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Disability Benefits Planning and Assistance

Grant to a Nebraska Nonprofit, For-Profit, Agency, or IHE to Create
an Employment Benefits Task Force for Individuals with I/DD

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health - Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCDD)

Deadline Date:

07/29/19 11:59 PM


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Grant of up to $30,000 to a Nebraska nonprofit, for-profit, local or state agency, or IHE to create a state task force that will provide employment benefits assistance and planning services for individuals with I/DD, their families, and their service providers. Funding is intended to develop a framework to strengthen, support, and expand benefits planning and assistance services in Nebraska.

This Task Force will:

- Recruit a robust membership to the Task Force. Membership should include representatives from Nebraska VR, DHHS Division of DD, DHHS Division of Medicaid and Long Term Care, DHHS Division of Behavioral Health, self-advocates, parents/guardians, certified benefits planning providers (representatives of agencies currently providing benefits planning services may serve on the workgroup), developmental disabilities service providers, and other relevant stakeholders.
- Provide historical context of benefits planning in Nebraska, including these services as provided by Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Nebraska Easterseals, and other benefits providers.
- Investigate current benefits planning policies and processes to include the Memorandum of Understanding between Nebraska VR and the DD Division.
- Identify the certified benefits specialists and map their locations across the state.
- Solicit feedback on the issues, gaps, and barriers that hinder the ability of individuals to access benefits planning services.
- Compare the number of individuals receiving benefits planning services annually with the number of individuals with developmental disabilities who receive waiver services but have been denied access to VR employment services as a result of the Order of Selection wait list.
- Clarify how benefits planning services are provided to individuals receiving services through DHHS Division of Behavioral Health while individuals with developmental disabilities are not receiving these services. How are benefits planning professionals compensated for this service within the Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities systems?
- Research best practices and what other states are doing for benefits planning.
- Provide a final report of recommendations, strategies, and approaches Nebraska could take to improve benefits planning services to include:

- An overview of Nebraska’s current benefits planning services and employment incentives with recommendations for addressing the barriers and gaps in benefits planning services.
- Development of a policy framework that expands and strengthens the number of individuals receiving benefits planning services. The gap-filling framework will be expected to build on current benefits planning services while focusing on developing and strengthening benefits planning referral policies and processes necessary to improve access to quality benefits planning services.
- Systems-level, programmatic-level, and consumer-level strategies to strengthen and improve the utilization of benefits planning services.
- Optional services based on available evidence, emerging strategies, and promising practices in the field of benefits planning services to expand capacities and deliver direct services.
- Strategies to secure funding to pursue alternate benefits planning options. This may include braiding resources across various funding streams to deliver, sustain, and expand benefits planning services.

For a list of project specific requirements, see the URL for Full Text link below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186335

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Money is available to fund one project.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum of $30,000

Term of Contract:

Projects will begin no earlier than October 1, 2019 and must be completed by September 30, 2020.

One additional year of funding may be available. In order to receive continuation funding, the subrecipient must demonstrate appropriate activities in the previous year and must submit an application to be approved by members of the Council for the following year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are profit and nonprofit entities, state agencies, institutions of higher education, or local subdivisions of government.

To avoid a conflict of interest, applicants responding to this RFA must not be entities currently offering benefits planning services in Nebraska.

Applicants must demonstrate a working knowledge of the issues that affect people with developmental disabilities and their families, experience working with and/or advocating on behalf of people with developmental disabilities, and a history of conducting education in the activity area identified in the application. NCDD strongly encourages applications from organizations that are located in rural or urban poverty areas, organizations that employ staff with disabilities, and/or organizations that represent linguistic and cultural minorities.

Council subaward funds cannot be used for the following:

- Construction or renovation costs
- Direct services for people with developmental disabilities (unless these services are part of a model demonstration).

NCDD subaward funds cannot be used for ongoing organizational activities, to supplant existing private, state or federal funding sources, to purchase equipment or furnishings, or to duplicate or replace existing services provided to people with developmental disabilities and family members.

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline to submit applications: Applications must be submitted through DD Suite by 11:59 PM on Monday, July 29, 2019.

Applicants notified of decision: August 30, 2019.

Applicants are required to provide a 25% match of the funds requested. The match can be either cash or in-kind. Cash match is support provided to a project by an agency that they would have to pay for. Examples include part of someone’s salary, rental space, or postage. In-kind match examples are donated time or items such as volunteer time or copying provided by a business.

General grants information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

All questions regarding this grant solicitation must be submitted in writing via email to Joni Dulaney, NCDD Program Specialist, at

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Nebraska

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