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2011 Virgina Legislative Developments & Rights of Elderly & Disabled

Apr 30, 2011

These laws were passed by the House & Senate and approved by the Governor:

Guardianship - Virginia has now joined a growing number of states that have passed a Uniform Inter-jurisdictional Guardianship Act.  This law makes it much easier to transfer a guardianship from one state into Virginia.  When moving a person already under a guardianship into Virginia a new evaluation report is not reqiured.  The new law reduces time and expense for petitioners.  The law also provides a procedure when a guardianship action for the same person is brought in two different states and the question is which state should hear the case.   Now the courts have a procedure to follow.    

Autism & Insurance - Requires health insurers, health care plans and HMOs to provide coverage for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and treatment for ASD in individuals from age two to six up to an annual maximum benefit of $35,000.   After a number of years in trying to get this bill passed, the Autism community succeeded in getting the House, the Senate and the Governor to mandate coverage for autism spectrum disorder.     

Increase in ID & DD Waivers - In my March blog I discussed a U.S. Justice Department report critical of Virginia's bias to institutional care for the disabled.  In response the 2011 budget provides funding to increase the number of Intellectual Disability Waivers (ID) and Developmentally Disability Waivers (DD).   Although this increase in waivers will not eliminate the waiting lists in both categories, it certainly is an improvement.  There has been no increase in the number of DD waivers for the last three years.

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