Maryland Housing and Disability Services

For families seeking housing help for a disabled loved one in Maryland, there are many resources online as well as government agencies and non-profits. If you are in this position and trying to decide the most appropriate option for your situation, whether that’s a group home or some other arrangement, it’s best to do some homework before drawing any conclusion.

A good place to start is the booklet Maryland Housing and Disabilities Services Resource Guide. It was published by the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, the Maryland Department of Disabilities and the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. The guide provides general information about organizations providing services and/or housing resources for those with disabilities and is intended to help people find a starting point for gathering information.

Though many group homes are well run, with caring staff, too many residents of group homes are victims of negligence, neglect and abuse. You may be able to find enough help so that your family member will be able to live in his or her own home, not a group home.

Programs that may enable loved ones to stay at home

One option which may ease the financial burden of having a severely disabled family member at home provides a low-interest loan for a home purchase from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. One of its programs is the Homeownership for Individuals with Disabilities Program, which offers low interest mortgage loans for eligible homebuyers who have a disability and homebuyers with a disabled son or daughter.

A borrower, or a son or daughter of a borrower, must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (such as hearing, seeing, speaking, sitting, standing, walking, concentrating or performing manual tasks). All borrowers must meet program eligibility guidelines and the loan must conform to all underwriting criteria.

In the case of a disabled child, there is no age limit, but the person must live with one of the borrowers and be cared for principally by one of the borrowers.

The Maryland Department of Disabilities Attendant Care Program provides financial reimb​ursement to those with long-term or severe physical disabilities who need attendant services, including in-home assistance with personal care, household chores and transportation. ​ Adults ages 18 to 64 with severe chronic or severe physical disabilities may qualify. The criteria include the following:

  • Having a job or actively seeking employment
  • Be enrolled in post-secondary or higher education
  • Residing in a nursing home but who would be able to live in the community if attendant care is provided, or
  • Be at risk of having to live in a nursing home if not for attendant care services in the community.

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration provides services so that those with developmental disabilities get appropriate support and service and are included in the community. These supports and services are provided primarily through a network of non-profit providers.

Two groups of eligible individuals are those with developmental disabilities and those with a severe, chronic disability caused by a physical or mental condition, other than a sole diagnosis of mental illness. Services are based on individual needs and they include:

  • In-home supports and services enabling people to live in their home
  • Group homes and alternative living units
  • Individual Family Care, providing support for up to three people with developmental disabilities in the private, single-family residence of an unrelated care provider
  • Individual/Family Support Services, for adults living with their family or on their own or for children living with their family, including respite services, transportation, environmental modifications, adaptive equipment, money management and home skills
  • Day Supports and Services, which includes adult day care.

Group home residents should not fall victim to negligence, abuse and neglect

If after doing your research it looks like placement in a group home is the best option, be vigilant to ensure that your loved one receives proper care. You need to trust the group home to treat your family member properly, but that trust may end up being misplaced.

The Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg has helped numerous group home residents who have suffered serious injuries and death. These facilities operate under specific sections of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), unlike nursing homes and hospitals. Getting the help of an attorney who is knowledgeable about these regulations may mean the difference between success or failure when seeking compensation for an injured group home resident.

If your family member has been injured or killed while living in a Maryland group home and you believe the incident may have been caused by abuse, neglect or negligence, contact our office. We can talk about what happened, how the laws may apply and your best options for obtaining compensation for the injuries or their families regarding a resident’s death. At the Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg, you’ll find compassionate support and experienced advocates to help your family through difficult times caused by group home negligence and abuse. Call 1-866-529-5839 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.

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