In what can best be described as an astonishing but not-surprising act of callousness, the NYS Department of Health has decided to take away a housing subsidy it already approved for a brain injury advocate. They say they are doing this because of paperwork mistakes – paperwork mistakes they made.
It will come as no surprise that I am the advocate in question and it will certainly come as no surprise that Maribeth Gnozzio aka Maribeth Janiszewski of New Jersey corruption fame played a role in the decision.
Here’s the background. I am on the state’s Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. Earlier this year with the help of my case manager, they are called service coordinators in TBI Waiver parlance, I applied for a housing subsidy. The application made its way through the process and the DOH approved it. However, the DOH approved the housing subsidy under the states’ Nursing Home Transition Waiver, or the NHTD Waiver as it is commonly called. Now, because of their mistake (Was it a mistake? Or was it a set-up as some are already asking) they’ve decided I’ll pay for their mistake and lose the subsidy.
I’ve been told my subsidy will end as of July 31st and, well, that’s just too bad as far as DOH is concerned. When my case manager had a phone conference with them, who was on the call, making sure no flexibility was allowed? Gnozzio.
When the idea of my transitioning from the TBI Waiver to the NHTD Waiver was proposed, the answer was sure, he can transition, but he still loses the subsidy, too bad if he loses his home.
They should stop calling themselves the Department of Health because health is the last thing they’re concerned with. Maybe they should just call themselves, the Department.
It seems likely I will be approved for a Section 8 subsidy in the next few months, unless, of course, the DOH can find a way to sabotage that too. Bridging the gap between subsidies is the dangerous part of the equation.
If you are wondering if the DOH’s behavior is going to make me back off on my advocacy, not a chance. After all, I’ve been shot in the head at point blank range. I’m not about to be intimidated by a renegade state agency nor some pitiful corruption story from New Jersey.