Safeguarding a Child's Support Services

 We received a call from a client's mother because her son was determined no longer eligible for the Flexible Family Fund program, which provides a monthly stipend to families to assist with costs when an individual is found to have a qualifying disability. 

The son has been diagnosed with Austism and a chromosomal anomaly and receives services through the NOW waiver.  The issue was that the human service district determined the son was no longer eligible without following the appropriate procedure to determine re-eligibility.  To determine eligibility for this particular program, the human service district is required to obtain information from the child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as well as obtaining responses to specified eligibility questions from the caregiver.  In this case, the human service district did provide the mother with the questionnaire to complete, but elected not to use her responses in making their determination.  The determination of ineligibility was made arbitrarily and was not based on the client's actual needs.  An Advocacy Center staff attorney enrolled in the case and we appealed the termination from the program to the Division of Administrative Law.  The Administrative Law Judge found that the human service district failed to follow their own procedure and reversed the decision of ineligibility, thereby resulting in the client remaining eligible for the Flexible Family Fund program for another year.