Three states fail to house disabled in most appropriate settings, DOJ argues

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Justice Department court briefs filed in Florida, Illinois and New Jersey allege that the states have failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, which deals with the rights of the disabled.

New Jersey has failed to serve disabled individuals by not placing people in the most appropriate care setting, the DOJ says in its “friend of the court” brief in that state. Despite being qualified for home care under the AMA and Olmstead decision, thousands of disabled individuals are being institutionalized, according to the DOJ.

In Florida, the DOJ filed a brief in support of lawsuit that alleges that Florida fails to provide community-based services to Medicaid-eligible individuals with spinal cord injuries who are at risk of institutionalization. According to that suit, the state will fund those services only after an individual enters a nursing home.

The DOJ also filed a statement of interest in an Illinois lawsuit, which alleges that the state of Illinois relies on large, privately run facilities called Institutions for Mental Disease (IMDs) to provide long-term care services for the mentally disabled. Meanwhile, it fails to offer services in community-based settings in violation of Olmstead, according to the DOJ statement.