
  3. a description of the activities to be carried out under each priority.

DISABILITY LAW CENTER OF ALASKA FY16 PAIR Priorities & Objectives PRIORITY: ABUSE & NEGLECT Goal A: Investigate allegations of abuse (including the use of seclusion and restraint), neglect, and exploitation of individuals with disabilities. Rationale: People with disabilities have a right to be free from abuse and neglect. Objectives: A.1. Investigate 13 reports of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities; A.2. Assess whether, in at least 12 secondary investigations, all federal, state, and local agencies charged with the responsibility of investigating complaints of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities conduct their investigations in a timely, thorough and objective manner; A.3. Establish and maintain contact through monitoring with residents of assisted living homes, nursing facilities, psychiatric facilities (adult and child), prisons, jails, and in Division of Juvenile Justice facilities, and sheltered workshops through at least 4 facility visits. Abuse & Neglect Strategic/Resource Guidance Complaints alleging the following abuse will be prioritized: death, suicide attempts, serious injury, failure to provide medical or mental health treatment, sexual misconduct, seclusion & restraint; Complaints originating in facilities with repeated complaints of abuse and neglect will be prioritized; DLC will prioritize monitoring facilities in rural hub communities and those facilities where residents have restricted access to communicating with DLC and other advocacy organizations. When DLC monitors Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Corrections’ facilities it will check for compliance with the requirements under the Prison Rape Elimination Act. PRIORITY: OUTREACH Goal B: Provide outreach to unserved/underserved individuals with disabilities in Alaska. Rationale: People with disabilities who are unaware of their rights can neither exercise those rights, nor protect themselves from rights abuses. Objectives: B.1. Conduct 6 outreach, intake, and/or, training events statewide for the purpose of informing people with disabilities of the services available to them through the P&A; B.2. Conduct 10 training events statewide for the purpose of informing people with disabilities of their legal rights and self-advocacy strategies; B.3. Disseminate to 100 rural clinics information about the P&A and specifically information on education rights and appropriate educational programming for students with traumatic brain injury. Outreach Strategic/Resource Guidance Outreach activities may be suspended when caseloads involving direct legal advocacy exceed manageable resource levels. PRIORITY: HOUSING Goal C: Advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities for housing and to prevent homelessness. Rationale: Being part of the community and living as independently as possible are among the most important values and goals shared by people with disabilities, their families, friends, and advocates. A home of one’s own — either rented or owned — is the cornerstone of independence for people with disabilities. However, across the nation, individuals with disabilities face a crisis in the availability of decent, safe, affordable, and accessible housing. Objectives: C.1. Advocate on behalf of 3 individuals with disabilities who have complaints of Fair Housing Act and other housing rights violations related to the disability, or require assistance in requesting a reasonable accommodation. Housing Strategic/Resource Guidance DLC will prioritize assisting individuals in institutions at risk of losing their community-based housing as a result of institutionalization, but not incarceration. PRIORITY: COMMUNITY INTEGRATION Goal D: Facilitate the community integration of individuals with disabilities by protecting their rights to receive appropriate supports and services in the most integrated setting. Rationale: Under state and federal laws people with disabilities have the right to live in integrated settings in their local communities with the appropriate supports and services. However, many individuals with disabilities who are in both large and small facilities encounter barriers which make it difficult or prevent them from living in an integrated setting. Examples of such barriers include rules and policies that have a disparate impact on individuals with disabilities, the absence of community-based services, and the diversion of scarce resources away from community-based services. Objectives: D.1. Assist 5 individuals with disabilities who have been denied access to programs or services, or who have had their rights infringed upon based on disability. PRIORITY: EMPLOYMENT Goal E: Advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities who face discrimination in employment. Rationale: More than 25 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, many employers have discriminatory practices that adversely affect people with disabilities in hiring, retention, promotion and termination of employment. Objectives: E.1. Advocate on behalf of 5 individuals with disabilities threatened with an adverse employment action, such as termination, or denied a reasonable accommodation related to their disabilities, or required to work in segregated settings. Employment Strategic/Resource Guidance Assisting individuals with employment related matters may not, in all instances, include court or administrative representation, but may involve the provision of self-advocacy assistance; If a complaint of employment discrimination is being, or should be, investigated by another agency, such as the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, the Alaska State Commission on Human Rights, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, DLC may delay its own assessment and/or make a referral to the appropriate agency. PRIORITY: GOVERNMENT BENEFITS Goal F: Advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities who seek access to government benefits. Rationale: Access to basic individual and community supports through government assistance programs is necessary for people with disabilities before they can consider independent living, continued education and employment. These supports include Social Security programs, Alaska Public Assistance, in-home support services, individualized support from state government and private providers, Medicaid, Medicare, and managed care among others. Objectives: F.1. Assist 30 individuals with disabilities to obtain and/or maintain SSI/SSDI and related benefits, such as Adult Public Assistance; F.2. Assist 30 individuals with disabilities to obtain or retain services under Medicaid, Medicaid Waivers, Medicaid’s EPSDT program, or obtain or retain related services such as PCA services. Government Benefits Strategic/Resource Guidance Assisting individuals in maintaining social security benefits does not include help with overpayment issues unless the overpayment is a barrier to obtaining or maintaining employment.

Part VI. Narrative

At a minimum, you must include all of the information requested. You may include any other information, not otherwise collected on this reporting form that would be helpful in describing the extent of PAIR activities during the prior fiscal year. Please limit the narrative portion of this report, including attachments, to 20 pages or less.

The narrative should contain the following information. The instructions for this form outline the information that should be contained in each section.

  1. Sources of funds received and expended
  2. Budget for the fiscal year covered by this report
  3. Description of PAIR staff (duties and person-years)
  4. Involvement with advisory boards (if any)
  5. Grievances filed under the grievance procedure
  6. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and the State long-term care program, if these programs are not part of the P&A agency

A. Sources of funds received and expended: Source of Funding Amount Received Amount Spent Federal (section 509) 279,875 203,277 State 0 0 Program income 0 0 Private 0 0 All other funds 0 0 Total (from all sources) 279,875 203,277 B. Budget for the fiscal year covered by the report: Category Prior Fiscal Year Report Fiscal Year Wages/salaries 77,276 93,736 Fringe benefits 34,154 42,022 Materials/supplies 3,350 4,928 Postage 429 603 Telephone 1,889 2,213 Rent 12,683 15,766 Travel 2,834 3,520 Copying 2,147 2,514 Bonding/insurance 941 1,102 Equipment 0 0 Legal services 1,000 1,000 Indirect costs 37,620 46,880 Miscellaneous 5,796 9,501 Total Budget 180,119 223,785 C. Description of PAIR staff: Executive Director - .04 FTE from this grant. This Anchorage-based position provides overall direction for the PAIR project. The Executive Director is also responsible for the administration of the organization and reports to the Board of Directors. Legal Director - .21 FTE from this grant. This Anchorage-based position provides day-to-day supervision of Protection and Advocacy services, including both legal and non-legal advocacy. This position reports to the Executive Director. Staff Attorneys — 0.58 FTE from this grant. These four positions are supervised by the Legal Director. The Staff Attorneys provide support to the program's Legal Advocates, as well as providing training and legal assistance to clients. Legal Advocates — .63 FTE from this grant. These positions provide general agency intake and advocacy services, and are responsible for conducting training and outreach activities. One position (.10) was vacant throughout the year. Paralegal - .15 FTE from this grant. This Anchorage-based position provides legal and clerical support to the staff attorneys and advocates, primarily with conducting legal research, case file organization and maintenance, and the copying and organization of training materials for education and outreach activities. Development Coordinator — 0.15 FTE from this grant. This Anchorage-based position has responsibility for the coordination, quality and supervision of outreach services including presentations, training, community awareness education and street outreach. This position reports to the Executive Director. Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person-years Professional Full-time Full-time 1.56 100% 1.56 Part-time 0 0 0 Vacant .20 0% .0 Clerical Full-time 0 0% 0 Part-time 0 0 0 Vacant 0 0 0 D. Involvement of Advisory Boards (if any): The Alaska P&A does not have an advisory board for the PAIR program. E. Grievance Filed Under the Grievance Procedure: There were 2 grievances filed under the PAIR program during the relevant reporting period. F. Coordination with the Client Assistance Program and the State Long-Term Care Program. Beginning in FY12, the CAP is operated by the P&A in Alaska. The P&A works closely with the Long Term Care Ombudsman on issues related to nursing homes and senior citizens.

Certification

Signed?Yes
Signed ByDavid C Fleurant
TitleExecutive Director
Signed Date12/17/2015