August 2008


Don’t Get Tired of Doing Good

Galatians 6:9

 

Central Theme:  The church must continue to do good.

Introduction

       1.     Bob Mumford, formerly a famous preacher, once said that it always amazed him the people who were able to continue and grow in Jesus.

       2.     Usually, they weren’t the splashy people. 

       3.     He was careful of the people who always talked big. They didn’t seem to last long.

       4.     The people who grew strong in the Lord usually came and didn’t try to impress anyone or do important and big things.  They were, sometimes, shy.  Almost always they were people who didn’t impress him much

       5.     Have a member read Galatians 6:9. “Do not be weary in well-doing.”

 

       I.     I think this must be my life verse. Because people are always coming up and telling me, “Don’t get tired of doing good.”

 

              A. The point is important.

                   1.  You must learn to pace yourself

                   2.  Richard Stimson, founder of Special Gathering used to say to me all the time. “ Learn to pace yourself. Don’t try to do everything all at once.”

                   3.  People who are successful are the people who know how to pace themselves.

 

              B. Some tricks to learning how to pace yourself.

                   1.  Make yourself be patient and enjoy what you have.

                   2.  Take time off to smell the roses and enjoy God.

                   3.  Don’t be in a hurry to succeed.

                   4.  Accept your limitations.  We all have disabilities.  There are some  things that we won’t be able to do.

 

      II.     Dorcas was a woman who was always doing good.  She got sick and died and the people that she ministered to were the people who helped her.

 

Conclusion–Doing good is the most important thing we do for others.  Learn to be must be patient and gracious with each other and with yourself.

Yesterday, Steve, the man who experienced seizures during our Sunday program, died.  The day before I hand fed him his lunch and we laughed and joked with his mother.  Steve giggled at my silliness which only encouraged me to be sillier.

Today when he was put under anesthesia to have an MRI, his heart began to fade and they were never able to recover him.  The doctors say that he must have had an underlying heart condition that caused his death. 

Steve was 53, an old man in the years of a Downs person but none of us were ready for him to die.  He had not been sick in years.  He went to work every day.  He faithfully came to church.  He climbed the stairs.   I held his mother and sister and they wept.  As I got into the car to return to my home, I wanted to cry but I didn’t want to cry alone.  I called my sister who has a Special Gathering program in South Carolina.  We cried and laughed together, mingling the joy of his life with our pain of parting.  When I came home and saw my husband sitting in his wheelchair, we wept again.

Thank God for his comfort and release but, at times, life is too hard.

I received an e-mail for a young man from an country in Africa who wanted to know how he should prepare to do a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  He had read this blog about The Special Gathering which is a program designed to evangelise and disciple people who are developmentally disabled.  I realized that he would be working with limited resources and that he have many limitation regarding his education.  Here is my answer to him.  

Eric, 
Thank you for your email.  I would begin with studying your Bible and praying for God to help you begin.  Then I would try to gather some people (one or two would be perfect) who are mentally challenged from your church, town or city. Once you have gathered them, you will need to teach them.  I post a sermon on our blog each Sunday.  You should adapt it to fit your particular needs in Ghana.  You want to sing some simple songs (about five or six).  Ask for prayer requests, then take up an offering and have prayer.  Then you will preach, teach the sermon. 
 
I would then have a break, maybe have something very simple to eat.  Perhaps some one from your church would be willing to provide one cracker or cookie for each person, perhaps some simple fruit (mango).  Then after that I would go over the Bible lesson that you have taught in your sermon again.  I actually tell the story two more times.  Then I ask questions, in this way, I have the students tell each other the story one more time.  Then I use a practical question that helps them to apply the lesson to their lives. 
 
The model is very simple to follow and I know it will work.  Thanks for asking.  

The danger of writing a daily entry or column is that you begin to repeat yourself.  You understand, of course, because that’s what your wife does.  She tells the same story about your infamous missed touchdown or the prom or her mother-in-law again and again because it always gets a laugh.  Or she can depend on her audience to shed a tear at the appropriate places. 

This was my great fear in starting the Special Gathering Weblog.  That after two weeks, I would be telling the same things again and again.  Special Gathering is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  We don’t do social work but classic ministry–evangelism and discipleship.  Over the past months, I’ve realized that I’m learning new things daily about our members and their disabilities and myself.  As an example, there was another emergency in our Melbourne program on Sunday. 

Steve, who doesn’t seizure, had two seizures just after ascending the stairs onto the second story of the educational building.  I wrote extensively about the episode that occurred several weeks ago regarding a seizure.  However, this time was different because the circumstances were altered.  When I called his mother, she told me to NOT call the ambulance.  His seizures had lasted 45 seconds and then 90 seconds.  Because he had never had a seizure, I think she believed that we were mistaken.  We didn’t call 911, as she instructed. 

Yet, once he had come out of the second seizure, two of us were inquiring about his condition.  As we were sitting on the floor with him, it became evident that he was sweating and his skin became extremely clammy.  He complained that his left arm was hurting him.  Of course, these are the classic symptoms of a heart attack.   Immediately, without consulting his mother again, I called 911 and explained the situation to them.  With heart attack or stroke symptoms, delay can be life threatening.  911 should always be called under these circumstances.   

Before his mother could arrive, the fire department was on the scene and the EMT’s were ready to transport him to the hospital.  His mother came within minutes of their arrival and she was more than willing to have the emergency medical team take him. 

As it turned out, he had not had a heart attack but he continued to have multiple seizures all during the day.  Though his mother is a retired nurse, it was a good thing that she allowed him to be transported because his next seizure was life threatening and she would have lost him had he not been under medical supervision. 

Later that day, I relayed the incident to our Executive Director Richard Stimson.  “You must call 911 if there are symptoms of a heart attack,” he reassured me.  “You couldn’t wait for his mother.” 

Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned from this incident was how grateful I am for the continuing education I receive working with Special Gathering.  Each year, we repeat the First Aid Course.  We have annual teacher training that amplifies the importance of team work or emphasizes something regarding disabilities.  Having training from The Special Gathering manual has saved more than one life. 

Because we’ve had four unusual incidents in the past three weeks, I was curious and looked back in my files.  The last unusual incident form for our program was filed about three years ago.  Yet, in that time, I’ve had at least three health and safety training sessions.  I thank God for the provision made years ago to keep our staff and volunteers up to date regarding first aid issues. 

On second thought, perhaps repeating ourselves isn’t such a bad idea.  In fact, it can save lives.

When was the last emergency that you’ve had to handle?  When was your last emergency training event?

We all live with tensions in our lives.  There is the importance of play versus work; work versus family and friends.  We wrestle with maintaining a spiritual connection with the Lord while still being authentic people.  Eating healthy diets balanced with comfort foods that may soothe your feelings during stress.  There is the need for exercise coupled with the body recouping energy gained through rest, sleep and relaxation.  If we are healthy in body, mind and spirit, we have learned to balance each of the tensions in our lives which brings a harmonious hum to each day.

Tension versus Flexibility

Tension versus Flexibility

Within every ministry there are also tensions.  If you are the pastor of a nondisabled congregation, there is usually the tension between studying to teach and preach three to five messages a week and counseling and visitation.  If you are a youth pastor, there will be the tension between study and planning verses counseling and interacting in playful ministry with the youth under your care.  If you are a hospital chaplain, there is the tension between paperwork and praying with and for people who are in pain. 

For people who work with Special Gathering we actually face all of these minitry tension.  As a ministry within the disability community, our goal is to disciple and evangelise the mentally challenged community. In addition, there is the added and constant tension between advocacy and all the other concerns in our ministry bag.  We believe that advocacy is an important part of what we do and our weblog reflects that. Nevertheless, there is a struggle to bring balance, coupled with order.  As the tier letters are going out to our members, we think we must to inform and advise.  These letters will designated the amount of funding an individual will receive for the next year. However, should that take the place of daily devotion?  Maybe and maybe not.  We actually would like to strike a balance. 

Too many people will be left in the dark in this new Tier movement by the State.  These won’t be children with dedicated, activist parents who will wisely scream, yell and demand.  These will be the people who have been placed in the community whose parents are too old to fight or dead. They are the ones who’ve been dropped on their heads during our great social experiment called “independent living.”  I have been told of one client who had $90,000 of supports has been reduced to less than the $35,000 level.  How can that happen?

Yet, we can’t lose our connection with our real Provider and Friend, the Lord Jesus.  This is a time for prayer for our members in Florida and a time for each of us to work for an equitable balance within the State budget.  There is a budget crunch.  The only thing which will bring equity will be God’s hand of balance and love.  We access that grace through His mercy and by our prayers.

What are your members facing?  If not the Tier process, what about the financial stability in your state?

 Here are sample letters you will receive notifying you of your tier assignment.  Remember should you disagree with your placement, you have the right to appeal but it must be done within 10 days so that you can maintain the level of services you are now receiving.  The explanation of the appeal process is given after your letter.

Unfortunately, cut and pasting is somewhat unstable with WordPress blogs.  If you are in Tier 3 or 4, please see the last entry down.

Agency for Persons with Disabilities 

                           NOTICE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF CHANGES IN LAW FOR

TIER WAIVER ASSIGNMENT

EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2008

 

August 21, 2008

 RE:  Tier Assignment – Tier 1 Waiver

 We previously notified you that the Florida Legislature passed a law that requires the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to assign individuals receiving Medicaid waiver services to a four-tier waiver system.  The law requiring tier assignment is Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007).  Rule 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code, contains the criteria for tier assignment.

 

Effective October 1, 2008, you are assigned to Tier 1.  According to the agency’s records, this tier assignment does not require a change to your current waiver services.  You may wish to contact your Waiver Support Coordinator to verify this information.

Your due process hearing rights are described in the enclosed “Notice of Hearing Rights.”

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities is committed to protecting your health and safety.  Additional information about the tier waivers can be found on the Agency’s website at http://apd.myflorida.com.  You may contact your Waiver Support Coordinator or the local Area APD office if you have questions or need assistance in completing a hearing request.

 Enclosure:  Notice of Hearing Rights  

Notice of Hearing Rights 

The agency tier assignment is an automatic action caused by a change in state law required by Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007) and Agency Rules 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code.  Therefore, if the only issue you raise is the change to the State law requiring the tier waiver system, your request for a hearing will be denied as authorized by 42 CFR 431.220.   

However, if you believe that the agency’s decision on your tier assignment is wrong, you may be entitled to an administrative hearing as provided in Sections 120.569 and 120.57, Florida Statutes (2007) and 42 CFR 431.220.  A hearing will only be granted if your hearing request states facts that demonstrate there was an error in your tier assignment.  Mediation is not available in this proceeding

 If the agency determines you have a right to hearing, you may represent yourself or use legal counsel, a relative, a friend, or other spokesperson in a hearing on this matter.  If you are not representing yourself, proof of guardianship or other documentation of your representative’s authority to act on your behalf is required with the request for hearing.

 Section 393.125(1)(c), Florida Statutes (2007), states that you must make your hearing request to the agency, in writing, within thirty (30) days of receiving this notice.

 Additionally, your hearing request must include the following information: 

1.      The name, address, and telephone number of the party making the request and the name, address and telephone number of the party’s counsel or representative upon whom service of pleadings and papers must be made;

2.      A statement that you are requesting an administrative hearing;

3.      A list of any facts and circumstances on which you rely to assert an error in your tier assignment,

4.      A reference to, or copy of, the agency tier assignment notice.

5.      A statement indicating the date you received your tier assignment notice, and  

6.      If someone is making the request for hearing on your behalf, a document, such as an Order Appointing Guardian or a written statement of authorization, establishing the representative’s authority to act on your behalf.

 

If you file your request within ten (10) days of receiving notice of your tier assignment, your services will continue at the existing level until the final decision on your request for hearing. 

 

To request a hearing mail or fax your completed request to:

Agency Clerk, Agency for Persons with Disabilities

4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 380

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950

Facsimile – 850-410-0665

 You may contact your local APD office if you have questions or need assistance in completing a hearing request.  You may also view the Administrative Hearings Rights brochure located at http://apd.myflorida.com/customers/legal/docs/administrative-hearings-guide.pdf

 

Second Tier Letter–Under Cap

 

NOTICE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF CHANGES IN LAW FOR

TIER WAIVER ASSIGNMENT

EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2008

 

August 20, 2008

 

RE:  Tier Assignment – Tier 2 Waiver

 We previously notified you that the Florida Legislature passed a law that requires the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to assign individuals receiving Medicaid waiver services to a four-tier waiver system.  The law requiring tier assignment is Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007).  Rule 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code, contains the criteria for tier assignment.

 

Effective October 1, 2008, you are assigned to the Tier 2 waiver.  The annual spending limit for this tier is $55,000 a year.  According to our agency’s records, you currently receive services within this spending limit and there is no need to make any changes to your services.  You may wish to contact your Waiver Support Coordinator to verify this information.

 

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities is committed to protecting your health and safety.  Additional information about the tier waivers can be found on the Agency’s website at http://apd.myflorida.com.  You may also contact your Waiver Support Coordinator or your local Agency for Persons with Disabilities office if you have questions.

 

Your due process hearing rights are described in the enclosed “Notice of Hearing Rights.”

 

Tier 3 Letter-Under Cap

NOTICE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF CHANGES IN LAW FOR

TIER WAIVER ASSIGNMENT

EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2008

 

August 20, 2008

 

RE:  Tier Assignment – Tier 3 Waiver

 We previously notified you that the Florida Legislature passed a law that requires the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to assign individuals receiving Medicaid waiver services to a four-tier waiver system.  The law requiring tier assignment is Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007).  Rule 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code, contains the criteria for tier assignment.

 Effective October 1, 2008, you are assigned to the Tier 3 waiver.  The annual spending limit for this tier is $35,000 a year.  According to our agency’s records, you currently receive services within this spending limit and there is no need to make any changes to your services.  You may wish to contact your Waiver Support Coordinator to verify this information.

 The Agency for Persons with Disabilities is committed to protecting your health and safety.  Additional information about the tier waivers can be found on the Agency’s website at http://apd.myflorida.com.  You may also contact your Waiver Support Coordinator or your local Agency for Persons with Disabilities office if you have questions.

 Your due process hearing rights are described in the enclosed “Notice of Hearing Rights.”

 Enclosure:  Notice of Hearing Rights

  

Notice of Hearing Rights

 

The agency tier assignment is an automatic action caused by a change in state law required by Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007) and Agency Rules 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code.  Therefore, if the only issue you raise is the change to the State law requiring the tier waiver system, your request for a hearing will be denied as authorized by 42 CFR 431.220.   

 

However, if you believe that the agency’s decision on your tier assignment is wrong, you may be entitled to an administrative hearing as provided in Sections 120.569 and 120.57, Florida Statutes (2007) and 42 CFR 431.220.  A hearing will only be granted if your hearing request states facts that demonstrate there was an error in your tier assignment.  Mediation is not available in this proceeding

 

If the agency determines you have a right to hearing, you may represent yourself or use legal counsel, a relative, a friend, or other spokesperson in a hearing on this matter.  If you are not representing yourself, proof of guardianship or other documentation of your representative’s authority to act on your behalf is required with the request for hearing.

 

Section 393.125(1)(c), Florida Statutes (2007), states that you must make your hearing request to the agency, in writing, within thirty (30) days of receiving this notice.

 

Additionally, your hearing request must include the following information: 

1.      The name, address, and telephone number of the party making the request and the name, address and telephone number of the party’s counsel or representative upon whom service of pleadings and papers must be made;

2.      A statement that you are requesting an administrative hearing;

3.      A list of any facts and circumstances on which you rely to assert an error in your tier assignment,

4.      A reference to, or copy of, the agency tier assignment notice.

5.      A statement indicating the date you received your tier assignment notice, and  

6.      If someone is making the request for hearing on your behalf, a document, such as an Order Appointing Guardian or a written statement of authorization, establishing the representative’s authority to act on your behalf.

 

If you file your request within ten (10) days of receiving notice of your tier assignment, your services will continue at the existing level until the final decision on your request for hearing. 

 

To request a hearing mail or fax your completed request to:

Agency Clerk, Agency for Persons with Disabilities

4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 380

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950

Facsimile – 850-410-0665

 

You may contact your local APD office if you have questions or need assistance in completing a hearing request.  You may also view the Administrative Hearings Rights brochure located at http://apd.myflorida.com/customers/legal/docs/administrative-hearings-guide.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

Here are sample letters you will receive notifying you of your tier assignment.  Remember should you disagree with your placement, you have the right to appeal but it must be done within 10 days so that you can maintain the level of services you are now receiving.  The explanation of the appeal process is given after your letter.

Unfortunately, cut and pasting is somewhat unstable with WordPress blogs.  If you believe you will be in Tier 1 or 2, please see the next entry up.

NOTICE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF CHANGES IN LAW FOR

TIER WAIVER ASSIGNMENT

EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2008

 

August 20, 2008

 

RE:  Tier Assignment – Tier 3 Waiver

 

 

We previously notified you that the Florida Legislature passed a law that requires the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to assign individuals receiving Medicaid waiver services to a four-tier waiver system.  The law requiring tier assignment is Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007).  Rule 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code, contains the criteria for tier assignment.

 

Effective October 1, 2008, you are assigned to the Tier 3 waiver.  The annual spending limit for this tier is $35,000 a year.  According to our agency’s records, you currently receive services within this spending limit and there is no need to make any changes to your services.  You may wish to contact your Waiver Support Coordinator to verify this information.

 

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities is committed to protecting your health and safety.  Additional information about the tier waivers can be found on the Agency’s website at http://apd.myflorida.com.  You may also contact your Waiver Support Coordinator or your local Agency for Persons with Disabilities office if you have questions.

 

Your due process hearing rights are described in the enclosed “Notice of Hearing Rights.”

 

 

Enclosure:  Notice of Hearing Rights

 

 

Notice of Hearing Rights

 

The agency tier assignment is an automatic action caused by a change in state law required by Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007) and Agency Rules 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code.  Therefore, if the only issue you raise is the change to the State law requiring the tier waiver system, your request for a hearing will be denied as authorized by 42 CFR 431.220.   

 

However, if you believe that the agency’s decision on your tier assignment is wrong, you may be entitled to an administrative hearing as provided in Sections 120.569 and 120.57, Florida Statutes (2007) and 42 CFR 431.220.  A hearing will only be granted if your hearing request states facts that demonstrate there was an error in your tier assignment.  Mediation is not available in this proceeding

 

If the agency determines you have a right to hearing, you may represent yourself or use legal counsel, a relative, a friend, or other spokesperson in a hearing on this matter.  If you are not representing yourself, proof of guardianship or other documentation of your representative’s authority to act on your behalf is required with the request for hearing.

 

Section 393.125(1)(c), Florida Statutes (2007), states that you must make your hearing request to the agency, in writing, within thirty (30) days of receiving this notice.

 

Additionally, your hearing request must include the following information: 

1.      The name, address, and telephone number of the party making the request and the name, address and telephone number of the party’s counsel or representative upon whom service of pleadings and papers must be made;

2.      A statement that you are requesting an administrative hearing;

3.      A list of any facts and circumstances on which you rely to assert an error in your tier assignment,

4.      A reference to, or copy of, the agency tier assignment notice.

5.      A statement indicating the date you received your tier assignment notice, and  

6.      If someone is making the request for hearing on your behalf, a document, such as an Order Appointing Guardian or a written statement of authorization, establishing the representative’s authority to act on your behalf.

 

If you file your request within ten (10) days of receiving notice of your tier assignment, your services will continue at the existing level until the final decision on your request for hearing. 

 

To request a hearing mail or fax your completed request to:

Agency Clerk, Agency for Persons with Disabilities

4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 380

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950

Facsimile – 850-410-0665

 

You may contact your local APD office if you have questions or need assistance in completing a hearing request.  You may also view the Administrative Hearings Rights brochure located at http://apd.myflorida.com/customers/legal/docs/administrative-hearings-guide.pdf

 

 

Tier 4 Letter 

 

NOTICE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF CHANGES IN LAW FOR

TIER WAIVER ASSIGNMENT

EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2008

 

August 20, 2008

 

Re: Tier Assignment – Tier 4 Waiver

 

We previously notified you that the Florida Legislature passed a law that requires the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to assign individuals receiving Medicaid waiver services to a four-tier waiver system.  The law requiring tier assignment is Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007).  Rule 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code, contains the criteria for tier assignment.

 

Effective October 1, 2008, you are assigned to the Tier 4 waiver.  The annual spending limit for this tier is $14,792 a year.  The following services are available on the Tier 4 waiver:

 

Adult Day Training

In Home Support Services

Behavior Analysis

Behavior Assistant

Personal Emergency Response System

Consumable Medical Supplies

Respite Care

Durable Medical Equipment

Supported Employment

Environmental Accessibility Adaptations

Supported Living Coaching

Waiver Support Coordination

Transportation

 

The following Developmental Disabilities waiver services are not available on Tier 4.  If you have been receiving any of these services, they will be terminated effective September 30, 2008.  For individuals enrolled in the Tier 4 waiver from the DD waiver, however, substitution of some of the above listed services can be made to meet your needs. 

 

Adult Dental

Companion

Dietitian

Medication Review

Occupational Therapy

Personal Care Assistance

Physical Therapy

Private Duty Nursing

Residential Habilitation

Residential Nursing

Respiratory Therapy

Skilled Nursing

Special Medical Home Care

Specialized Mental Health

Speech Therapy

 

 

In creating the new four-tier waiver system, the Legislature required client choice in selecting waiver services.  You current cost plan may exceed the spending limit for Tier 4, or you may receive one or more services that are no longer available to you.  APD encourages you to immediately contact your Waiver Support Coordinator to discuss information about your tier assignment and cost plan.  APD is supplying your Waiver Support Coordinator with information on how to assist you in choosing services to adjust your current approved plan to comply with the statutory limits of Tier 4. Your Waiver Support Coordinator can assist you in choosing the services that are most important to you and adjusting your plan to stay within the $14,792 annual limit.

 

If your cost plan exceeds $14,792 or you receive services that are being terminated, your cost plan must be revised and submitted to the Area Office by your Waiver Support Coordinator no later than September 10, 2008.  Your waiver support coordinator must submit the adjusted cost plan to the APD area office for review and final approval. 

 

If you are under 21 years old and approved for personal care assistance services, these services will remain available to you, but they will not be paid through an APD waiver.  Thus, when adjusting your cost plan to bring it within your annual limit, the cost of personal care assistance services will not be included in the calculation.

 

Your due process hearing rights are described in the enclosed “Notice of Hearing Rights.”

 

           The Agency for Persons with Disabilities is committed to protecting your health and safety.  Additional information about the Tier Waivers can be found on the Agency’s website at http://apd.myflorida.com.  You may also contact your Waiver Support Coordinator or the local Area Agency for Persons with Disabilities office if you have questions or need assistance in completing a hearing request.

 

Enclosure:  Notice of Hearing Rights

Notice of Hearing Rights

 

The agency tier assignment is an automatic action caused by a change in state law required by Section 393.0661, Florida Statutes (2007) and Agency Rules 65G-4.0021 through 65G-4.0025, Florida Administrative Code.  Therefore, if the only issue you raise is the change to the State law requiring the tier waiver system, your request for a hearing will be denied as authorized by 42 CFR 431.220.   

 

However, if you believe that the agency’s decision on your tier assignment is wrong, you may be entitled to an administrative hearing as provided in Sections 120.569 and 120.57, Florida Statutes (2007) and 42 CFR 431.220.  A hearing will only be granted if your hearing request states facts that demonstrate there was an error in your tier assignment.  Mediation is not available in this proceeding

 

If the agency determines you have a right to hearing, you may represent yourself or use legal counsel, a relative, a friend, or other spokesperson in a hearing on this matter.  If you are not representing yourself, proof of guardianship or other documentation of your representative’s authority to act on your behalf is required with the request for hearing.

 

Section 393.125(1)(c), Florida Statutes (2007), states that you must make your hearing request to the agency, in writing, within thirty (30) days of receiving this notice.

 

Additionally, your hearing request must include the following information: 

1.      The name, address, and telephone number of the party making the request and the name, address and telephone number of the party’s counsel or representative upon whom service of pleadings and papers must be made;

2.      A statement that you are requesting an administrative hearing;

3.      A list of any facts and circumstances on which you rely to assert an error in your tier assignment,

4.      A reference to, or copy of, the agency tier assignment notice.

5.      A statement indicating the date you received your tier assignment notice, and  

6.      If someone is making the request for hearing on your behalf, a document, such as an Order Appointing Guardian or a written statement of authorization, establishing the representative’s authority to act on your behalf.

 

If you file your request within ten (10) days of receiving notice of your tier assignment, your services will continue at the existing level until the final decision on your request for hearing. 

 

To request a hearing mail or fax your completed request to:

Agency Clerk, Agency for Persons with Disabilities

4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 380

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950

Facsimile – 850-410-0665

 

You may contact your local APD office if you have questions or need assistance in completing a hearing request.  You may also view the Administrative Hearings Rights brochure located at http://apd.myflorida.com/customers/legal/docs/administrative-hearings-guide.pdf

 

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