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Welfare and Health Task Force

The statewide legal services Welfare and Health Task Force will meet:

Date: Wednesday, May 4

Time: 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. CT

Place: Zoom 

For info and login:

May 4, 2022


2:00 pm – Welcome and Introductions

2:15 pm – 2022 General Assembly Review


KEJC staff will discuss some health and welfare related legislation that passed during the 2022 General Assembly and possible impacts to clients, including but not limited to:


2:50 pm – State and Federal Changes to Medical Debt Collection


Shannon Rempe, Health Law Fellow at KEJC, will discuss the recent cessation of the Department of Revenue collecting medical debts on behalf of the University of Kentucky and give us an update on the federal No Surprises Act.


3:00 pm – SNAP Back: End of Emergency Allotments, Deductions, and RFIs


With the final passage of SJR 150, SNAP Emergency Allotments officially ended in April. Tyler Offerman and Stephanie Langguth, Economic Stability Unit Manager at Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, will discuss what this means for clients, ways to maximize deductions, and some common problems being seen with Requests for Information (RFIs).


3:15 pm – SSI Office Chaos


Stephanie Langguth will discuss problems clients are increasingly facing when trying to access in-person services at local SSI offices.


3:30 – The Kentucky Food Action Network


Members of the Steering Committee will briefly introduce KFAN and discuss ways clients can get involved in public benefits policy advocacy.


3:45 pm – Open Space


4:00 pm – Adjournment

Last Meeting 
February 3, 2022

2:00 pm -- Introductions

2:15 pm -- Long Term Care: Home and Community Based Waivers
Steve Shannon, Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of Regional Programs, representing 11 of the 14 Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), will discuss the current state of Kentucky’s 1915(c) HCBS Medicaid waiver programs and what the future looks like for client access.


2:30 pm -- 2022 General Assembly Update

KEJC’s Tyler Offerman will discuss some legislation currently filed (as well as rumors and whisperings) in the 2022 GA that could impact safety net programs and client access.  See KEJC's bill tracker here.

2:50 pm -- Serious Mental Illness (SMI): Community Integration Supplementation
Sheila Shuster, Executive Director at Advocacy Action Network, will discuss the CIS program and how the program can enable family members with severe mental illness to live in their own home.

3:15 pm -- Nuts and Bolts of Taking a SNAP Claims Case
Stephanie Langguth, Economic Stability Unit Manager at Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, will lay out the landscape on SNAP overpayment cases, walk through the appeals process, discuss collections, and the new agency error compromise policy. 

3:30 pm -- USDA Pandemic-era SNAP Claims Guidance
Bridget Owens with Snapdragon Consulting and Advocacy will discuss recent USDA guidance on pandemic-era SNAP overpayments and ways to get Kentucky to increase the resolution of claims collection cases to benefit clients.

3:45 pm -- Open Space

4:00 pm -- Adjournment

Past Meeting
June 16, 2020
11:00 am -- Introductions

David Super from Georgetown University will be joining us to participate in the day's discussions.

11:10 am -- Recertifications Return


Jason Dunn, Director of the Division of Family Support at DCBS, will join us to discuss the transition back to normal operating procedures for SNAP recertifications as various federal flexibilities are withdrawn.

11:30 am -- SNAP Intentional Program Violations 


Stephanie Langguth, Economic Stability Unit Manager at Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, will lay out the landscape on SNAP intentional program violations and some disturbing trends we're seeing in Kentucky.

11:50 pm -- Unemployment Insurance and Public Benefits


KEJC's Betsy Stone explains whether and how UI benefits count toward SNAP, Medicaid, and other public benefits. Is it being done correctly in the chaos of COVID-19? The answer is, it's complicated. Materials:


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) checklist

What You Need to Know:  UI in Kentucky flowchart

UI During COVID Cheat Sheet -- Betsy Davis Stone

12:10 pm -- Building Organizational Infrastructure: Application Assisters and SNAP Outreach 


Now more than ever, having staff capacity to ensure Kentuckians get and keep the public benefits they need is critical. KEJC's Tyler Offerman will talk about two options to get your organization more funding and support to expand that capacity.

12:30 pm -- Quick Hits with Betsy Stone


  • New Medicaid MCO Contracts

  • Kentucky Housing Corporation’s Unemployment Bridge Program (0% interest loan to catch up on mortgage payments)

  • Nursing Facility check-in: evictions, taking stimulus payments, ARDC connection and more

12:45 pm -- Open Space

1:00 pm -- Adjournment

Reading and Viewing

Past Meeting
December 5, 2019

11:00 am -- New Governor, New Era? 


Rich Seckel will lead the discussion on what a new governor could mean for public benefits and health. Tyler Offerman will jump in to discuss the potential for ending SNAP privatization and the SNAP ban for people behind on their child support. Plus, we’ll talk about the possible return of ABAWD waivers and kynect (#rekynect), and we’ll ask what you think the transition team for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services should know.


11:20 am -- *Notice* Anything You Want to Change? 


Betsy Stone will lead a short discussion about launching another notice rewriting campaign. Ben Carter will introduce FNS’ Model Notice Toolkit for SNAP, and we’ll discuss what kinds of notices you’re seeing (and what notices you’re not seeing).


11:50 am - Update Lightning Round 1


Miranda Brown and Tyler Offerman will give you the skinny on Marketplace open enrollment, the public charge rule, the SNAP felon-drug ban, KCEP’s interactive SNAP map, and the Public Assistance Reform Task Force all in 2 minutes or less.


12:00 pm -- Working Lunch


12:15 pm -- You Got an Overpayment Case; Now What?


Stephanie Langguth will give us an Overpayment Overview for Social Security, SNAP, K-TAP, and Medicaid.


1:15 pm -- Should you be a NOSSCR member? Wait, what’s NOSSCR again?


Spoiler: NOSSCR stands for National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives. Stephanie Langguth briefly discusses the benefits of a NOSSCR membership and their upcoming conference in Chicago (May 17-20, 2020).


1:30 pm -- Update Lighting Round 2


Betsy Stone and Ben Carter will give you the skinny on charity care,University of Kentucky v. Moore, the Medicaid waiver case, KEJC’s story collection tools, an important Open Records Request decision, and the gap-filling rule all in five minutes or less.


2:00 pm -- Public Benefits from your Perspective


We’d really love to know what’s going on in your benefits practice. What’s working well? What’s not? What types of cases are you seeing most? What training would benefit you most in 2020? 


2:30 pm -- Adjourn - See you all in 2020!

Past meeting
June 3, 2019
11:10  Introductions and Collegial Banter 
11:15 Medicaid and Kentucky HEALTH


Copay or no pay? Are you hearing from clients that they are being denied medical care or prescriptions because they can’t pay a co-pay? Miranda Brown will outline when pharmacies and providers can refuse to provide medications and care to patients who can’t pay a co-pay…and when they can’t. Miranda will talk about some of the reports KEJC has received and work we’ve done and together we can brainstorm ways to assist people with this issue. KEJC and allies commented on the reg implementing copayments. See 907 KAR 1:604.  


DMS Updates and FAQs on copays for members and providers

DMS letter to pharmacies clarifying the copay rules

Kentucky Voices for Health story collector


Miranda Brown's comments

Rich Seckel's comments


HCBS is (not) all relative: Brian Dufresne will tell us about issues related to Home and Community Based Services: the difficulty of having a relative caregiver approved and persistent denials of service. We’ll leave time here to troubleshoot issues you’ve faced in your practice and field a couple case studies. 


Opioid crisis response: Brian will then turn our attention toward the opioid crisis and our communities’ responses to the crisis. Policymakers have framed this crisis as a public health issue (rather than a criminal justice issue), which creates opportunities for our organizations to assist. Brian will provide a tour of the landscape and we can discuss together the ways the opioid crisis affects our clients’ legal needs (estate planning, elder abuse/theft, consumer issues, etc.).


What the (1115) judge said: Just before lunch, Ben Carter will walk through the D.C. District Court’s second order striking down the Health and Human Services Secretary’s approval of the harmful changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program proposed by Governor Bevin. How did the state and federal government change their arguments based on their loss last June? What did the Court think of those new arguments? What can we expect now that both the state and federal governments have appealed the case to the DC Circuit Court?

Ben Carter's Presentation on Stewart v. Azar


12:30 Oh, SNAP! Lunch!


If Mississippi can: While you’re focused on your food, we expect you to also be focusing on your clients’ access to food benefits. Policy guru currently at Kentucky Voices for Health and former director of the state’s SNAP program, Jason Dunn, will provide an overview of the drug felon ban as it applies to Kentucky’s SNAP and TANF (K-TAP) programs. What is it? How do other states administer their programs differently? Jason will highlight recent successes in other not-so-liberal states that suggest ways in which anti-poverty advocates can work together to change Kentucky’s draconian felon drug ban and improve the lives of some of our most desperately poor clients. 

Kentucky drug felon ban at KRS 205.2005

Kentucky ban at 921 KAR 3:025 Section 3(10)

Mississippi Center for Justice fact sheet


21,400 minus and more to come? Then, Jason Dunn will provide an update on the effect of ending time-limit waivers for ABAWDs in Kentucky’s SNAP program and Ben Carter will explain the new Commonwealth’s new policy (which almost no other state has implemented) of terminating SNAP benefits for noncustodial parents who are behind on their child support payments. Spoiler: it is a bad policy.


KCEP:  21,400 Kentuckians Have Lost Food Assistance 

KCEP:  Tracking SNAP in Kentucky (try clicking on your county)

921 KAR 3:025 see Section 3(11) and 921 KAR 3:035 companion reg


Demystifying public charge: Miranda Brown will return to provide us with an overview of the proposed change at the federal level to the “public charge” rule. This proposed rule is already affecting immigrants’ decisions about whether and how to avail themselves of programs like Medicaid, SNAP, and K-TAP and understanding what the rule is and who it will affect is crucial to us providing clear, accurate information to our immigrant clients now, even before the rule is in effect.

Miranda Brown's Presentation on Public Charge

For more resources, see Protecting Immigrant Families


1:30 Social Security Disability: The Conn Cleanup


Evan Smith of AppalReD will update us on the status of individual and class cases against the Social Security Administration as advocates in Eastern Kentucky continue to try to prevent the federal government from punishing Kentuckians for Conn’s criminal "connduct." 


1:45 Legislative Recap and Forecast; Framing For Victory


It ain’t over ’til...  it’s over!  Rich Seckel will provide the highs and lows of the 2019 General Assembly with particular attention to House Bill 3, a sinister bill that is a swamp/smorgasbord (pick your metaphor) of bad public benefits policies. HB 3 went nowhere fast this session, but parts of it reappeared in a late session floor amendment. And parts or all of it may appear again next year and the year after that, and the year after that…

KEJC 2019 General Assembly Overview

New, true narrative: We’ll end the day with a presentation and panel about framing the issues around public benefits. Whether you’re talking with your clients, an administrative hearing officer, a judge, a legislator, or the public, careful research shows there are productive and unproductive ways to talk about public benefits. Advocates from KEJC and Kentucky Voices for Health will share with us the profound good news of Medicaid expansion and we can discuss some best practices when framing these issues. Health care and public benefits are at the center of public debate this year and (according to English majors and supported by research) language matters! 

Kentucky Medicaid Tracker

Last Agenda


January 31, 2019

2:00 Welcome and Introductions

  • Overview of General Assembly

  • Welfare and Health Bills of Concern and Interest

  • Community Partner Perspective

Find our Bill Tracking Chart here!

Past Meetings


October 27, 2017​


11:00 Welcome and Introductions

We’ll go around the room for intros. We’ll also remember public benefits advocate extraordinaire Daniel Curry.

11:05 SNAP to It

Key DCBS officials have accepted our invitation to brief us on SNAP changes with a focus on work requirements—and exemptions—for “Able Bodied Adults without Dependents.” Topics include covered counties, exemptions, notices and interaction with potential Medicaid work requirements, followed by Q and A. Our speakers:

  • Deputy Commissioner Joe Hamilton

  • Kentucky Health Sr. Project Manager Kristi Putnam

  • Todd Trapp, Assistant Director of the DCBS Division of Family



11:50 Open Enrollment

What does DQHPMCO spell? Part D, QHPs and a chance to change Medicaid MCOs. It’s all happening at once. KEJC’s Miranda Brown will fill us in.

12:00 Working Lunch


12:15 What’s Going On? Marvin Gaye asked the right question.

To answer, we’ll do a round-up of 5 to 10 minute reports:

  • ACA Update: Did Jimmy Kimmel win the battle? What about the war? KEJC’s Cara Stewart reports in on the status of ACA repeal and, sad to say, "sabotage."

  • 1115 waiver: KEJC’s Anne Marie Regan offers an update on Governor Bevin’s proposal to change Medicaid. It’s a plan that’s drawn national attention.

  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) I: LABG’s Stephanie Langguth fills us in on new rules for paying relatives to provide care (or not).

  • HCBS II: Focus groups around the state in September and October were just part of an “assessment” process managed by Navigant Consulting. Stephanie?

  • Medicaid passive renewal: It sounds easy, but RFI’s may bring age old confusion plus time pressure. Stephanie gives us a quick read.

  • Medicare Savings Plans: when things go off the rails, they don’t come back on quickly.

Resources: See the following materials here:

  • "Medicaid Renewals: What Your Family Needs to Know"

  • Changes to Medicaid Applications and Recertifications

  • NHeLP Q&A on Relatives as Paid Providers

  • Application for 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Waiver

  • CMS materials on Provision of Personal Care or Similar Services by Legally Responsible Individuals


1:00 Social Security Disability Changes Rules

The special weight given to opinions of treating physicians is a thing of the past. Sadly, there’s more. LABG’s Brian Dufresne presents key takeaways from a recent day-long training.

1:20 Training Needs

The programs, they are a changing. We’ve invited Access to Justice Foundation’s Nan Hanley to gather ideas for training so we’re ahead of the game.

1:30 Break


1:45 Special and Regular (but not Jeff) Sessions

Tyler Offerman from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and KEJC’s Rich Seckel will brief us on opportunity and jeopardy on three fronts:

  • Tax reform: Will a shift from income tax to “consumption-based” taxes hit low-income and working families in the pocket book? Is there a better way? KFTC began as the Kentucky Fair Tax Coaltion. Tyler shares the group's analysis and concerns.

  • Pension funding: Workers paid along the way. Government didn’t, especially in KERS. We’ll get Tyler's update on the debate and a critique of some of the solutions to the pension crisis. See PowerPoint presentation.

  • HOPE Act: Is it more “regulating the poor,” through reporting, asset tests and penalties? Rich describes a 2017 state House Resolution that encourages the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to act.


2:30 Adjourn

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