Friday, March 06, 2009

How Family Care Home residents can find out about their Personal Needs Allowance

While I have gotten clearer on just how much money Family Care Home clients are supposed to receive, the fact is this: disabled adults are warehoused in the Family Care Homes, which, by law take most of their money leaving them w/ less than $50/ month/ resident which is their spending money. Without spending money, they cannot really participate in Community Support Services, a service definition which was created by NC Mental Health Reform. Thus, they cannot be independent as associated w/ the agenda of NC mental health reform.

The only solution to all of this is this: find and create more Section 8 housing so that disabled clients can be more independent as per NC Mental Health Reform.

See below, two letters to Doug Barrick: Regulatory Adult Care as pertaining to Family Care Homes, NC, specific to WNC Homes, Asheville, NC (telephone number 919 855 3765:


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD Clinical Licensed Psychologist, e mail:
cell phone: 404 964 5338

March 6, 2009

Dear Doug Barrick of the Regulatory Adult Care as pertaining to Family Care Homes, NC, specific to WNC Homes, Asheville, NC (telephone number 919 855 3765:

My client and I had a telephone conversation with Ms. Chris Urso this Friday afternoon at 4:50 pm, March 6, 2009. I am sending the client's identifying information in a separate e mail to you, Mr. Barrick, and the passwords to open that separate e mail is the following: ----------

Ms. Urso advised us to contact you re: a complaint that a client of mine has as he has not received his PNA, Personal Needs Allowance, for the past 6 months. A caveat: mid december, 2008, the client returned to his Family Care Home after being in the hospital for almost two months.

It is not clear what happened to any PNA funds during the time that he was hospitalized but he did not receive any PNA. Nor has he received any since being physically present in the home since August, 2008, when WNC Homes took over the Leicester location of these homes located physically in Leicester, NC.

Here is Ms. Urso's information and she sent me the following links which she states is the only information she knows about regarding the Personal Needs Assistance (PNA), which created the $46/ month/ resident/ regardless of whether they receive SSI or SSDI checks of any amount. The remainder of the approximate $1280/ month/ resident/ paid to Family Care Homes is made available ONLY at the state and county level and is defined as 'Special Assistance for Adults.'

Christine (Chris) Urso
Special Assistance Program Administrator
DHHS/Division of Aging and Adult Services
Adult Services Section
2101 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2101
919-733-3818 ext.253 / FAX: 919-715-0023

Here is the information clarifying what amounts residents of Family Care Homes receive sent to me by Ms. Urso:


Hello, the information on the increase for the personal needs allowance for Special Assistance is found in the document "Overview of the Fiscal and Budgetary Actions by the General Assembly 2003" Page G 2.
Our Administrative Letter 3-03 is found at:

Our Administrative Letter 3-03 is found at:

Ms. Urso indicated that my client, whose information is being sent to you in a separate e mail so that you may look at his specific information, was receiving Special Assistance in the sum of $352 which, along with his almost $890 SSD check, pays for his room and board at WNC Homes, Leicester NC (their administrative office is in Asheville, NC). The Special Assistance is created at the county and state level, according to Ms. Urso.

He is, according to Ms. Urso, supposed to receive $46/ month as regards his Personal Needs Allowance. He states that he has not received any of his PNA since August, 2008.

The purpose of this letter is to report this matter so that you can investigate it.

Please look for that confidential information sent to you in a WORD document with the password I have assigned above.

Thank you.

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD


March 6, 2009

Dear Doug Barrick of the Regulatory Adult Care as pertaining to Family Care Homes, NC, specific to WNC Homes, Asheville, NC (telephone number 919 855 3765:

This is the second part of my complaint against WNC Homes, administratively housed in Asheville, NC. You have now received the detail information about a specific client and his information regarding that he has not received, he states, his PNA, for the past six months.

The difficulties between myself and WNC Homes began when I was sitting with that client and looking through his WNC chart, kept in the home, which includes the Personal Financial Sheet to which is attached the pharmacy sheet which documents all the co-pays deducted from, as I understand it, the Personal Needs Allowance (PNA).

The client whose information I sent to you in a secure WORD attachment has a head injury and memory difficulties. Also, he cannot read or write and is functionally illiterate. Thus, when I was sitting down with him and going over the details of the matter, and when we wrote the letter to WNC Administration asking for an explanation----which they never answered-----and they then kept me from working w/ the client as regards his Personal Needs Allowance which is outlined on the Personal Financial sheet which is kept in the chart----then when they called the sheriff's department to take me off of the property in order to keep me from working with the client------clearly the clients' civil rights were being violated.

Then WNC homes refused to allow me to look into the charts of ANY resident which also resulted in blocking me also from looking at the medical records information which is certainly in my domain as a psychologist in that I interface with the clients' physicians regarding side effects of medication.

Then WNC Homes administration, specifically, Jeff Clifton, became so irate that when I was seeing my clients for therapy, he called the Buncombe County Sheriff's Department whom escorted me off the property with the statement that, 'if you come back you will be arrested.'

So, my professional complaints are three fold:

1. My role as psychologist is to assist clients to understand their finances so that they can become more independent which is in keeping with NC Mental Health Reform as well as ADA.

2. My role as psychologist is to assist clients in terms of interfacing with their physicians so that medications are helpful and so that side effects can be reported to the physician.

3. My role as psychologist is to render mental health care to client who have requested to see me.

As re: WNC Homes, I have been denied the ability to all three of these things and this is the basis for my complaint.

Additionally, I have called this number 'state complaints'----1 800 624 3004----which may or may not be related to your office and reported being denied to speak to my clients at WNC homes on the phone. This is the fourth complaint.

I am looking forward to your response, Mr. Doug Barrick.


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD


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