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Young Man With Severe Disabilities Wins Right to Services From State Enabling Him to Live At Home
Date:6/30/2008

Equip for Equality Obtains Federal Injunction Against the State for Violation of the ADA's Integration Mandate

CHICAGO, June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following two years of federal court litigation under the ADA's "integration mandate," Equip for Equality has obtained a permanent injunction to enable its client, David Grooms, to receive services he needs to remain in his home. The order overturned a decision by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services ("HFS") to cut more than half of David's Medicaid benefits when he turned twenty-one-years old. U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer ordered the agency's Director, Barry Maram, to restore "immediately" the level of skilled nursing services provided to David prior to his 21st birthday.

David Grooms has a rare progressive neuromuscular disease called Glycogen Storage Disease. As his 21st birthday approached, he was dependent on a ventilator 24 hours a day, had quadriplegia, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis. But with the help of nursing care provided under the Medicaid system, David was able to live at home with the support of his parents, friends and extended family. Through hard work, David graduated from high school. His 21st birthday should have been a great milestone for a young man who had already faced so many challenges. But for David and his family, it also heralded distress and panic.

At 21, David, like others in his situation, had aged out of the Medicaid "waiver" program that the State had invoked to provide him with home services. A State physician had certified that all of David's services were medically necessary and cost neutral to the State, yet, on his 21st birthday, HFS reduced David's benefits by more than half. The decision left him with dangerously reduced nursing services, which placed David, whose condition then worsened, at risk of institutionalization.

David's parents struggled to fill in the gaps. His father sacrificed sleep to s
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SOURCE Equip for Equality, Inc.
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