Providing Special Needs Children With Adequate Health Care – Four Provisions Considered
What is an intellectual disability? How does one go about getting into an intellectual disability facility? (c) When does one become disabled? (d) What types of benefits are available in an intellectual disability? What is a’mental illness’?
(a) An intellectual disability facility must inform the court within a reasonable time that the person is disabled. (The period within which this must be done is called the ‘lead time’). (b) If the assessment determines that the disabled person no longer satisfies the commitment criteria, it shall inform the court within a reasonable time of that fact and the reason for that loss. Within a reasonable time, the disabled person must either meet the additional requirements of the assessment or the department shall inform the court. (c) Within twenty-one days after the department informs the court, the disabled person must apply for a change of address.
(d) After receipt of an application, the hearing officer shall appoint an agent to act on behalf of the applicant. (e) At the end of the fourteen business days, if the department finds that the applicant needs more time to make an application, the hearing officer shall appoint an additional agent. (f) On the day of the fifteenth business days, if the hearing officer finds that there are exceptional circumstances that prevent the applicant from making an application in accordance with the provisions of s.12(a), (b), (c) or (d), the hearing officer shall dismiss the application. On the succeeding business day, if the department finds that the applicant can make an application in accordance with the provisions of s.12(a), (b), (c) or (d), the hearing officer shall appoint an additional agent. (g) In cases where the fourteen days referred to in s. 12(d) are not applicable, the court may order that the application be made by the next business day.
(h) A final provision to the act ensures that funds available within the system cannot be used for an abortion or for any prohibited treatment. The term prohibited treatment is defined as “unusual procedure.” The court may order that a woman undergo an abortion if it finds that she is likely to experience death or major physical impairment as a result of the abortion. The court may also order that a woman undergoing an abortion be subject to electro-castration, injections, or similar treatments if it finds that she is likely to experience death or major mental impairment as a result of that abortion. It is noteworthy that the term “prohibited treatment” does not include the situations described in the previous two provisions; the mere fact that a woman faces an obstacle in getting an abortion due to the unavailability of funds does not amount to a finding of unavailability of those funds.
(i) There are times, however, when the habilitation process simply is not possible. If, for instance, the applicant cannot make her initial application for a federal disability benefits program because of her intellectual disability or a related disability, then she will not be able to submit an application for eligibility for state benefits. The applicant will not then be able to make a third application for state benefits. In such cases, her case will be placed in the pool of applicants for special needs funding, and the state funding agency will choose the applicant who has been submitted most adequately to meet her state’s needs.
(j) The fourth provision ensures that a person with an intellectual disability or a related disability does not lose access to public funds if she is committed to an institution. The term “receiving services” refers to the things that a person would need to do on a day-to-day basis if she were not in a facility. Thus, if a person’s home is being boarded up, she cannot receive meals, she cannot bathe, and she cannot enjoy vacation time. She will still be able to receive Medicaid and SSI benefits, but she will have to find a place to live on her own. The very same conditions would apply if she were placed in a mental health facility.