ABI Medicaid waiver - Annual Review Staff Team Meeting Minutes

My name is Stephanie and I am part of Craig Sears CS’s staff. I work with him on his Prevocational hours and I have been working with CS since January of 2011, and I have been to every single one of his team meetings since then.

CS has an Annual Review State Team Meeting to evaluate his disability. On more than one occasion, Connecticut Department of Social Services continues to try to take his services away from him by cutting his hours back or trying to remove him from the program. Going into his team meeting was once again the same case as before. CS is told ever few months when he has his team meeting that his services will be changing, whether or not it’s his hours being cut or him being told that he will lose his services because he does not follow DSS protocol. As well as in between those months when CS does NOT have his team meetings he constantly gets calls from either his doctor (Dr. Tariq) or P&A (Jessica) stating that things are taking a turn, AGAIN! When CS confronted DSS at his team meeting about the fact that every meeting he has, it ends up reflecting upon his services, and what was brought to the table was something completely different. CS made a statement about how he received a call from his doctor stating that James Dwyer called him and told him that CS’s hours would be cut. When CS brought it to light in his team meeting Dorian Long, M.S.W., DSS (Program Administration Manager, Social Work Services) made it a point to tell CS that that’s NOT what was being asked of him. She told him that she was asking how he got himself up in the morning and who wakes him up, as well as a few other questions that I felt were unnecessary for the meeting.

I understand that CS has to report what he is doing when he is NOT at his team meetings, but when asking him questions like “who wakes him up in the morning” or “what he eats for breakfast” I feel that questions like that are irrelevant, Especially if it was stated prior that the meeting had nothing to do with that. Why does it matter HOW he gets up, as long as he’s up and going on with his daily activities. Now, I can understand if he was being asked, “So, CS what have you done outside of your meeting?” Then okay I can understand that because that pertains to his case and that’s what the meeting is about according to Dorian Long who stated “we are not speaking about your hours being cut, no one will be cutting them on you, this meeting is about what you’re doing to progress with the services you have.”

When CS addressed this matter to his doctor, Dr. Tariq made it very clear that it’s a constant tug of war. That every single time after his team meetings CS is told he will be losing parts of his services. Dr. Tariq made it known that, “yes, I did get a call from James Dwyer stating Dwyer would be lowering or cutting CS’s hours back.” Dwyer began to state he “NEVER” said any of that to the doctor. I cannot believe how Dwyer can turn around and basically call Dr. Tariq a “Liar” and state he never said those words. I honestly believe the one person who has been dealing with CS case for quite some time now wouldn’t make up a story like that, especially seeing how I was present when CS got the call from his doctor telling him all this. As well as the many emails he receives on a daily bases about his case. CS had made it very clear how he gets all emails from his service providers/staff about anything concerning his ABI waiver. But made it very known how DSS continues to go behind his back and contacting the service providers telling them what will be going on with CS’s case.

Dr Tariq deals with a lot of ABI waiver cases and with CS’s case he feels “it’s always like a witch hunt when it comes to CS’s case.” Dorian Long turned and looked at the doctor and made it a point to let him know she took offense to what the he had said. But how and why was that offensive to her? If it’s not about taking things away from CS then why would the doctor’s statement be offensive? I strongly agree with Dr. Tariq, he is right! CS does what he needs to do to follow all the “protocols” that are made. And for him to basically be threatened with taking his services or cutting his hours or whatever DSS tries to justify it at that time is uncalled for. CS has been an active and effective advocate for the brain injury survivor community and a participant in the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Waiver Program for several years. CS works very hard to make it known what he does by all his websites and blogs; along with the other meetings etc. he attends. Being able to be a voice for others is a way of him showing that he will NOT back down. That he will NOT allow anyone to go through what he had to because there were/are little to no services for brain injury survivor. He’s just an independent man trying to make a difference and better the services for brain injury.

Being a mother and having a family or any other parent for that matter, how do you expect us to teach our children to put their trust into a system when the system constantly takes advantage of the people who actually NEED the help? I think it’s a disgrace how DSS tries to justify their screw ups. After what they did to the doctor and everything they have done and the way they treat CS, I refuse to hold back any longer. It’s disgusting to know how people are treated when they have very little rights already……………



My thoughts: Connecticut Department of Social Service ABI Waiver Program Provider's