Archive for May, 2011

SSA Hearings Training – May 19 – Superior, Wisconsin

The training will cover the basics of SSA benefits, applications, appeals, and practice tips for representing clients at SSA disability hearings. Attorneys from DRW’s Benefits Team will co-present with two private attorneys who handle SSA cases in Northwestern Wisconsin. The tuition is $100. We prefer that registrations be submitted by May 12th but will accept registrations until the day of the training and at the door.

Click here for a flyer with details.

Disability Rights Wisconsin expresses concerns about Photo ID bill that passed out of Committee this week

Disability Rights Wisconsin sent a letter to Representative Tauchen and members of the Assembly Committee on Elections and Campaign Reform expressing concerns that the bill which passed out of committee this week will negatively impact voters with disabilities. The bill will require voters to present photo identification in order to register and vote, but also makes ends corroboration, makes it more difficult to by absentee ballot in-person, requires individuals to sign the poll book, and puts undo burden on voters who vote an absentee ballot by mail.

Click here to download the Committee letter SA1 to AB7

DRW participates in Appellate Court case stopping Mental Health commitment of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease

DRW submitted an Amicus brief in the Appellate Court in Helen E.F. v. Fond du Lac County, advocating against the inclusion of individuals with only a diagnosis Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia “with behaviors” as subject to commitment under the state law goverening involuntary mental health commitments (Chapter 51). The court agreed with this position, holding that Alzheimer’s disease is not a qualifying mental illness for the purposes of comminment standards and people with only a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or similar types of dementia are not the proper subjects for treatment under Chapter 51. This case could have far reaching implications for nursing homes and other residential placements which account for the majority of emergency detentions initiated against Alzheimer’s patients. Additionally, this ruling requires changes in emergency detention procedures for both law enforcement and inpatient psychiatric facilities. Fond du Lac County has 30 days to decide whether to ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to review this decision, if it does, DRW will ask the Court to participate at that level as well. Click here to view the article:

DRW submits testimony in favor of SB 42 expanding mandatory reporters of child abuse

Here is the testimony which DRW submitted yesterday in support of SB 42 which would make all school employees mandatory reporters of child abuse and forbid termination of any school employee who makes a good faith report of child abuse:

DRW testimony – sb 42

DRW submits testimony against AB 110-Special Needs Scholarships bill

Here is the testimony which DRW submitted at Tuesday’s hearing against AB 110, which seeks to create Special Needs Scholarships:

DRW testimony – ab 110

DRW and Survival Coalition Issue Statement in Support of Results of Family Care Audit

The Legislative Audit Bureau released the long-awaited Family Care audit results on April 27, 2011. The statewide Survival Coalition of Disability Organizations, of which Disability Rights Wisconsin is a member, reports that the audit shows there is no reason for the state to impose a cap on all long term care programs. In fact, a cap will have detrimental effects.

Click here to download Survival Coalition Family Care Audit Statement
Click here to download Impact of LTC Cap

Myths & Facts about Special Needs Scholarships

DRW has produced a Myths & Facts sheet on AB 110 which proposes to create Special Needs Scholarships. DRW opposes this bill. The Assembly Education Committee will hold a hearing on this bill on Tuesday, May 3rd @ 10 AM in Room 417 North. If you can’t make it, you can call your legislator to oppose the bill at 1-800-362-9472.

Click here for the Myths & Facts sheet.

Click here to read an article on this topic on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel website.

Lift the Caps on Community Long Term Care Services

The proposed state budget freezes all community long term care programs except nursing homes, which are more expensive than in-home care. This includes Family Care, IRIS, Partnership, PACE, and the Children’s Waivers. People currently getting services will still receive them; however, other older adults, and children and adults with disabilities will not be able to enroll unless this cap is lifted. The cap will not save money because it will lead to an increased use of expensive and preventable institutional care.

Act Now! Ask state legislators to lift the cap on community long term care services because they are more cost effective than institutions and better for people.

Action Requested

Click here to download the State Budget LTC Action Alert.