The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unique opportunities and challenges for the individuals and families who utilize our services, their service providers and our community. We worked together to find creative solutions to meet individual’s needs and support their vision of a good life while simultaneously making difficult decisions that were necessary to keep everyone supported, healthy and safe.
The public health emergency has also brought unique challenges to the state of Indiana. On May 21, 2020, Indiana’s State Budget Agency announced that each state agency was asked to immediately implement a 15% budget reduction. With this announcement, the Family and Social Services Administration has strived to meet the challenges of our state on many fronts and to continue to deliver critical services. In order to accomplish this, the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services had to make difficult decisions related to required budget reductions. DDRS administers services across the life span therefore this meant finding ways to meet budgetary requirements without impacting critical services to those who utilize programs such as First Steps, Medicaid home-and community-based services and Vocational Rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, this did mean that DDRS had to reduce a number of contracts and eliminate certain state-funded programs. The state-funded programs that are being eliminated are caregiver supports, community based sheltered work and facility-based sheltered work. DDRS understands the value of such state-funded programs, but also wanted to minimize the direct service impact to the least number of individuals and providers.
State-funded programs not currently impacted and will continue to be funded include: supported employment follow along services and OBRA services.
Caregiver supports: As of July 1, 2020, the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services will not be re-opening caregiver supports’ application process. Annually this impacts approximately 60 individuals. BDDS will continue to work with advocacy groups and partners to identify and connect individuals and families with other potential resources.
Community based sheltered work and facility based sheltered work: As of August 14, 2020,BDDS will not be reimbursing providers for community based sheltered work and facility based sheltered work. Annually this impacts approximately 260 individuals and 15 providers.
This will not affect Medicaid HCBS that may continue to be provided in facilities, such as prevocational services or other habilitation services. Individuals will continue to have access to various employment related services through Medicaid’s home-and community-based services waivers. Additionally, individuals who may want to explore competitive integrated employment are encouraged to learn more about employment services available through the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services Vocational Rehabilitation.
The Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services and the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services is committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure individuals and families have access to needed services and supports to live their vision of a good life. If you have questions about these changes please email BQIS.Help@fssa.IN.gov.
The DDRS is a program of the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration. If you have questions about DDRS programs and services, visit us online at www.DDRS.In.gov.