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South Dakota Advocacy Services

 

Logo of South Dakota Advocacy ServicesSouth Dakota Advocacy Services is South Dakota's designated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System. Federal law provides that each state have a system for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. South Dakota Advocacy Services (SDAS) is the independent, private, non-profit, tax exempt corporation designated by the Governor to assist in providing protection and advocacy services to eligible South Dakotans.

This topic provides a variety of information about South Dakota Advocacy Services. You may read the topic sequentially or jump to specific sections by following the links below.

Sections of this Topic

                   Overview

                   Who May Receive Services (Eligibility)?

                   Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Program

o                           Who Is Eligible For PAIMI Services?

o                           How Can The PAIMI Program Help You?

                   Client Assistance Program (CAP)

o                           Rights Of A Rehabilitation Client

                   Protection and Advocacy Developmental Disabilities Program (PADD)

o                           What Services Does PADD Provide?

o                           Areas Of Concern

                   Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights Program (PAIR)

o                           What Is The PAIR Program?

o                           Who Is Eligible For PAIR's Services?

o                           How Can PAIR Help?

o                           What is the process?

                   Protection and Advocacy Assistive Technology Program (PAAT)

o                           Who Is Eligible For PAAT's Services?

o                           What Services Does PAAT Offer?

                   Protection and Advocacy Traumatic Brain Injury Program (PATBI)

o                           Who Is Considered To Have TBI?

o                           Who Is Eligible For PATBI Services?

o                           What Services Does PATBI Provide?

o                           How Can The PATBI Program Help?

                   Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security Program (PABSS)

o                           Who Is Eligible for PABSS Services?

o                           PABSS Services

                   SDAS Contact Information

                   Additional Information

                   See also topics

Overview

P&A systems are mandated under various federal statues to provide legal representation and other advocacy services to all eligible persons with disabilities. These services are provided through a variety of vehicles: individual representation, educating policy makers, advocacy for groups, information and referral services, rights education and self advocacy training.

The fundamental mission of the P&A system is to respond to allegations of abuse, neglect and violations of the rights of persons with disabilities, including discrimination based on disability. P&As devote considerable resources to develop capacities of persons with disabilities, ensuring full access to inclusive educational programs, financial entitlement programs (e.g., Medicaid and Social Security), health care, accessible housing, and productive employment opportunities.

By federal statute, P&As have the responsibility to protect and advocate for persons with disabilities, often including those who cannot speak for themselves. To do this, Congress gave the P&As unique authorities and responsibilities. These authorities and responsibilities go well beyond those of a conventional law firm in various specific ways.

Who May Receive Services?

SDAS provides services to eligible individuals through the programs listed below. All persons with disabilities, as well as parents, relatives, guardians, friends, teachers, attorneys, professionals, or others concerned with the rights of persons with disabilities are invited to contact SDAS with their questions.

South Dakota Advocacy Services' central office is Pierre, with branch offices in Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and Yankton. Staff travel throughout the state (including reservations) to provide assistance and representation when needed.

Services are free of charge, except for possible incidental costs associated with litigation and attorneys' fees in successful Social Security hearings.

Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Program

The PAIMI Program has authority under Public Law 99-319, as amended, to pursue administrative, legal, and other remedies to investigate incidents or suspected situations of abuse, neglect, and rights violations, and to access facilities, clients, and their records.

Who Is Eligible For PAIMI Services?

Anyone with a significant mental illness or emotional impairment qualifies for PAIMI services if:

                   You are in the process of being transported or admitted to a facility providing care or treatment; or

                   You currently are residing in a facility that offers care or treatment, such as community residential programs, private or public hospitals, nursing homes, jails and prisons; or

                   You are involuntarily confined in a municipal detention facility for reasons other than serving a sentence resulting from a criminal offense; or

                   You have a problem that occurs within 90 days after discharge from a facility.

How Can The PAIMI Program Help You?

Through information and referral.

If you have a complaint of "abuse", which is defined as any act or failure to act by an employee of a facility that caused or may cause injury or death, such as:

                   Inappropriate or excessive medical treatment;

                   Inappropriate or excessive physical restraint, isolation or seclusion;

                   Physical assault; or

                   Verbal abuse.

If you have a complaint of "neglect", which is defined as a negligent act or omission by any person who is responsible for providing services in a facility which caused or may cause injury or death, such as failure to provide for appropriate:

                   Admission to a residential or inpatient care facility;

                   Written treatment plan;

                   Discharge planning; or

                   Release from the institution.

If you have a complaint of a "rights protection" violation, such as:

                   Denial of access to your records;

                   Denial of access to information about your rights or to legal assistance;

                   Breach of confidentiality; or

                   Discrimination in housing or employment based on your psychiatric disability.

All communications will be kept confidential.

Client Assistance Program (CAP)

The Client Assistance Program:

                   Advises you of your rights and responsibilities in the process of obtaining rehabilitation services funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

                   Assists you in your relationship with projects, and community rehabilitation programs, providing rehabilitation services.

                   Explains specific rehabilitation services and benefits available to an individual with a disability.

                   Helps you in the appeal process when requested, if you disagree with the rehabilitation services being provided or are denied services.

                   Identifies problem areas in the delivery of rehabilitation services to individuals with a disability and suggest methods and means of making systemic changes.

                   Refers you to other agencies (public or private) when you may not be eligible for rehabilitation services.

                   Informs you of your rights under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Rights Of A Rehabilitation Client

                   Your rights as a rehabilitation client are:

                   To make meaningful and informed choices.

                   To be a partner in the planning of your vocational goals and rehabilitation services.

                   To apply or reapply for rehabilitation services.

                   To the confidentiality of your case record.

                   To consultation with your counselor before your case is closed.

                   To appeal through administrative review and fair hearing.

                   To be informed of the availability of the Client Assistance Program.

Services of the Client Assistance Program are provided on a non-discriminatory basis in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act as amended, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex or disability.

Protection and Advocacy Developmental Disabilities Program (PADD)

PADD provides services to eligible persons under the authority of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.

A developmental disability is a severe, long-term mental and/or physical impairment that appears before 22 years of age--during the developmental years.

Such a disability can severely and permanently affect a person's ability to care for or make decisions regarding his or her personal needs, to live independently, to achieve economic self-sufficiency, to learn, to have physical mobility, and to use and understand language.

What Services Does PADD Provide?

Some of the services PADD provides are:

                   Information on rights and referral to appropriate agencies;

                   Response to and investigation of complaints regarding abuse and neglect;

                   Negotiation with appropriate agencies to obtain rights and benefits;

                   Legal representation;

                   Training sessions and presentations on empowerment, rights and services.

Areas Of Concern

Examples of areas, problems, or issues where the PADD Program can help include:

                   Special education and related services;

                   Federal and state benefits;

                   Estate planning for parents of a child with a disability;

                   Abuse and neglect;

                   Appropriate habilitation, treatment, or residential services;

                   Provision of services in the least restrictive environment;

                   Discrimination based upon disability;

                   Confidentiality, records and privacy;

                   Licensure, insurance, residency, voting, contracts, and transportation;

                   Housing, zoning and architectural barriers;

                   Guardianship, substituted consent;

                   Employment.

All communications will be kept confidential.

Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights Program (PAIR)

What Is The PAIR Program?

The PAIR Program is a system to protect the legal and human rights of eligible individuals with disabilities. The PAIR Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration.

Who Is Eligible For PAIR's Services?

A person with a disability is eligible for PAIR's services if he/she is not eligible for assistance under the Protection and Advocacy Developmental Disabilities Program (PADD), the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Program (PAIMI), the Protection and Advocacy Assistive Technology Program (PAAT), the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security Program (PABSS), the Protection and Advocacy Traumatic Brain Injury Program (PATBI) or the state Long Care Ombudsman Program. Individuals with disabilities who may be eligible for the Client Assistance Program (CAP), but need protection and advocacy services that are beyond the scope of CAP, are also eligible.

How Can PAIR Help?

Some examples of areas, problems or issues where the PAIR Program can provide assistance include:

                   Information and referral services;

                   SSI and SSDI appeals beginning at the hearing level;

                   Education Issues;

                   Abuse and neglect; and,

                   Public accommodations.

The PAIR Program prefers to resolve issues at the lowest possible level. The PAIR Program uses legal, administrative, mediation/negotiation and other appropriate remedies to resolve issues on behalf of clients.

What is the process?

The PAIR Program has a process that staff use to review and accept cases under the program's priority areas:

                   The PAIR advocate will obtain client data and provide services to eligible persons;

                   If legal representation is requested, the advocate will present the case to the SDAS Legal Committee;

                   The SDAS Legal Committee will review the case and accept or decline representation based upon how the issue fits within the priorities, the merits of the case, and program resources.

All communications will be kept confidential.

Protection and Advocacy Assistive Technology Program (PAAT)

Assistive technology can provide enormous opportunity for persons with disabilities to achieve their potential.

The Protection and Advocacy Assistive Technology Program (PAAT) provides services to eligible individuals with assistive technology needs. This is done through a variety of strategies focusing on the individual and delivery systems. Activities are coordinated with the DakotaLink Project and the state Division of Rehabilitation Services.

Who Is Eligible For PAAT's Services?

Eligibility for services under PAAT include:

                   Persons with a disability, including persons residing in facilities who have assistive technology needs, and

                   Persons and entities who have questions regarding assistive technology or who would like training in issues relating to assistive technology.

What Services Does PAAT Offer?

Services that PAAT provides include:

                   Information, including referral, research, and analysis to overcome legal, administrative and other barriers to obtaining assistive technology.

                   Protection and Advocacy, including legal representation of an individual or class to pursue issues that are unique to assistive technology.

                   Education and Training, to empower individuals with the skills to address and overcome barriers to obtaining assistive technology.

                   Outreach, to traditionally underrepresented and rural populations of all ages in South Dakota, including reservations.

All communications will be kept confidential.

Protection and Advocacy Traumatic Brain Injury Program (PATBI)

In 1996 Congress authorized the Health Resources and Services Administration (HSRA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau to implement state grant programs to improve access to health and other services for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and their families. The Children's Health Act of 2000 reauthorized this program and established a TBI protection and advocacy program for eligible persons. In South Dakota the program is called Protection and Advocacy Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI) and is part of South Dakota Advocacy Services.

Who Is Considered To Have TBI?

Anyone who has suffered a cranio-cerebral head trauma as an occurrence of injury to the head arising from blunt or penetrating trauma or from acceleration-deceleration forces that is associated with any of these symptoms or signs attributed to the injury: decreased level of consciousness, amnesia, other neurological or neuropsychological abnormalities, skull fracture, or diagnosed intracranial lesions. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Who Is Eligible For PATBI Services?

Individuals with TBI and families who have members with TBI are eligible for PATBI services, provided the issue relates to the individual's TBI and is within the programs current goals and objectives.

What Services Does PATBI Provide?

Services provided under the PATBI program include:

                   Information, referrals and advice,

                   Individual and family advocacy,

                   Representation, and

                   Specific assistance in self-advocacy to individuals with TBI and their families.

How Can The PATBI Program Help?

Examples of areas, problems or issues where the PATBI Program can assist include:

                   Information on Medicaid rights,

                   Strategy assistance on extending school year therapies,

                   Employment termination,

                   Transferring a person from nursing home to TBI facility, and

                   Dealing with a non-responsive protective payee.

Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security Program (PABSS)

The PABSS Program specific purpose is to provide, on a statewide basis, information and advice about obtaining vocational rehabilitation and employment services and to provide advocacy or other services (upon request) that a beneficiary needs to secure or regain gainful employment. The PABSS Program is funded by the Social Security Administration through the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA).

See the South Dakota Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach (BPAO) Program topic for information about this related program also funded by the Ticket Act.

Who Is Eligible for PABSS Services?

Eligibility for PABSS services include:

                   Persons who are current social security disability beneficiaries and recipients, who have questions about vocational rehabilitation and who want to gain, regain or maintain employment.

                   Persons and entities who have questions regarding social security disability benefits planning or who would like training in issues relating to social security disability benefits or removing barriers to employment.

PABSS Services

Services that PABSS provides include:

                   Information, including referral, research, and analysis to overcome legal, administrative and other barriers to obtaining vocational rehabilitation (through state VR or employment network) and gaining, regaining or maintaining employment.

                   Protection and Advocacy, including legal representation of an individual or class to pursue accessible needs, services, supports and accommodations inemployment and issues involving Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

                   Education and training to empower individuals receiving social security disability benefits with the skills to address and overcome barriers to obtaining employment.

                   Outreach to traditionally underrepresented and rural populations of all ages in South Dakota, including reservations.

All communications will be kept confidential.

SDAS Contact Information

South Dakota Advocacy Services
221 South Central Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501

(605) 224-8294 (Voice/TTY)
1-800-658-4782 (Voice/TTY)
Fax: (605) 224-5125

Email: sdas@sdadvocacy.com

Website: http://www.sdadvocacy.com/

Additional Information

Publications about a variety of topics that may be of interest to people with disabilities are available on the SDAS website at:
http://www.sdadvocacy.com/publications.asp

Partners in Policymaking is an innovative leadership and advocacy training opportunity designed to involve and empower people with developmental disabilities, parents of children with disabilities and other family members. It provides state-of-the-art knowledge about developmental disabilities issues and builds the competencies necessary to become advocates who can effectively influence public officials. Learn more about this program at:
http://www.sdadvocacy.com/training/partners.asp

See also:

Protection and Advocacy Systems - Overview

Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Program

South Dakota Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach (BPAO)

Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act)

State Councils on Developmental Disabilities

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD)

Source

Information for this topic was drawn from the SDAS website at:
http://www.sdadvocacy.com/


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