Why is Department of Social Services threatening their Clients with lies? My name is Craig Sears and I am a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury TBI. The US says we have rights; but the State's trample all over them as if they are immune to our constitutional rights. Here is an example of how the Department of Social Services DSS tries to pull one over on us. I've been a participant in the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Waiver Program for several years in Connecticut every year around June or July I have an Annual Review! State Team Meeting to reevaluate me to see if I'm disabled ha-ha like it is going to go away, and this year was no different. Like they have done every year, they try to take my services away from me by cutting my hours or try to remove me from the program all together. As well as threatening me and saying I am not compliant with the program because I do not allow them into my residence, every year after the meeting DSS has me sign a blank waiver agreement page without a completed service plan. It's like they want complete control. I had to have the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities at my team meeting like I have had to do in the past years, because my services are always being threatened. Not many survivors or anyone for that matter will stand up to them and voice their opinion. Me on the other hand, if I can help myself and be a voice for myself then being able to help others fight through some of their own difficulties with some of the same issues then it's worth it. I won't let the state harass me and mess up or take away my services; I wouldn't want other survivors to go through the same issues, if not more. 1. The ABI Waiver program is a federal program. The states are program providers for the government. Most requirements the state try to impose on us are not mandated in the plan. When it's brought to light they do their best to justify it. 2. When I hire any of my program providers, I explain to them I must be notified on everything and anything concerning my case, right down to an email sent out. I must be notified with everything that goes on with my whole entire case/program staff etc, because I know how the state likes to twist our words around and use our doctors against us. Been there down that! I refuse to play these head games with the state! If the program providers don't agree with it they are off my team! "¢ Sec. 17b-260a-1I, Individuals who are eligible for ABI services shall be given free choice of all qualified providers of each service included in his or her plan of care. "¢ Sec. 17b-260a-1J7 states that it is the responsibility of the Department to pay for approved ABI waiver services delivered by qualified providers through its fiduciary agent on behalf of the individual. A month before my team meeting I received a call from my ABI Medicaid Waiver doctor, (who had previously received a call from J.D @ Bridgeport DSS who mind you is a supervisor. explaining to me my services were going to be lowered, and that DSS was going to try and use my program against me; all because I will "˜NOT' allow them into my apt/home. o While the Department may argue that a review of my' service plan is necessary, additional evaluations are requested, it cannot hold his/her services in suspense while these decisions are made by my team. I have a current Department approved ABI Waiver service plan. The Department has a responsibility and obligations to provide me with these services until such time as any changes are made to my plan. "¢ Sec. 17b-260a-1J2c Responsibilities of the Department, The Department shall assign social work staff to execute the following ABI responsibilities: implement the approved service plan and coordinate services provided to the individual under the waiver. Furthermore, the Department has overstepped its authority; it is the interdisciplinary team that makes determinations about the service plan. This was done without an ABI Waiver team meeting, and in absence of me, my appointed advocate, and a neuropsychologist familiar with me. "¢ Sec. 17b-260a-1G4 the service plan shall be developed by an interdisciplinary team that includes the individual, his or her conservator, if any, the Department social worker assigned to coordinate the individual's service plan, a neuropsychologist who is familiar with the individual, other clinical staff as needed, and any other person(s) of the individual's choice. o I knew it was false because I have been a participant in the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Waiver Program for several years in Connecticut and I have never had anyone from DSS come into my home and do a visit. Below is an example of how they try and pull one over on us. This is an email from my ABI waiver doctor to me. Hi Craig You are correct...clients on the ABI Waiver are not required to allow DSS to do home visits. If the client refuses a home visit that's fine. There are no consequences for not allowing a home visit. Dr. T. M. A., PhD., M. S., MBA 1. DSS has me sign a blank waiver agreement page without a completed service plan. This is an email from my ABI waiver doctor to my Human Services Advocate at the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and me. Hi Jessica, Would you note that the DSS supervisors asked CS to sign a blank waiver agreement page without a completed service plan? They requested that yesterday and I didn't say anything because I want to document this practice. One, it's unethical. Especially when the worker has threatened to unilaterally change the plan without client involvement. Two, DSS is billing clients for a co pay that is not documented in the plan. They are saying that clients sign off and understand the terms but they don't review the document. Please note this in your records from yesterday's meeting if you saw what I saw. Dr. T. M. A., PhD., M. S., MBA "¢ This is why it is so important to be knowledgeable on the laws that are put in place to protect TBI survivors.