Supporting Active Duty Military Families
September 11, 2014
The 2014 Florida Legislature authorized individuals who meet the eligibility requirements of 393.065(1), F.S., to receive home and community-based services in this state if the individual’s parent or legal guardian is an active duty military service member and, at the time of the service member’s transfer to Florida, the individual was receiving home and community-based services in another state. This law became effective on July 1, 2014.
What are the eligibility requirements for APD?
To be eligible for services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the individual must be:
- 3 years of age or older, and have a developmental disability before the age 18
- Diagnosed with one of the following six developmental disabilities listed in Chapter 393, Florida Statutes: autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, spina bifida or children age 3-5 who are at a high risk of a developmental disability
* Effective July 1, 2014, individuals’ whose parents or legal guardian are in active duty military service are eligible to apply to APD and be enrolled in the iBudget waiver if the person was receiving waiver services from the state they were living in prior to Florida.
How do I apply for APD services?
To apply for services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, submit an application to the APD office that serves your area, either by mail or by hand delivery. Contact information for the regional offices can be found online at apdcares.org/region. Faxed submissions will be returned for an original signature.
To obtain a copy of the most current Application for Services, please visit the APD website at: http://apdcares.org/customers/application/.
APD’s Application for Services has been updated to include a section for active duty military families. Applicants can now indicate if their parent or legal guardian is an active duty service member and whether or not they were receiving home and community based services in another state.
What documentation do I need for the APD application process?
You will need to provide the following information:
1. Proof of identity in the form of: FL Driver’s License/ID card, US Passport, Military/Government issued photo ID card, Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship, school photo ID (only accepted for people under the age of 16)
2. Uniformed Services ID card for the parent or legal guardian of the individual
3. Documentation to show eligibility, including:
- Documentation of a physician’s diagnosis for cerebral palsy, spina bifida or Prader-Willi syndrome; or high risk for children under age 5
- Documentation of an intellectual disability with an IQ score of 69 or less and deficits in adaptive functioning
- Documentation of autism is made by a Florida licensed psychiatrist or psychologist, a board certified neurologist qualified by training and experience to make a diagnosis of autism, or a board certified developmental pediatrician
4. Documentation of the services received in the previous state under a home and community-based services waiver program
What happens after an individual applies for APD services?
In order to receive home and community based services from the Agency for Persons with disabilities, the person must meet both APD eligibility and Medicaid eligibility requirements. Once an individual applies for APD, a review is completed to determine APD eligibility. The applicant will be sent a letter notifying them of the eligibility determination with 45 days of application for a child and within 60 days of application receipt for adults. The individual will be notified in writing of their eligibility and will then be provided a choice of waiver support coordination (case manager) providers from which they will select who they would like to provide this service. That person, chosen by the individual, will then work to get the services in place in Florida that the individual was receiving in their previous state.
For Medicaid eligibility, the Department of Children and Families is the state agency that makes these Medicaid eligibility determinations. To access an application for Medicaid please go to: http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/. Florida Department of Children and Families Automated Community Connection to Economic Self Sufficiency (ACCESS).
Once a person meets Medicaid eligibility the individual may receive medical services from the Florida Medicaid system operated by the Agency for Healthcare Administration. For information on these benefits please go to: http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/index.shtml
If you would like to download a handout with this information, please click here.
Social Security Field Office Service Changes Effective August 1, 2014
August 5, 2014
Effective August 1, 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is making changes to its field office services that may affect individuals and families working with chapters of The Arc on support and service coordination, information and referral, emergency services, and other services. Please share this information with your staff.
Effective August 1, 2014: SSA Field Offices to Only Provide SSN Printouts to People in "Dire Need"
Effective August 1, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will move forward with its plan to eliminate the issuance of Social Security number (SSN) printouts in its field offices. Instead, individuals will be directed to apply for a new SSN card, a process that takes about 2 weeks.
However, SSA has indicated that it will ensure service to those with a "dire need" and that each field office will designate a point of contact to assist local organizations with obtaining SSN verifications, with consent, in emergency situations and in cases of hardship. More information about the dire need exception process is available in a SSA's Emergency Message EM-14009 REV. Examples of dire need exceptions include: regionally or nationally declared disasters (e.g. hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, etc.); individuals facing immediate eviction; individuals who participate in home energy assistance programs; individuals needing immediate emergency medical services; and homeless individuals.
SSA Field Offices to Continue to Provide Benefit Verification Letters
Local Social Security offices will continue to provide benefit verification letters until further notice, as outlined in a recent SSA press release.
If staff at a chapter of The Arc is working with individuals who are told by SSA staff that the field office cannot provide them with a benefit verification letter, the SSA press release may be helpful. If individuals seeking benefit verification letters are consistently being turned away from a particular field office, we encourage you to contact the state Protection and Advocacy agency for assistance. Additionally, if staff at a chapter of The Arc is seeing consistent patterns of people being turned away without benefit verification letters, please consider sharing this information with T.J. Sutcliffe in The Arc's public policy office for use in our advocacy work (
Earlier this year, SSA announced plans to eliminate the provision of both SSN printouts and benefit verification letters at its field offices. These documents are often used by people with disabilities and others who need to promptly verify their SSN to secure a job or get a driver license or non-driver ID, or who need to verify their Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in order to secure housing, a loan, or public benefits (and for many other purposes).
The Arc joined with other national disability organizations to oppose these service cuts. The Arc is pleased that SSA will continue to provide benefit verification letters, but continues to express concern about the potential impact on people with disabilities from the reduction in access to SSN printouts at SSA field offices.
Proposed iBudget Rules Invalidated
July 25, 2014
Tallahassee, FL (July 25, 2014) – The First District Court of Appeals (DCA) reversed an administrative law judge's order this week and invalidated iBudget rules proposed by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). The First DCA said APD did not have the statutory authority to implement the proposed rules.
APD has posted a response on its website. You may read that here. APD Director Barbara Palmer told The Arc of Florida this morning that restored cost plans will remain in place until the agency develops a new algorithm and promulgates a new rule.
The Arc of Florida is monitoring the situation and will have additional updates about how it will impact families as warranted.