Judge Says Jacksonville Woman Can Stay at Home to Receive Medicaid Services

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Jacksonville resident Michele Haddad, who became a quadriplegic as the result of a 2007 motorcycle accident, has been told by a U.S. District Judge that she can remain in her home and still receive Medicaid services.
According to an article in the Florida Times-Union, Haddad has been on a waiting list for the services via Florida’s Traumatic Brain Injury/Spinal Cord Injury Medicaid waiver program after losing her caregiver, whose services had enabled Haddad to remain in her home.
She wished to remain in her home to receive state services, but had been told by state officials that she had to move to a nursing home for 60 days in order to be eligible. Her attorney, with assistance from the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, argued that the state’s position violates the Americans With Disabilities Act to live independently.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard granted Haddad a preliminary injunction requiring the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health to reassess her eligibility for services. The judge also told the agencies they could not deny services without a court order, and that they must reassess Haddad’s status every 40 days and provide regular notices to the court regarding her position on the Traumatic Brain Injury/Spinal Cord Injury Medicaid waiver program waiting list.
According to Haddad’s Jacksonville personal injury lawyer, Judge Howard’s decision is important to a number of disabled Florida residents who want to stay in their homes.

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