In partnership with Maine State Treasurer, Bangor Savings Bank Launches
Maine ABLE Benefit Checking for People with Disabilities
First-in-the-Nation account furthers the Bank’s commitment to serving community needs
Bangor, ME (October 18, 2021): Bangor Savings Bank introduced its newest product, the first of its kind in the nation, Maine ABLE Benefit Checking. The account was created for people with disabilities to allow greater accessibility to financial products and services, while protecting eligibility for federal and State of Maine means-tested benefits. Historically, individuals receiving benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are limited to $2,000 in resources. ABLE Accounts provide new avenues for financial health, planning, and empowerment for individuals with disabilities and their families.
The Federal “Achieving a Better Life Experience” Act of 2014 (ABLE Act) created a new option for qualified individuals living with disabilities and their families. Most ABLE programs follow an assets-under-management model. Maine has chosen a different approach and account structure to meet the more immediate needs of participants for whom longer term investment and saving is not a primary goal.
ABLE accounts originate from the Federal ABLE Act and are established and managed at the state level. In partnership with the Office of the Maine State Treasurer, which oversees and maintains the program locally, Bangor Savings Bank is proud to serve as the administrator of the ABLE ME program.
ABLE ME, with Bangor Savings Bank’s Maine ABLE Benefit Checking account as the sole deposit instrument, was announced last month by Maine State Treasurer Henry E. M. Beck, Esq., and is the first of its kind in Maine and the nation.
“The State is grateful to partner with Bangor Savings Bank to offer this first-in-the-nation, simple ABLE checking account product,” said Beck. “When we first began developing this program, we listened to Mainers who live with disabilities who told us having access to a respected brick-and-mortar Maine-based financial institution was paramount. I encourage Mainers to take advantage of the protections and dignity an ABLE account can provide.”
“Our partnership with the Office of the State Treasurer is a unique public-private collaboration that allows us to increase access to banking.” said Bob Montgomery-Rice, President and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank. “Creating and offering this program supports the financial independence and well-being of Maine’s residents with disabilities and reflects our ongoing commitment to provide better banking experiences for all community members.”
“Partnering with the State Treasurer’s Office to innovate this first-in-the-nation Bank-administered ABLE Program has been incredibly rewarding. It wouldn’t have come to fruition without the vision and commitment of former State Treasurer Terry Hayes and current State Treasurer Henry Beck, as well as the unshakable support of our President and CEO Bob Montgomery-Rice,” said Joyce Clark Sarnacki, Bangor Savings Bank Foundation Chair and a member of the ABLE ME development team.
The Maine ABLE Benefit Checking can be opened at any Bangor Savings Bank branch and is available to qualifying Maine residents. For more information about ABLE Programs across the country, visit the National Association of State Treasurers here.
About Bangor Savings Bank
Bangor Savings Bank, with more than $6 billion in assets, offers retail banking to consumers as well as comprehensive commercial, corporate, payroll administration, merchant services, and small business banking services to businesses. The Bank, founded in 1852, is in its 169th year with more than 60 branches in Maine and New Hampshire and business and/or loan production offices in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Bangor Savings Bank and The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation have invested more than $3.4 million into the community in the form of sponsorships, grants, and partnership initiatives last year. Bangor Savings Bank is an equal opportunity employer and can be found on the Web at www.bangor.com. Member FDIC.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month - Calendar of Events
The theme for NDEAM 2021, "America's Recovery: Powered by Inclusion," reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the Calendar of Events!
Fall 2021 Webinar Series
Recruitment and Retention Strategies For
Direct Care Professionals
Thursday, October 28th 1:00-4:00 pm
Thursday, November 4th 1:00-4:00 pm
Join us for this 2-Part Webinar Series presented by Deb Whitworth, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, on employee recruitment and retention strategies specific to the disability service sector.
Registration Fee for both WebinarsMACSP or ANCOR Member: $75
Non-MACSP and Non-ANCOR Member: $100
Presenter: DEB WHITWORTH SPHR, SHRM-SCPDeb is the Owner and CEO of HR Studio Group, LLC. In over 30 years of human resources management and leadership experience, she has helped a variety of nonprofit and for-profit services and industries build and maintain compliant cultures of excellence. Deb was appointed by the Governor of Maine as Commissioner with the Maine Human Rights Commission in 2011 to complete an unexpired term and reappointed to fill full five-year terms in 2012 and 2017. An outspoken advocate for disability rights, she was pleased to be elected in 2015 to the board of The Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness and accepted the role of Treasurer in 2021. Named the Maine HR Leader of the Year in 2012, Deb is a frequent presenter on human resources and compliance topics at conferences and business functions, She is also an instructor in the HR Certificate Program at University of Southern Maine, and leads the SHRM-SCP/SHRM-CP Certification Preparatory Course at University of Southern Maine.
We MUST Fund Disability Services
Take Action Now
We need thousands of stories to tell Congress that people with disabilities deserve the supports and services to live independently in their communities!
Right now, Congress is deciding how much money to include for home and community-based services (HCBS) in the #BetterCareBetterJobs Act.
HCBS provide critical support for people with disabilities by paying for things like employment supports, getting around the community, dressing and bathing, taking medication, and much more. Without funding for HCBS, many people are stuck on waiting lists, direct support professionals are underpaid, and more people end up in institutions and nursing homes.
The original #BetterCareBetterJobs proposal included $400 billion for HCBS, and it has already been cut in HALF.
Help us show Congress why #CareCantWait by sharing your story about HCBS now.
Thank you for your advocacy – together we will fight for the full inclusion of people with disabilities!
Already shared your story and ready to do more?
The Fall 2021 edition of the Maine Parent Federation newsletter, Parent Connection, is now available on our website at:
We have new and updated information packets, upcoming events, trainings, online support groups, informative articles, and much more.
Please feel free to distribute this newsletter to others who may be interested. If you would like a printed copy of the newsletter, E-mail email@example.com.
We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Fall,
The MPF Staff
Early Intervention Parent Stakeholders Needed
Are you the parent or caregiver to a child with a disability
or special health care need ages 3-5 receiving early intervention services?
If so, this opportunity may be for you!
Maine Parent Federation (MPF) has been tasked with nominating two parents/caregivers of children ages 3-5 receiving early intervention services to serve on a stakeholder group to improve these services in our State.
In response to L.D. #386 "An Act to Improve Operations at the Department of Education" Maine's Department of Education is putting together a stakeholder group to develop a plan to improve early intervention services under Part B-619 (special education services for 3-5 year olds).
MDOE is scheduling two meetings for this fall; dates, times, locations (in-person versus remote) have not yet been determined.
MPF must nominate 2 parents/caregivers by September 17th. If you are interested in serving in this capacity and are a parent/caregiver of a 3-5 year old currently receiving early intervention services please contact Carrie Woodcock - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Carrie Woodcock at: email@example.com to receive more information on this opportunity.
REVISED Notice of Agency Rule-making Proposal: MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapter I, Section 6, Global HCBS Waiver Person-Centered Planning and Settings Rule
Click here for the Department's MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapter I, Section 6, Global HCBS Waiver Person-Centered Planning and Settings Rule
REVISED Notice of Agency Rule-making Proposal
(revised to reflect the addition of a remote public hearing)
AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services, MaineCare Services, Division of Policy
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: 10-144 C.M.R., Chapter 101, MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapter I, Section 6, Global HCBS Waiver Person-Centered Planning and Settings Rule
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER:
CONCISE SUMMARY: This new rule proposes to implement the federal requirements for Maine’s Section 1915(c) home and community-based waiver programs as set forth in 42 C.F.R. § 441.301(c), and includes requirements for person-centered service planning and for settings in which home and community-based waiver services (“HCBS”) are provided, including requirements for provider-owned or controlled residential settings.
The proposed rule implements additional requirements or changes to HCBS waiver programs under the following sections of the MaineCare Benefits Manual:
Section 18: Home and Community-Based Services for Adults with Brain Injury;
Section 19: Home and Community Benefits for the Elderly and Adults with Disabilities;
Section 20: Home and Community-Based Services for Adults with Other Related Conditions;
Section 21: Home and Community Benefits for Members with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder; and
Section 29: Support Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
In the event of conflict between the requirements of this proposed rule and any rule listed above, the terms of the proposed rule will supersede and shall apply.
The proposed rule tracks closely the federal requirements set forth in 42 C.F.R. § 441.301(c). It clarifies that the Member leads the person-centered planning process and that the process should reflect the Member’s cultural considerations and provide necessary information to allow the Member to make informed choices and decisions. The proposed rule establishes general requirements for HCBS settings so that the setting ensures the Member’s rights of privacy, dignity and respect, freedom from coercion and restraint, and facilitates individual choice regarding HCBS waiver services and settings.
There are additional proposed requirements for provider-owned or controlled residential settings. These include Members having privacy in their sleeping or living unit; Members having freedom to access food at any time; and Members having the ability to have visitors at any time. The proposed rule also contains a provision related to certain disability-specific settings (such as Sec. 18 Work Ordered Club House Services). The rule leaves open the Department’s ability to amend Sec. 18, Sec. 20, Sec. 21 and/or Sec. 29 regulations through rulemaking to impose additional requirements.
Finally, the proposed rule outlines requirements for provider qualifications as well as oversight and enforcement to ensure full compliance with HCBS waiver services and related sections of the MaineCare Benefits Manual including Ch. I, Sec. I, General Administrative Policies and Procedures.
The Department shall submit to CMS and anticipates CMS approval of Waiver amendments related to this rule.
The proposed rule will become effective 5 days after the finally adopted rule is filed with the Secretary of State’s office, per 5 M.R.S. § 8052(6), except that for those HCBS settings that were approved as settings prior to March 17, 2014, Sections 6.04 (Home and Community-Based Settings General Requirements) and 6.04(B) (Additional Requirements for Provider-Owned or Controlled Residential Settings) will be effective on July 31, 2022.
See http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/rules/index.shtml for rules and related rulemaking documents.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 22 M.R.S. §§ 42, 3173, 42 C.F.R. § 441.301(c)
Date, time and location of PUBLIC HEARING: 11am; Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Due to the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19 (see below), DHHS has determined that its public hearing will be conducted solely remotely, via Zoom.
Zoom Meeting link: https://mainestate.zoom.us/j/89675358898
Meeting ID: 896 7535 8898
Some devices may require downloading a free app from Zoom prior to joining the public hearing event. The Department requests that any individual requiring special arrangements to participate in the hearing contact the person listed for this filing 5 days in advance of the hearing.
Rationale for remote public hearing: Cases of COVID-19 have increased over 1,000% nationally between June 18, 2021 and August 25, 2021. This increase has been driven by the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. DHHS is concerned about this increase in COVID-19 and seeks to avoid the threat to public health and safety by conducting this public hearing solely remotely. There is an ongoing federal public health emergency due to COVID-19. The Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services first declared a public health emergency (PHE) due to COVID-19 on January 31, 2020, and most recently renewed the PHE on July 20, 2021. On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States issued a proclamation that the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a national emergency, which was most recently continued on February 24, 2021. As of August 30, 2021, 11 counties in Maine were designated as high risk.
In addition to the public hearing, individuals may submit written comments to DHHS by the date listed in this notice.
PUBLIC NOTICED: September 8, 2021
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: Comments must be received by 11:59 PM on October 8, 2021
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Heather Bingelis, Comprehensive Health Planner II
AGENCY NAME: MaineCare Services
ADDRESS: 109 Capitol Street, 11 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0011
TELEPHONE: (207)-624-6951 FAX: (207)-287-6106
TTY: 711 (Deaf or Hard of Hearing)
IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES (if any): The Department anticipates that this rulemaking will not have any impact on municipalities or counties.
CONTACT PERSON FOR SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION (if different): N/A
More September 2021 Workshops & Events!
Education is Special: A Guide to Special Education in Maine
September 22nd at Noon (12:00pm)
Special education in Maine (or anywhere) can be a complex and confusing system to navigate. Many parents feel overwhelmed by the various rules and regulations, as well as the vocabulary that is used. Maine Parent Federation has developed this virtual workshop as a resource to help explain the process of special education and empower families to be active participants in their children’s education.
When: Sep 22, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Education is Special: A Guide to special education in Maine
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Support Group for Families of a Child with a Serious Illness
September 21st at Noon (12:00pm)
We welcome you to join a group specific to those caring for a child with a serious illness whereby he or she may not survive into adulthood. These meetings are intended to provide a confidential opportunity to connect parents who can choose to share their stories, discuss their challenges and support one another. This group is structured on the peer support model of helping one another. Facilitators are Janet Duncan, MSN, CPNP a pediatric palliative care nurse practitioner now working with Courageous Parents Network and Christine Bennett, MD, a pediatrician with 30 years’ experience in private practice in Portland. For more Information Contact Allison Wiest, firstname.lastname@example.org
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Sep 21, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.