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which city/state has the best benefits for our kids?

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Senior Member

Joined: 07 Apr 2005

Last Visit: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 172
Location: AZ

PostPosted: August 12 2010, 11:10 AM    Post subject:
which city/state has the best benefits for our kids?
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This has probably been asked before but when I did a search I could not find anything.

We are considering moving out of state to get a fresh start since Arizona is in the top 2 for worst hit in this economy. The only problem is we have AMAZING benefits for my daughter here.

She has Down syndrome, autism and tons of health problems. She is on the state medical insurance that covers all medical and dental! This insurance is not based off of our income but off of hers which at 5 yrs old is nothing. She is also part of DDD (Division of Developmental Disabilities) and that covers home services (even with them being done at school) including OT, PT, ST, MT, Hab (60 hrs a month) and respite (60 hours a month). We do not use much of the hab or respite but if we need it then it is there.

I have heard of so many states/cities where people have to pay for these services and even if you make a good living after paying for them all you probably don't anymore. I would LOVE to hear about services in other states and how you feel about them.

We have considered many different states and at this point are not set on one. We have lots to factor in and of course finding a job is important but my daughter thriving is more important.



Mom to:
4 kids including
Kairi 3/05 (DS)
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Super Member

Joined: 26 Mar 2005

Last Visit: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 11474
Location: Twin Cities metro area, MN

PostPosted: August 12 2010, 3:45 PM    Post subject:
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MN is excellent. At this point we're also looking at what's available as the kids become adults. For awhile we were looking to move south, but I can tell you we're not moving out of Minnesota any time soon! Now that we're adopting another child with serious medical issues (and possibly another with DS) we're not moving out of MN anytime soon!

AZ does have great services, as does NY.

Our funding here is consumer directed. That means that you spend it how you want. Your child has...say a $25K budget, if you want to spend it all on PCA services, that is up to you. If you want to divide it out between equipent, or software, or PCA hours, that is also up to you.

Also, budgets are determined based on the child's needs and what funding group they fall under, and their primary diagnosis. A child with dual diagnosis of DS/Autism, the autism usually takes precedence because it causes more of an issue that the DS. Angela is under the TBI waiver (Traumatic Brain Injury) In most states, the ONLY thing that counts as "Traumatic Brain Injury" is an external blow to the head. Minnesota is one of only a couple of states that counts strokes, meningitis, external blow to the head, closed head trauma, seizures, (and a couple other things I'm not forgetting) under TBI label. Basically, if it happened after birth, but caused an insult to the brain, it counts as a TBI.

Some waivers in MN have waiting lists, and some waivers no longer exist due to reorganization thanks to budget cuts. There is rumor that waivers will soon be a thing of the past. Those currently on them will keep them, but there will be no new waivers. I don't know if that's true, just what I've heard. I also don't know if that's nation-wide, or just in Minnesota.


Did you visit my mom's blog today?

And don't forget to visit MINE!

mom to Noah 23, Tyler 21, Angela 14 (DS)
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Super Member

Joined: 24 Jun 2006

Last Visit: 07 Oct 2010
Posts: 2218
Location: Burien, WA

PostPosted: August 12 2010, 8:04 PM    Post subject:
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Waivers are state run, lots of states are losing their waivers due to the economy though, MN is not the only one.

One thing to keep in mind, most states have a VERY long waiting list for waivers. If your daughter does not qualify for SSI she may not have medicaid for quite a while even if you do move to another state where she would qualify for a waiver. If your income IS low enough for her to qualify for SSI (even just $1 a month), she will automatically get medicaid in any state and doesn't need the waiver.

WA does not have a waiver, so if that's a necessity we're out of the question...we do however have some of the best early intervention and school district special education programs (Holly Ridge Children's Center and Central Kitsap School District are awesome, so if anyone here considers moving to WA and can afford the extremely high cost of living there, Silverdale WA should be at the top of your list so you will be in the CK district and covered by Holly Ridge for EI) and really great job training and job searching assistance for disabled adults.
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