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Budget 2014 Response- Thanks for protecting senior programs

We are pleased to see that the Governor has approved the Medicaid Expansion which will serve an additional 100,000 enrollees going forward. 

In addition, this budget provides a significant increase for Adult Protective Services whose staffs address the needs of NJ’s most vulnerable citizens in the community who are at-risk of, or subject to, abuse, neglect or exploitation.

We are also pleased to learn that this proposed budget continues the State’s commitment to provide pharmaceutical assistance for low and moderate income seniors by maintaining funding for PAAD & Senior Gold.

DHS Press Release- Mental Health Counseling for Sandy Victims

For immediate release:                                                                                                                For information, call

February 16, 2013                                                                                                                            Ellen Lovejoy

Help available for emotional aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

TRENTON – As community meetings are being held throughout the state to give survivors of Hurricane Sandy information about restoring their homes and businesses, the Christie Administration also wants to remind them of help available to restore their mental resiliency.

“Sandy took a toll on more than just buildings, and we want to make sure people also have information about how to heal the damage that goes beyond bricks and mortar,” DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez said. “We want people to be aware of the services available to help them deal with the anxiety and rebuild their emotional strength.”

The Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and its Disaster and Terrorism Branch (DTB) continue to provide a variety of services, Velez noted.

Immediately after the hurricane, DTB deployed more than 600 specially certified crisis counselors to areas most heavily impacted areas. Mobile units canvassed those areas, providing people with information and referrals. More than 30,000 people had contact with the counselors in the initial aftermath.

“We know that immediate emotional support after a disaster lessens the chances of more severe long-term psychological problems,” Velez said. “Meeting the need for safe, evidence-based services for emotional stress has become a staple in disaster planning and response.”

DHS also expanded the hours and days of a mental health hotline Р1-888-294-HELP (4357), TTY: 1-888-294-4356 – from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, to 8 a.m. to 12 a.m., seven days a week. The hotline is a part of “New Jersey Hope and Healing,” a joint partnership between DMHAS and the Mental Health Association of New Jersey to address the behavioral health aspect of the storm.

Since then, DTB received a $1.94 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help providers hire 120 more temporary counselors and also has provided a $54,498 grant to the University of Medicine and Dentistry’s United Behavioral Healthcare (UBHC) to provide emergency mobile crisis counseling to survivors of the devastating superstorm. To arrange for therapeutic counseling from clinicians at UBHC, call 1-855-HOPE4U1.

People affected by a disaster and trauma may show signs of irritability, poor concentration, depression, hopelessness, isolation and grief and may experience nightmares and flashbacks, new or worsening health problems and alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse.





Did you know? Family Leave Insurance

Did you know? Family Leave Insurance

Imagine this scenario- your mom lives alone and has a hip replacement. Who is going to help her while she recovers? Chances are you’ll have to take time off of work to do so. But there may be some help available to ease your financial concerns.

NJ passed the Paid Family Leave Act in 2008 to help family caregivers with caring for a seriously ill family member or a new born.  In 2011, 4,587 people received benefits from this program for caring for a spouse or other family members.  This represents about 20% of the claims while the balance of 80% are related to bonding with a child or care of a sick child. The average length of care was 4 weeks and the estimated benefit was about $1,800.

This support comes from the employee’s payroll disability withholdings.  You have already set this money aside to address a future need like taking care of a sick child, spouse or parent. There are forms to complete and information to get, but so many people are caregivers and temporary leave their jobs this modest amount of support can give a caregiver some peace of mind- while they do the yeoman’s job of providing care for a loved one.

So, how does it work?

You can claim Family Leave Insurance benefits to care for a family member with a serious health condition. There is a very comprehensive application which will also necessitate a health care provider certifying the condition. You will see a link below to get the form online.

Care leave may be taken for six consecutive weeks, intermittent weeks or 42 intermittent days during a 12 month period beginning with the first date of the family leave insurance claim.

Family member means your spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, parent or child.

The child must be your biological or adopted child, foster child, stepchild, legal ward or the child of your domestic or civil union partner. The child must be less than 19 years old or if older than 19 years of age must be incapable of self-care because of mental or physical impairment.

You must give your employer reasonable advance notice unless:

  • You need to take family leave unexpectedly or
  • The time of the family leave changes for reasons you could not ¬†¬† foresee.

 If you claim family leave benefits intermittently, you must give your employer 15 days notice.

You may access the application by going to http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/tdi/fl1.pdf

Other important contacts:

Division of Temporary Disability Insurance Customer Service Section (609) 292-7060.

Hearing impaired individuals may contact our office by: Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD)-(609) 292-8319, New Jersey Relay Service: TT user 1-800-852-7899, Voice User: 1-800-852-7897

Important: Please allow fourteen (14) days processing time before inquiring about your claim.

Division of Temporary Disability Insurance FAX number: (609) 984-4138

For additional information about the Family Leave Insurance Program, visit at:


To get additional help or information you may contact the NJ Time to Care Coalition by going to their website or calling their toll free number.  http://www.njtimetocare.com  or 1888-NJ GET WELL, 1-888-654-3893