Here in Maryland, we have this wonderful thing called LISS, otherwise known as Low Intensity Support Services. I’ve written about it before – LISS is a means for people with disabilities to receive funding for items not covered by insurance. This year, Maryland lowered the limit to $2000 (from $3000) to cover more individuals, and there are now two lotteries for coverage – one in July and one in January – instead of a first-come-first-served system in July.
The problem, despite this seemingly more fair system… is that none of us know what in Heaven’s name is going on.
To clarify something – when you request LISS funding, you have to have an invoice. Either from the service provider (like when we use LISS to pay for I Can Do It Too at Rebounders) or from the merchant (when you are getting physical goods).
The chatter in the Facebook group for the local Autism parents keeps coming around to how slow the process is moving this year. As opposed to prior years, where we found out very quickly as to if you were getting funding (and discovered even faster that you almost had to be waiting in line at the bureau that disburses the funds for your area at the time it opened on the first day), it’s been nearly two months since the submission period closed and not a single word. We’re coming up fast on the opening of the second submission period… which is a problem because you’re only allowed to receive funding once per year, and every family that’s asked the funding agencies as to when we can expect a yay/nay decision has been told ‘soon’, or ‘the end of September’.
So we’ve known nothing about what’s going on about LISS this year.
I come home early a few days per week to ‘watch’ R while the wife takes the Monster to his various therapies. (I say ‘watch’ because R is usually asleep in his crib, and I’m downstairs working.) This afternoon, while I was settled by a window and getting some work done, I watched the UPS truck stop in front of our house, the guy look for a box, and then take off again… only to return a few minutes later. We don’t often get packages at home – I tend to have anything I order sent to the office so they can be signed for, and we don’t actually order physical goods to the house that much anyway. So I greeted the man at the door, and got this package… addressed to the Monster.
Apparently, we got our requested LISS funding, because the items that the wife had requested were enclosed.
Something really has to be done to adjust the system for the next lottery in January, because it really is unfair for us parents to be in the dark, to not know what’s going on with the funding process. I know of plenty of parents who have gone ahead and paid for services, because in theory you’ll be reimbursed if the funding comes through, and some who’ve skipped for lack of ability to pay upfront. It’s just more stress for so many people when we’ve already stressful enough lives…