Bill S3019-2011

Relates to the treatment of property of patients of mental hygiene facilities

Relates to the treatment of property of patients of mental hygiene facilities.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • Feb 7, 2011: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3019

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to powers with respect to the property of patients

PURPOSE: This measure seeks to increase the value of funds or personal property the commissioner of OMRDD or OMH may authorize a facility director to receive on behalf of a person receiving residential services in an amount up to the Medicaid resource exclusion amount which is currently $13,050 from the current $5,000 limit.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Sections 1 and 2 of the bill amend sections 29.23 and section 3 amends section 33.07 of the mental hygiene law to allow the Commissioners of OMRDD and OMH to authorize a facility director to receive or obtain funds or other personal property on behalf of a person receiving residential services up to the limit set by the medical assistance exclusion for a single person as found in section 366.2 of the Social Services Law. The bill would also allow the Commissioners to authorize directors of mental hygiene facilities, including not-for-profit directors, to give receipts, execute releases and other documents required by law, to manage funds and personal property on behalf of consumers.

Section 3 provides for an immediate effective date.

EXISTING LAW: Section 29.23 of the mental hygiene law allows a director to handle consumer's funds up to a limit of $5,000.

JUSTIFICATION: Section 29.23 of the mental hygiene law currently limits a director of a mental hygiene department facility to handle a consumer's funds up to a limit of $5,000 or less. That limit was established in 1972 and has not increased with inflation. Items such as inheritances, Social Security retroactive payments or gifts are often valued above this limit. In order for a director to receive these items which are valued over $5,000 on behalf of a consumer, is often time-consuming and expensive because a legal proceeding becomes necessary.

This bill would bring the limit up to a far more reasonable level $13,050 per person under current law - saving the State considerable time and expense by eliminating barriers to managing the use of funds in the best interests of consumers. This authority would apply to both State and not-for-profit directors. Additionally, it would conform current law to current practices in many instances and in other instances would facilitate the efficient and appropriate management of assets without using unnecessary time and cost spent in, for example, courts.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.4900 - Referred to Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; A.6667

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately, with provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3019 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 7, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. HUNTLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop- mental Disabilities AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to powers with respect to the property of patients THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 29.23 of the mental hygiene law, as amended by section 1 of part A of chapter 111 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: S 29.23 Powers with respect to property of persons receiving services. (A) The commissioner may authorize the directors of department facili- ties, to receive or obtain funds or other personal property, excepting jewelry, due or belonging to a person receiving services from such facility who has no guardian authorized to receive such funds or proper- ty, up to an amount or value not exceeding [twenty-five thousand dollars] THE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE RESOURCE EXCLUSION FOR A SINGLE PERSON AS DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW; and also from a guardian upon his discharge when the final order so provides where the balance remaining in the hands of such guardian does not exceed such amount. Such personal prop- erty, excepting jewelry, other than moneys shall be retained by the director for the benefit of the person for whom received until sold as hereinafter provided. Such funds and the proceeds of the sale of other personal property so received shall be placed to the credit of the person for whom received and disbursed on the order of the director, to provide, in the first instance, for luxuries, comforts, and necessities for such person, including burial expenses and such director shall be authorized to seek to place, to the extent permissible by law, funds in excess of the appropriate eligibility level for government benefits, into a qualifying Medicaid exception trust, including a special needs trust, or similar device. The director of a department facility shall ensure that the treatment team meet with, and determine the current and future personal needs of, the person receiving services. For purposes of
this section, a treatment team is one that is responsible for the following, including but not limited to, clinical assessments, treatment plan development, any necessary discharge planning, and personal expend- iture planning. The commissioner may authorize directors, on behalf of any such person, to give receipts, execute releases and other documents required by law or court order, to endorse checks and drafts, and to convert personal property excepting jewelry into money by sale for an adequate consideration, and to execute bills of sale or to permit such person to do so, in order that the proceeds may be deposited to the credit of such person in accordance with the provisions of this section. (B) Whenever, under the provisions of this section, the commissioner shall authorize the director of a facility in the department to receive moneys or other personal property excluding jewelry belonging to a person which are on deposit in any bank or other institution or which are due to the person from any person or agency, such bank, institution, person, or agency shall, upon the written request of the director, forthwith turn over to such director from such moneys or personal prop- erty the amount or value hereinbefore specified. Any moneys received by the director of such facility shall be deposited by him in such bank or trust company as shall be designated by the comptroller, except that the commissioner may, in his discretion, invest so much thereof as he may deem advisable in bonds issued by the United States government or any of its agencies. (C) Moneys belonging to a person received by the director of such facility pursuant to law shall be received by him in his official capac- ity as such director and such receipt shall be deemed an exercise or performance by him of a power and duty duly conferred by this section. In the event that a director of a department facility receives a wind- fall payment on behalf of a person which, in combination with other funds held on behalf of such person, would cause such person to become ineligible for government benefits, such director shall, to the extent permissible by law, apply the funds in excess of the appropriate eligi- bility level to the person's personal needs or seek to place such excess funds into a qualifying Medicaid exception trust, including a special needs trust, or similar device. For purposes of this section, a windfall payment shall mean a one-time payment such as a gift, an inheritance, lottery winnings, or court-ordered judgment or settlement. (D) This section shall not apply to any federal or state benefits received by the director as representative payee, which benefits shall be handled in accordance with section 33.07 of this title and regu- lations promulgated thereunder. S 2. Section 29.23 of the mental hygiene law is amended to read as follows: S 29.23 Powers with respect to property of patients. (A) The commissioner may authorize the directors of department facili- ties, to receive or obtain funds or other personal property, excepting jewelry, due or belonging to a patient who has no committee, up to an amount or value not exceeding [five thousand dollars] THE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE RESOURCE EXCLUSION FOR A SINGLE PERSON AS DESCRIBED IN SUBDI- VISION TWO OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW; and also from a committee upon his discharge when the final order so provides where the balance remaining in the hands of such committee does not exceed such amount. Such personal property, excepting jewelry, other than moneys shall be retained by the director for the benefit of the patient for whom received until sold as hereinafter provided. Such funds and the proceeds of the sale of other personal property so
received shall be placed to the credit of the patient for whom received and disbursed on the order of the director, to provide, in the first instance, for luxuries, comforts, and necessities for such patient, including burial expenses, and, if funds are thereafter available, for the support of such patient. The commissioner may authorize directors, on behalf of any such patient, to give receipts, execute releases and other documents required by law or court order, to endorse checks and drafts, and to convert personal property excepting jewelry into money by sale for an adequate consideration, and to execute bills of sale or to permit such patient to do so, in order that the proceeds may be deposit- ed to the credit of such patient in accordance with the provisions of this section. (B) Whenever, under the provisions of this section, the commissioner shall authorize the director of a facility in the department to receive moneys or other personal property excluding jewelry belonging to a patient which are on deposit in any bank or other institution or which are due to the person from any person or agency, such bank, institution, person, or agency shall, upon the written request of the director, forthwith turn over to such director from such moneys or personal prop- erty the amount or value hereinbefore specified. Any moneys received by the director of such facility shall be deposited by him in such bank or trust company as shall be designated by the comptroller, except that the commissioner may, in his discretion, invest so much thereof as he may deem advisable in bonds issued by the United States government or any of its agencies. (C) Moneys belonging to a patient received by the director of such facility pursuant to law shall be received by him in his official capac- ity as such director and such receipt shall be deemed an exercise or performance by him of a power and duty duly conferred by this section. S 3. Subdivisions (a) and (b) of section 33.07 of the mental hygiene law, such section as renumbered by chapter 978 of the laws of 1977, are amended and a new subdivision (e-1) is added to read as follows: (a) A patient's right to retain his personal belongings upon admission to a MENTAL HYGIENE facility shall be respected. The director, subject to the regulations of the commissioner, may take temporary custody of the patient's personal property upon the person of the patient. Personal property which is retained for the patient's protection shall be used for the support and benefit of the patient if deemed desirable. Otherwise, it is to be conserved for his benefit. If a patient is trans- ferred to another facility, his personal belongings shall be transferred with him. Gifts received by a patient in a facility shall be handled in the same manner. (b) The director of a [department] MENTAL HYGIENE facility shall have the power to take temporary and immediate custody of the personal prop- erty of a patient which is in the possession of other persons upon giving a receipt therefor to the person having possession thereof. (E-1) THE COMMISSIONER MAY AUTHORIZE DIRECTORS OF MENTAL HYGIENE FACILITIES, ON BEHALF OF A PATIENT, TO GIVE RECEIPTS AND EXECUTE RELEASES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY LAW OR COURT ORDER. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that the amend- ments to section 29.23 of the mental hygiene law made by section one of this act shall be subject to the expiration and reversion of such section pursuant to section 3 of part A of chapter 111 of the laws of 2010, as amended, when upon such date the provisions of section two of this act shall take effect.

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