NJ DMAHS announces initiatives to protect the most vulnerable

The State of New Jersey Department of Human Services has announced some initiatives designed to help assure continuity of care, access to medicine and nutrition assistance, for individuals who are dependent on programs such as SNAP, group homes, charity medical care, MLTSS home care and services in certain DDD-funded programs. As always, the real test will be in the details for how these initiatives will be administered, but many of the ideas sound great. Some of the efforts  that were announced through a press release on the 18th are these:

“Cash, Shelter and Food Assistance

  • Automatically extending for 60 days WorkFirst New Jersey cash assistance to individuals whose case is up for renewal in March or April;
  • Extending all Emergency Assistance cases through April 30;
  • Deeming the current state of emergency as a good cause exemption for the work requirements in WorkFirst New Jersey and SNAP and suspending all adverse actions for non-compliance;

“NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid

  • Covering COVID-19 testing, visits for testing, and testing-related services at no cost;
  • Waiving costs for COVID-19 testing, visits for testing, and testing-related services in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
  • Covering 90-day supplies of prescriptions for maintenance medications and early refills of prescriptions in Medicaid and CHIP; and
  • Directing hospitals to waive cost sharing for uninsured individuals who are eligible for charity care for medically necessary testing and testing-related services for the COVID-19 virus.

Supporting Older Residents

  • Mobilizing nurse care managers at Medicaid health plans to call high risk populations to identify and address their critical needs including supplies such as durable medical equipment and food;
  • Allowing older residents receiving prescription drugs through Medicaid or the state prescription drug assistance program (PAAD and Senior Gold) to refill their prescriptions early and receive 90-day supplies of   maintenance medications;
  • Working with our county partners to ensure that those receiving home-delivered meals continue to have access to food;

“For those receiving DDD services, 

  • Temporarily closing congregate day programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and supporting this transition;
  • Providing flexibility to families to quickly hire workers and working closely with program providers and direct support professionals during the closure; ……. “

Tremendous partnership efforts will be needed across all sectors of government and society to take care of our most vulnerable citizens at this difficult time. Hopefully the DHS will focus on flexibility and practicality, minimize red tape and streamline the steps it takes to accomplish these laudable goals.


Call us for help with your urgent elder care problems ………… 732-382-6070