RSA-227 for FY-2019: Submission #1070

Montana
9/30/2019
General Information
Designated Agency Identification
Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
{Empty}
Helena
MT
59601
(800) 245-4743
(800) 245-4743
Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)
Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
{Empty}
Helena
59601
Montana
(800) 245-4743
(800) 245-4743
Additional Information
Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
Kathy Hampton
(406) 449-2344
{Empty}
Part I. Non-case Services
A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)
16
0
3
0
5
3
27
B. Training Activities
10
531
Training presentation to the Jail Advisory Committee, Bozeman, MT. General overview of DRM/CAP and disability issues. 22 participants <p><p>Conference on Mental Illness. DRM/CAP provides outreach materials, resources and a overview of services. 150 participants <p><p>DRM/CAP provided outreach materials and did an overview of services to the Office of Public Assistance. 100 participants <p><p>DRM attorneys did a presentation to Partners in Home Care in Missoula, MT. Provided an overview of P&A services and resources. 23 participants <p><p>DRM attorney did tabling at the 30 year anniversary for the Alliance for Disability Services at the University of Montana, in Missoula, Mt. Resources about P&A and CAP were passed out. 25 participants <p><p>DRM attorney was the keynote speaker at the Helena Veteran&rsquo;s Center talking about civil rights issues for the general public with a Disability Rights Montana/CAP overview. 25 participants <p><p>DRM attorney and CAP advocate did a DRM overview for statewide VR counselors. 35 participants <p><p>
C. Agency Outreach
CAP advocate still participates on the Native American Task Force (NATF). While this task force is still defining itself, several issues have been worked on. <p><p>Recovery Advocacy Project (RAP) This is a nationwide effort to develop a network of state and regional representatives to work on specifically addictions and work toward recovery from addictions. <p><p>Montana received $2.1 million in federal grant dollars to support the PAX Good Behavior Game in schools across the state. This program confronts youth suicide, substance abuse and peer pressure, and helps our kids become more resilient The Good Behavior Game is evidence-based and has shown great promise in Montana. This is an excellent opportunity to provide a valuable tool to even more of our students and teachers in classrooms. NATF is working with Tribal schools to apply for the program to assist their youth. <p><p>CAP advocate all participates on the NCSRC phone calls and webinars. <p><p>Training presentation to the Jail Advisory Committee, Bozeman, MT. General overview of DRM/CAP and disability issues. 22 participants <p><p>Conference on Mental Illness. DRM/CAP provides outreach materials, resources and a overview of services. 150 participants <p><p>DRM/CAP provided outreach materials and did an overview of services to the Office of Public Assistance. 100 participants <p><p>DRM attorneys did a presentation to Partners in Home Care in Missoula, MT. Provided an overview of P&A services and resources. 23 participants <p><p>DRM attorney did tabling at the 30 year anniversary for the Alliance for Disability Services at the University of Montana, in Missoula, Mt. Resources about P&A and CAP were passed out. 25 participants <p><p>DRM attorney was the keynote speaker at the Helena Veteran&rsquo;s Center talking about civil rights issues for the general public with a Disability Rights Montana/CAP overview. 25 participants <p><p>DRM attorney and CAP advocate did a DRM overview for statewide VR counselors. 35 participants <p><p>
D. Information Disseminated To The Public By Your Agency
0
0
0
340
10
85
employee who did outreach for the agency, set up a database, contacted 85 entities in the state and sent DRM brochures, including CAP red books (The Vocational Rehabilitation Process) to these entities. All CAP red Books are given to all new VR clients when they do an application with VR. CAP pays for the printing and distribution of those books. <p><p>CAP also sends out a brochure quarterly to all closed cases of individuals of VR services, asking them to contact CAP if they feel their case was closed in error or they had difficulties with VR. This is done through a 3rd party where CAP does not see the names sent to a local Printing Company who gets the names from VR , CAP (DRM) pays for the distribution of the pamphlets. <p><p>
E. Information Disseminated About Your Agency By External Media Coverage
Facebook Followers - 1524 Mail Chimp Newsletter - Sent out quarterly and weekly during legislature - 687 recipients Twitter - 5077 Website program was changed so their was not a count of website hits for FY 2019 DRM <P><p>
Part II. Individual Case Services
A. Individuals served
15
14
29
1
16
B. Problem areas
2
7
17
1
0
1
0
2
C. Intervention Strategies for closed cases
6
0
0
6
2
0
14
D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files
10
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
<P><p>
E. Results achieved for individuals
0
0
0
0
0
5
1
1
0
7
VR client was concerned about why VR closed her case. CAP was able to get her file and explain how and why it was closed. Client did not want to continue with college and told VR she could find a job on her own. Client did not want her grandmother to find out that she no longer wanted to attend college. VR appropriated worked with client and gave her the correct information on case closure. <p><p>Client was upset that his VR case was closed. CAP requested file and found out that the client did not stay in contact with his VR counselor for at least 9 months and would not return the counselor&rsquo;s phone calls. State VR is in an Order of Selection so client re-applied and is currently on the waiting list. <p><p>CAP worked with client and VR counselor on how to ask for reasonable accommodations so client could pass her esthetician state exam. <p><p>Client contacted CAP saying his VR counselor wanted to contact the pre-release center he was assigned to so they could talk to them. Sent client a release so advocate could talk to VR. Client did not sent the ROI back to CAP. <p><p>Client with a TBI thought he should be receiving VR services not understanding that he was on a waiting list due to state VR being in a total OOS. <p><p>2 VR clients cases were closed because their files were sent to another office since there VRC quit. The VR office&rsquo;s phone number was also changed so they could not contact their new VRC saying they still wanted services from VR. CAP advocate was able to straighten out the misunderstanding and get their cases re-opened with VR. <p><p><p><p>
Part III. Program Data
A. Age
0
1
7
18
3
29
B. Gender
18
11
29
C. Race/ethnicity of Individuals Served
0
6
0
1
0
21
1
0
D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
2
13
0
0
0
1
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
29
E. Types of Individuals Served
28
0
0
0
0
1
Part IV. Systemic Activities and Litigation
A. Non-Litigation Systemic Activities
1
In last year&rsquo;s CAP PPR it was mentioned that due to high SRC turnover that the CAP advocate wanted to make sure the new SRC members coming to the council would be appropriately trained for their role as SRC members. CAP was able to get Cheryl Bates-Harris from NDRN to Montana to train the SRC in their responsibilities as council members. The state VR paid half of the expenses for this project. Ms. Bates-Harris trained on the following topics.<p>.What is the role of the SRC?<p>. What are the functions of the SRC? Assist in writing of the State Plan and Governor&rsquo;s report<p>.Consumer Satisfaction Survey. Review and analyze the effectiveness of the survey.<p>.Coordinate activities with other councils<p>.Build a working relationship between VR, SILC, and the CILS.<p>.Systems advocacy. Identifying the problem and solution, identify the strategy then develop the strategy.<p>.Do systemic work, develop and use techniques.<p>This training was also attended by several VR counselors from across the state and was positively received. The training was very well received and appreciated by the SRC members. A huge issue for CAP was that consumers who were attending college/vocational school, were only getting up to $350 for their books. CAP supervisor and advocate worked very hard for VR to understand that their cannot be limits on services especially when a student has to take out a loan to pay for their books. CAP advocate is finally seeing new IPEs being developed without that cost limit. This training brought about a wholesale rewrite of many policies including those that placed caps upon the cost of some services.<p>CAP advocate and attorney met with the Director of VR services and discussed many potential changes for VR policies. We were able to discuss several issues and while they have not been put into a formal policy as of yet, communication took place and VR is currently updating and changing some policies. CAP will be able to report hopefully on those new policy changes in FY 2020.<p>CAP supervisor and advocate were able to meet with RSA audit members when they came to Montana to audit Montana VR. See attached letter<p>CAP also had to do a FOIA request to the US Department of Education regarding getting information on The ASVRP Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in Poplar, MT. CAP has had numerous complaints regarding the ASVRP with them not providing services to clients. CAP has worked with RSA and has had several phone calls with RSA representatives regarding this matter. Lack of follow up from RSA has been astonishing to say the least. CAP was told RSA would look into this matter and it has been ongoing for over a year with no results for the clients.<p>Montana VR still remains in a total OOS (all 3 categories), now going on from March 2017. Very slowly, applicants on the waiting list for Category 1 are being served. There are over 3200 people on the waiting list for all categories, Category 1 has approximately 1200 on the waiting list. VR reports t
B. Litigation
0
0
0
NA <P><p>
Part V. Agency Information
A. Designated Agency
External-Protection and Advocacy agency
Disability Rights Montana
No
NA
B. Staff Employed
B. Staff Employed Provide a description of all CAP positions (duties and person-years) Type of Position FTE % of year filled Person-years Professional Full-time 1.11 100 8 Part-time Vacant Clerical Full-time 0.22 100 3 Part-time Vacant <P><p>
Part VI. Case Examples
Case Examples
Montana VR still remains in a total OOS (all 3 categories), now going on from March 2017. <p><p>DRM worked with a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) client in trying to get her business plan approved and funded for an Electronic Waste Refinery business. Client has a TBI. She is a SSI recipient and worked with the Ticket to Work program. Client started her VR business in 2017. She worked very hard to develop her business plan. Client had to go to numerous surrounding communities in her rural area of Montana to e-waste events, and work with communities and state run agencies to get their e-waste materials. Client is also a fierce advocate for environmental issues and educated many entities in the process of achieving her goal. After numerous meetings, DRM was able to successfully argue that with the continued funding of VR to help pay for vehicle repairs and travel costs to Ohio to refine her e-waste, client would actually turn a profit. Therefore, VR could close her case successful since client would make over the amount that she anticipated in her plan. She was finally able to take her e-waste to Ohio in the fall of 2019 to be refined. <p><p>This same client also had a CDR (Continuing Disability Review) announced in the last few months. This was very traumatic for her as she had never been reviewed and currently has an open IPE with VR and is utilizing her Ticket on the TTW Program. She didn&rsquo;t understand why she would have a CDR. The CAP advocate contacted VR and SSA to see what happened with this client&rsquo;s Ticket to Work and why she would have a CDR. <p><p>VR had no idea what the procedure was to file TTW information and/or how to explain the TTW program or procedures to their counselors or clients. After many phone calls and much work by CAP, it was determined that in 2015, when the client was injured and in the hospital, she failed to turn in or understand the SSA paperwork on her timely progress review. After asking TTW to review her case, they had agreed she was in fact making timely progress and excused her from medical reviews. It had taken a lot of people and a lot of time to understand how this had happened. The client was very stressed and VR failed to understand this. CAP explained in length how people who have been on benefits most of their life were afraid they could lose their checks even though they have lifelong disabilities. <p><p>As a result of this case, CAP had a meeting with the State VR director explaining what had happened and to make sure all VR counselors now understand SSA benefits, the TTW program and how to explain those to VR clients. As a result of this, VR is now getting a VR counselor trained as a CWIC so they can better help SSA recipients understand their benefits and that they can go back to work and not lose them. This is a huge accomplishment as most of the VR clients had to utilize a comparable benefit in a SSA benefits planner, however she was often very busy and clients
Certification
Approved
Bernadette Franks-Ongoy
Executive Director
2019-11-04
OMB Notice

OMB Control Number: 1820-0528, approved for use through 07/31/2023

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