Advocacy E-News October 26, 2016
October 26, 2016
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES 2017 BUDGET LISTENING SESSION
Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 10 AM – 4 PM
Department of Human Services’ Central Office, 222 South Warren Street, Trenton, NJ
First Floor Conference Room
This is an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide constructive suggestions/input regarding the FY 2017 state budget as it relates to their area of interest.
Room Capacity is 99; First come, first heard. Testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per person. Due to time constraints, only 1 representative of an agency or group will be allowed to testify.
All written comments will be accepted and considered. These can be delivered at the session, emailed to DHSBudgetInput@dhs.state.nj.us or sent parcel post to: DHS Budget Input 222 South Warren Street PO Box 700 Trenton, NJ 08625-700
SOCIAL SECURITY ANNOUNCES SMALL COST OF LIVING INCREASE
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017. The 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2017. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2016.
The earnings limit for workers who are younger than “full” retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) will increase to $16,920. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $16,920.)
N.J.’S FEE-FOR-SERVICE FUNDING COULD UNRAVEL STATE’S MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM
New Jersey residents should be deeply concerned by the state’s plan for funding mental health services because it could deny treatment to tens of thousands of vulnerable residents — those who have serious mental illness and can’t afford care. New Jersey’s mental health providers across the state project revenue losses of between $500,000 and $6 million in the coming year under fee-for-service funding, all in community counseling programs. Those losses will force providers to reduce or eliminate programs.
BJA LAUNCHES POLICE-MENTAL HEALTH COLLABORATION TOOLKIT
The United States Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) launched an online toolkit Monday that supports law enforcement agencies around the country in planning and implementing effective calls for service involving people with mental illnesses. The Toolkit was developed in partnership with The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and gathers best practices and resources to help law enforcement agencies partner with mental health providers when responding to calls for service involving people with mental illnesses.
BILL LIMITING SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN N.J. HEADS TO CHRISTIE
A bill strictly limiting the use of solitary confinement in New Jersey’s prisons is headed to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk after being passed by the state Assembly. The bill requires prisons and jails to use solitary confinement only as a last resort, restricting its use to 15 consecutive days or 20 days in a two-month period. It also bans the practice for inmates who are mentally ill, pregnant or have other special needs, and requires daily medical evaluations for prisoners in solitary.
REPORT: MORE THAN HALF OF MENTALLY ILL U.S. ADULTS GET NO TREATMENT
A just released annual assessment of Americans with mental illness, the treatment they receive and the resources available to them — and the conclusions are sobering: Twenty percent of adults (43.7 million people) have a mental health condition, and more than half of them do not receive treatment.