Alabama one of 5 states chosen for “No Wrong Door” grant

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It is about to be easier for Alabamians of all ages, disabilities and income levels to learn about, and access, the long-term services and supports they need.

The federal Administration for Community Living (ACL) announced this month Alabama Medicaid would receive a “No Wrong Door” grant. The grant – $2.36 million over three years – will allow the state to streamline access to long-term services through Central Alabama Recipient Eligibility System (CARES), the state’s joint eligibility system for public services and supports.

Alabama joins Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii and Virginia as one of the five recipients of the award that will build upon the lessons learned from the original eight grant recipients awarded in 2012.

In the “No Wrong Door” system multiple Alabama state and community agencies will coordinate to ensure that regardless of which agency people go for help, they can access information and one-on-one counseling about the options available across all the agencies and in their communities.

“This award is significant in that over the next three years the five grantee states will set the standard for streamlining public program access for the rest of the country,” said Ginger Wettingfeld, Gateway to Community Living project director. She also noted that the grant will complement the technical development work of CARES which is now underway.

“While CARES handles financial eligibility, this grant will allow us to train and educate the individuals who help someone walk through all the public programs available to them with the overall goal of having the same experience regardless of which agency you start at — the Alabama Department of Senior Services, the Alabama Department of Public Health, Medicaid or the Alabama Department of Human Resources,” Wettingfeld said.

The grants are part of an ongoing partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to support state efforts to advance system-wide changes that make it easier for people to remain living in their own homes and communities.

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