OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 246

AN ACT CONCERNING A STATE-WIDE WAITING LIST FOR RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT FOR PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.

SUMMARY

This bill makes various changes affecting the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and individuals with intellectual disability.

As under current practice, the bill requires the DDS commissioner to maintain one statewide, comprehensive residential waiting list for individuals with intellectual disability and update the list at least quarterly. It also requires the commissioner or his designee to do the following:

1. starting by August 1, 2018, and in consultation with the individual and his or her legal representative, annually assess the future residential funding or service needs for certain individuals with intellectual disability and

2. starting by December 1, 2018, annually review the residential waiting list with the DDS regional advisory councils and the Council on Developmental Services.

The bill also:

1. replaces the term “priority status” with “category” in certain existing provisions on DDS' assessment of the urgency for providing residential services or funding and

2. requires DDS to make a specified annual report available online, rather than requiring the department to report the information to the Appropriations and Public Health committees.

The bill also makes conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

DDS RESIDENTIAL WAITING LIST

The bill defines “residential waiting list” as data DDS maintains with the number of individuals with intellectual disability who:

1. have requested residential funding or services from DDS,

2. have been determined by DDS to need such funding or services, and

3. are unable to receive such funding or services because of DDS' inability to provide the funding or services within existing appropriations.

The bill requires the commissioner to develop and maintain one statewide comprehensive residential waiting list and update it at least quarterly. (In practice, DDS currently does this.) The bill specifies that the waiting list must (1) be organized by geographic region, (2) identify the type of residential funding or services each individual is requesting, and (3) include the estimated period that the funding or services would be accepted by the individual.

ANNUAL ASSESSMENT OF FUTURE NEEDS

Starting by August 1, 2018, the bill requires the DDS commissioner or his designee to annually assess the need for future DDS residential funding or services for each individual with intellectual disability who is eligible for DDS residential funding or services from DDS and who has an individual plan (presumably, the plan DDS prepares for individuals who receive DDS supports or services). The commissioner or designee must do so in consultation with the individual and his or her legal representative, if applicable.

The bill requires the assessment to indicate the period when each support or service would be accepted by the individual, based on information collected at the annual meeting.

“CATEGORY” FOR RESIDENTIAL SERVICES

Under current law, individuals DDS determines as eligible for department funding or services, or their legal guardians or representatives, may obtain from DDS a copy of the individual's “priority status” for residential services if the individual has an unmet need for such services. The bill substitutes the term “category” for “priority status” for this purpose, and retains the existing definition (the department's assessment of the urgency of an individual's need for DDS funding or services). It specifies that such individuals or their legal guardians or representatives may obtain a copy of their category for residential funding as well as residential services.

The bill makes a similar change in terminology in another law that allows individuals with intellectual disability, or their legal representatives, to request a hearing to contest DDS' priority assignment of individuals seeking residential services.

REPORTING REQUIREMENT

Current law requires the DDS commissioner to report annually to the Appropriations and Public Health committees on the number of individuals it determines are eligible for DDS funding or services and who (1) have unmet residential care or employment opportunity and day service needs or (2) are eligible for DDS's behavioral services program and are waiting for funding. The bill instead requires the commissioner to annually report this information on the department's website.

BACKGROUND

Legislative History

The Senate referred the bill (File 604) to the Appropriations Committee, which reported a substitute. Among other things, the substitute bill:

1. removes provisions which would require DDS to develop and annually update five- and 10-year care plans for certain individuals with intellectual disability and annually complete a survey of such individuals, and

2. adds the provisions changing terminology and requiring the report to be posted online rather than sent to legislative committees.

Related Bill

sSB 39 (File 602), reported favorably by the Public Health Committee, makes various changes regarding DDS services, such as requiring the department to provide in-home support services to individuals and families on a DDS waiting list, or those seeking DDS services, by using employees who complete the department's Training Academy for Family Support program to deliver these services.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

26

Nay

0

(03/27/2017)

Appropriations Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

47

Nay

0

(05/08/2017)