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8.03 MAINTENANCE

Introduction

Maintenance is a supportive vocational rehabilitation service and can only be provided to enable an individual to receive or participate in another VR service.

Maintenance payments are not made for the purpose of ameliorating poverty, or guaranteeing consumers and/or their families a standard of living equal to what they may be accustomed.

Federal Definition

Maintenance means monetary support provided to an eligible individual or an individual receiving extended evaluation services for those expenses, such as food, shelter, and clothing, that are in excess of the normal expenses of the individual and that are necessitated by the individual's participation in a program of vocational rehabilitation services.

Times When Maintenance May Be Needed

Maintenance assistance is frequently required when an individual is receiving the following services:

1. Assessment Maintenance payments for room and board may be paid to allow consumers to participate in assessment services (i.e. short term lodging and meal costs while receiving specialized tests in an out-of-town medical center).

2. Medical Restoration Maintenance may be paid to allow a consumer to receive medical restoration services.

3. Training Maintenance payments for room and board may be paid to allow a consumer to participate in training.

4. Placement Maintenance may be provided to facilitate placement (i.e., maintenance may be provided for consumers to participate in employment seminars or job clubs; maintenance may be provided to a consumer who moves out-of-town to accept a job).

Maintenance for Family Members

1. NYSCB does not pay maintenance for family members unless it is necessary to allow the consumer to participate in a vocational rehabilitation service.

2. NYSCB does not pay maintenance for family members when a consumer is relocating in connection with placement.

3. Authorization of maintenance for family members requires District Manager approval.

College Students

Maintenance expenses for college students are described in Section 8.32 - College Training.

Description of Maintenance Services During Assessment, Training and Medical Restoration

Maintenance in the form of room and meal expenses may be provided to consumers during assessment and medical restoration.

Room and meal expenses (including heat and electricity) may be provided for a consumer who is required to live away from home while participating in a rehabilitation program in accordance with the following guidelines:

Short Term Living Situation (Hotel or Motel): Individuals cannot reside in a hotel or motel after eight weeks. When a counselor knows that assessment, training or physical restoration services will continue beyond eight weeks, she/he should begin to look for a long-term living situation at the outset of service provision. A long-term living situation must be found by the end of the eighth week.

1. Time frame: up to a maximum of eight weeks with the possibility of a four week extension with adequate justification and senior counselor approval.

2. Room expenses: an allowance to meet the actual cost of room expenses incurred by the consumer may be provided. This allowance cannot exceed the prevailing State lodging allowance from PEF union members.

3. Meal expenses: when included with the cost of the rehabilitation program, the actual cost of meals may be provided up to a maximum of $17 per day. When the consumer is required to obtain or prepare his/her own meals, he/she may be provided an allowance of $17/day.

Long-term Living Situation (includes, but is not limited to: congregate housing provided by vocational schools or private agencies; transitional apartments, and private apartments occupied by one or more persons)

1. Time Frame: anytime during the service provision and after the eight week period has expired.

2. Room Expenses/Meal Expenses: Actual costs up to a maximum of $750/month may be provided for lodging (including utilities). A maximum of $300/month may be provided for meals. In no case will the combined room and meal payment exceed $1,050/month.

Individuals Who Commute to Services

Individuals who commute to and from their rehabilitation program are not entitled to any room or meal allowance.

Example of Maintenance Services During Medical Restoration

Maintenance is not commonly needed during the provision of medical restoration services. However, when it is needed, it may be paid to a consumer or vendor in accordance with the allowances established above.

Example: A consumer from upstate New York is scheduled for eye surgery in a NYC hospital. NYSCB may pay the actual cost of receipted hotel expenses up to the maximum allowed for PEF members and meal costs up to $17 per day if the consumer needs to arrive in the out-of-town location the day before treatment.

In many instances, the supportive services needed during medical restoration are considered attendant care services and not maintenance. See Section 8.11 for guidelines on the provision of Personal Assistance Services.

Description of Maintenance Services During Placement

Maintenance may be provided to consumers who have relocated to accept employment in accordance with the following guidelines:

1. Room (lodging) Expenses - An allowance to meet the actual cost of lodging expenses in accordance with the allowances established for maintenance during assessment, training and physical restoration will be paid for a maximum of 60 days.

2. Board (Meal) Expenses - An allowance of $17.00/day will be authorized until receipt of the first paycheck.

Security Deposits

NYSCB will pay security deposits in accordance with the guidelines below:

1. NYSCB will pay deposits only if required to allow a consumer to participate in a rehabilitation program.

2. The consumer is responsible for repayment of the deposit and any interest which may have accrued while the deposit was being held.

If the security deposit (plus any interest) is not repaid to NYSCB, NYSCB will take appropriate action to recover the amount involved.

Absenteeism

Maintenance in the form of room and meals will continue to be paid for consumers who are living away from home and participating in evaluation or training programs when the absence is due to:

1. illness, or

2. urgent personal business.

Notification of Absences

Counselors should be aware that community rehabilitation programs are required to notify NYSCB counselors of:

1. a consumer's absence on the third day of absence during any evaluation or training program, and

2. erratic or excessive tardiness.

Lodging, Special Considerations

It is the policy of NYSCB that individuals, whose IPEs include reimbursement for housing, shall be lodged in sites which are in conformance with basic health and safety requirements.

The satisfaction of these requirements shall be the responsibility of the landlord or agency providing the housing. The documentation of conformity with these requirements shall be the responsibility of the counselor.

Rule

Individuals who utilize dog guides must show evidence from a veterinarian that the dog has updated vaccinations and is free from parasites.

Types of Lodging Included

Housing includes, but is not limited to:

1. hotels

2. motels

3. congregate housing provided by vocational schools or private agencies

4. transitional apartments, and

5. private apartments occupied by one or more persons.

All of these situations, and others not listed, must meet prevailing requirements for health and safety conditions.

Documentation: Hotels, Motels, Colleges

Due to the regulation of hotels and motels, it will not be necessary for the counselor to obtain documentation for these situations.

Appropriate Documentation - Apartments and Single Family Homes

In situations involving apartments or single family homes in New York State, the applicable documentation will usually consist of a copy of the owner's Certificate of Occupancy. In areas that do not have a certification program, it will be necessary to forward a copy of that area's equivalent documentation.

Documentation

For all other situations, it will be necessary for the counselor to furnish documentation indicating that the residence complies with the prevailing local codes governing the type of residence being utilized.

This documentation must be forwarded to Central Office, to the attention of the Facilities Specialist, before individuals can be housed in the residence.

Appropriate Documentation, Group Homes and Congregate Living Situations

For group homes and other congregate living situations which are regulated by a government agency, it will be necessary to forward copies of the facility's approval documents issued by that government agency.

Clothing Allowance

A clothing allowance may be provided at any time during the rehabilitation process to a consumer who has a documented need for clothing in order to participate in his/her rehabilitation plan. Up to $300 may be authorized for clothing during the time an individual's case is open.

Economic Need

All maintenance costs associated with the provision of assessment services, including extended evaluation services, are provided without regard to the consumer's economic need status.

When provided to support non-assessment services, maintenance services are contingent upon the consumer's economic need status.

Comparable Benefits

A full consideration of available comparable benefits should be made prior to authorizing maintenance.

Comparable Benefits - Use of SSI Award

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is to be used as a comparable benefit toward the cost of room and board for individuals in long-term living situations (as defined on page 8.03.03) in accordance with the following guidelines: For individuals who are recipients of SSI, any money received from SSI over $100 per month must be considered as a comparable benefit toward the cost of room and board. Exceptions to this policy will be made for individuals who must maintain their own residence, other than their temporary residence while in training. Exceptions will not be applied to individuals who contribute to a family residence.

For individuals in a long-term living situation where the facility directly receives the individual's SSI money, (such as a qualified congregate care facility) NYSCB requires that the facility apply the SSI money (less $100 per month for personal expenses) to the room and board costs for the individual.