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Brown County Browser: Uninterrupted service to seniors and individuals living with disabilities

One of the roles of Brown County Human Services is to support the health and safety needs of seniors and individuals living with disabilities. We do that through comprehensive assessments, providing case management services to authorize and manage long-term services and supports and the provision of adult protection services. During the pandemic, these services are more important than ever for this high-risk population.

In conjunction with the federal government and Governor Walz, MN Department of Human Services has authorized a variety of temporary waivers and modifications to our rules and programs that have allowed us to continue to provide uninterrupted service while reducing risks associated with COVID-19. For example, we continue to provide MnCHOICES assessments to assess needs and determine eligibility for long-term services and supports that people may need to remain living in the community. In the past, these assessments were required to be in-person but due to modifications during the pandemic, we have been able to offer this service by phone or through virtual video platforms to reduce potential COVID-19 exposure. Additionally, we are ensuring that eligibility for people who receive long-term services and supports is continued during the peacetime emergency in accordance with interim federal requirements to make certain that no one has a reduction in the services during this challenging time.

Case management services are authorized to be conducted with more phone and video contact and an increase in allowable electronic documentation. Our intake capabilities for adult protection reports have expanded during the peacetime emergency to help us make decisions regarding the necessity of in-person contact. While our doors remain closed to walk-ins at the present time, we are still able to accommodate in-person appointments or home visits when necessary while using PPE, social distancing and physical barriers to reduce risk. We also offer contactless application or document pick-up and drop-off outside of our building, by mail or online.

We look forward to getting back to more in-person business as soon as we are safely able to do so. In the meantime, we continue to serve seniors and people living with disabilities in ways that keep their well-being at the forefront.

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