BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES OF THE
STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.30.405 pertaining to Vocational Rehabilitation Program payment for services
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On May 6, 2009, at 10:00 a.m., the Department of Public Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing in the auditorium of the Department of Public Health and Human Services Building, 111 North Sanders, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule.
2. The Department of Public Health and Human Services will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Public Health and Human Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 27, 2009, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Rhonda Lesofski, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; telephone (406) 444-4094; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. The rule as proposed to be amended provides as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:
37.30.405 VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM: PAYMENT FOR SERVICES (1) through (3) remain the same.
(4) The department may pay for the costs for the provision of any services that are authorized to be provided to the consumer through the consumer's IPE to the extent that the consumer's income and financial resources, determined as provided in this rule and ARM 37.30.407, do not exceed the maximum amounts allowable for income and for financial resources calculated by the department as provided for in (4)(a) and (b).
(a) The maximum allowable level for income is a prospective 12 month annual income calculated at 250% of the
2008 2009 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines for households of different sizes.
(b) through (6)(a) remain the same.
AUTH: 53-7-102, 53-7-206, 53-7-315, MCA
IMP: 53-7-102, 53-7-105, 53-7-108, 53-7-205, 53-7-310, MCA
4. The department is proposing to amend ARM 37.30.405, Vocational Rehabilitation Program: Payment for Services. This rule sets forth the criteria that allow for the department to pay for services being made available to persons who are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. The rule provides that the payment for services by the department may occur if the consumer's income and financial resources do not exceed maximum levels for income and resources established through the rule.
The proposed amendment revises the maximum level of allowable income. Currently the rule provides that the maximum level is 250% of the 2008 United States Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines for households. The proposed rule change would revise this level by replacing the year 2008 guidelines with the year 2009 guidelines.
The department some time ago in reviewing the possible means by which to set maximum income levels for purposes of determining eligibility for financial support in the purchase of vocational rehabilitation services determined that these poverty guidelines were the most appropriate means. The poverty guidelines have been established by the federal government for use in many respects inclusive of eligibility determinations for certain federally funded assistance programs. The guidelines are based upon an established methodology and are annually revised. There is broad national acceptance and use of the guidelines. The department considered establishing its own methodology but found that it did not have the resources or expertise by which to develop and maintain its own methodology.
This proposed change, implementing the most recent set of relevant poverty level income amounts, is necessary so as to maintain the currency of the financial criteria. The older amounts as time passes, fail to account for various economic changes such as inflation, that are factors in dynamically defining and distinguishing a class of persons with limited income who are at or below the poverty level for purposes of federal programs and via this incorporated reference are the intended beneficiaries of the vocational rehabilitation services. Implementation of the most recent poverty guidelines assures the continuation of the appropriate coverage population.
5. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Rhonda Lesofski, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail email@example.com, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., May 14, 2009.
6. The Office of Legal Affairs, Department of Public Health and Human Services, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.
7. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 5 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.
8. An electronic copy of this Proposal Notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register. The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the Notice conform to the official version of the Notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the Notice and the electronic version of the Notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.
9. The bill sponsor notice requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.
/s/ Cary Lund /s/ Anna Whiting Sorrell
Rule Reviewer Anna Whiting Sorrell, Director
Public Health and Human Services
Certified to the Secretary of State April 6, 2009.