The unit handles resident's rights issues without regard to the resident's income. The unit prioritizes clients below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines for other services. The unit serves residents of Adult Care Facilities, including:
Adult Homes that provide room board and long-term care to small groups of adults and often serve young adults with disabilities;
Assisted Living Residences that generally serve adults over age 65 in units that resemble individual apartments; and
Assisted Living Programs that serve residents medically eligible for nursing home care.
For example, Erika Verrill, the staff attorney for the Adult Care Facility Project, recently helped Mrs. M, a resident in an assisted living facility to restore her SSI benefits after an alleged overpayment. Eighteen months after Mrs. M closed out an annuity, her SSI benefits were completely discontinued, leaving her unable to pay her rent and putting her in danger of being evicted. Mrs. M. provided the Social Security Administration with documentation that she properly spent down the proceeds of the annuity in the first month. Nevertheless, the SSA insisted that Mrs. M had an overpayment of over $15,000. The Adult Care Facility Project helped Mrs. M dispute both the discontinuance and the overpayment assessment. After two hearings, Mrs. M’s benefits were reinstated, and her overpayment was reduced to less than $3,000.
The Adult Care Facility Project has been critical to residents during the COVID crisis. Aside from the serious direct health risks from COVID, residents also suffer from reduced social activities, lower meal quality, and in some cases, serious sanitation issues, which can lead to illness and pestilence in a Facility. Another common concern is understaffing of aids and attendants to assist with residents' basic health and personal needs.
In an effort to alleviate this feeling of alienation from the rest of society, the Adult Care Facility Project issued what we hope is the first of many Adult Care Facility Newsletters, targeted specifically towards the issues and concerns of Residents of Adult Care Facilities during this very trying time.