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Are you or a friend or a family member in a nursing facility because you have a mental illness? Do you or a friend or a family member wish to return to the community and receive the services and support you need in your own home? If so, a program called Recovery Requires a Community, which the state of Ohio created to transition 1,200 people with behavioral health needs in nursing facilities back into the community over the next two years, can help achieve this goal.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you have the right to live and receive services in the most integrated, least restrictive setting in the community and to avoid unnecessary institutionalization.

How does one utilize this program?

If you have a mental illness and are in a nursing facility and wish to access the Recovery Requires a Community program to move back into the community, you should first apply for HOME Choice, a separate program (although the two programs act in tandem) that assists people with disabilities, not just those with behavioral health needs, move out of institutional settings.

What are the eligibility requirements for HOME Choice?

Generally, to be eligible for HOME Choice, you must continuously reside in an institutional setting (a nursing facility, an intermediate care facility for people with intellectual disabilities, a hospital, a residential treatment facility, or a combination thereof) for at least 90 consecutive days and be receiving Medicaid benefits for inpatient services in the institutional setting. It is not necessary to be eligible for HOME Choice to access Recovery Requires a Community, but most people will be.

What do I do after I am enrolled in HOME Choice?

Once enrolled in HOME Choice, you are entitled to choose a transition coordinator, who will assist you in accessing the various transition services and funding that are available through HOME Choice and can help you move back into the community. A referral will also be made to the local mental health board so that you can obtain the mental health services you may need to be successful in the community.

How does Recovery Require a Community help fill my service needs?

In the past, people with behavioral health needs in nursing facilities who applied for HOME Choice ultimately never moved into the community because there was some obstacle preventing their discharge. Now, Recovery Requires a Community is intended to fill any gaps in services or funding that are a barrier to discharge. The most common uses of Recovery Requires a Community will likely be to help a person pay for housing or to assist with payments for people who are in arrears for a utility bill or other type of financial obligation, which can often discourage housing providers from renting to a person. The program is meant to be flexible enough to cover any item or service that is needed to help the person move into the community.

What do I do if I run into problems trying to use this program?

For any questions, concerns or problems with the Recovery Requires a Community or HOME

Choice programs, please contact Disability Rights Ohio.

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