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Minnesota Waiting List for Services Ends for Many

February 29, 2016

Minnesotans with significant disabilities had much to celebrate as the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) removed long-standing barriers preventing them from accessing critical services, including support for competitive integrated employment. A court report issued from Minnesota’s Federal District Court states that 1,100 people were moved off the state’s waiting list for services in the last nine months of 2015. The report was a status report on DHS’ attempts to comply with the changes required by Minnesota’s August 10, 2015 Olmstead Plan. Although 23 percent of those on the state’s waiting list have now been supplied with services, 4,000 people are still waiting for services in Minnesota. 

The change was due to state’s officials pressuring Minnesota counties to spend more of the waiver funds they were allocated annually for providing such services. State lawmakers passed legislation requiring the counties to spent approximately 97 percent of the waiver funds. The state Department of Human Services also began moving waiver funds from counties that regularly underspent to the counties with the longest waiting lists. Alex Bartolic, disability services director at the Department of Human Services, says they are “making great progress.” 

For more information on this positive change in Minnesota’s policy, read the SCTimes article.  For a breakdown of the specific statistics, read the January 4, 2016 court report for Jensen v. Minnesota Department of Human Services