Texas Call to Action - HCS Eligibility
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is accepting comments from stakeholders on various draft rules.
We want you to be aware of #21R058 (see attached) regarding the proposed draft rule of Title 26, Chapter 263 concerning Home and Community-Based Services (HCS) Program and Community First Choice (CFC), more specifically Section 263.101(a)(5)(J), which automatically makes all intentional communities and campus settings ineligible for HCS services. These restrictions are nothing new. Texas has had them in place for many years under Section 9.155 of Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code. While the rule predates the federal HCBS Settings Rule, it is unnecessarily restrictive and it goes above and beyond the federal regulation. Most importantly, the rule denies people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the rights to live and receive services in a setting of their choice.
We need your help. Please share your stories and ask HHSC to amend Section 263.101 by deleting subparagraph (a)(5)(J) and make such other revisions as necessary so that the eligibility requirements for HCS funding are no more restrictive than the federal Settings Rule.
Attached is a powerful statement by Debra Caudy, Founder of 29 Acres. You can use this as a sample template. We want as many people as possible to submit their own stories!
Briefly share your story
If your family member lived, worked or spent his or her days in a "community" setting, i.e. one that meets the current regulation, but did not do well in that setting, describe your family member's experience and why it did not meet his or her needs.
Describe the setting your family member is currently in or wants that is threatened by the proposed rule or does not come within the requirements of the proposed rule.
Describe how your family member is thriving in that setting.
Describe how he or she still has access to the "community" and is not "isolated."
Explain that your family member's current setting is his or her choice and the importance of preserving choice.
For those whose family member is still living at home, describe how the proposed rule is preventing new development of the community that he or she wants and desperately needs.
Ask that the rule be amended to permit settings like your family member's and to preserve choice.
Share how the setting has changed your family's life. "We are lucky to have found _______ because...." or "My child can .................."
Please send your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1st.
Can you please mobilize your community by spreading the word and encouraging as many people as possible to submit their comments?
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance in preparing your comment. Thank you so much! Let's get this state regulation changed once and for all! We are stronger together!
Together for Choice