All Heartland clients have certain rights established by law. Heartland has an ethical duty to do whatever it can to ensure that these rights are protected and to keep its clients safe from physical, mental or emotional harm or neglect. Specifically:
If you believe that any one of these rights has been violated, or if you see or believe that another client’s rights have been violated, Heartland wants to know immediately. You will never, ever be treated badly or punished in any way for speaking up.
Just like everyone else, Heartland clients also have responsibilities. Some of these are financial – like paying bills; some are social – like trying to get along with others; and some are related to services that the client receives. Specifically, a Heartland client is expected:
To speak with a BDDS Service Coordinator about any changes that might effect participation in the Waiver program, such as changes in benefits or how the client feels about the plan that has been developed for him or her.
Of course, not all clients are able to speak for themselves. Guardians, Representative Payees, and other individuals who hold a power of attorney for the benefit of a client have very specific responsibilities as well.
In Indiana, there are two types of guardianships. One is a guardianship over the person. This type of guardian is responsible for making decisions that affect an individual’s health, safety and welfare. This type of guardian chooses service providers, approves living situations, and oversees/authorizes medical and other care. The second type of guardianship is over the property of an individual. This type of guardian makes financial decisions for the individual, pays bills, and is the Representative Payee of the individual’s Social Security income. In some cases, a guardian may have both types of responsibilities.
Regardless of the type of guardianship, providers of all types of services, including Heartland, typically require a guardian to produce the Probate Court Order which actually appoints an individual as a guardian, and it is the guardian’s responsibility to provide this important legal document. Heartland requires such documentation because it enables Heartland staff to confidently follow a guardian’s instructions. Also, because the Probate Court Order will describe the type of guardianship (over the person, over the property, or both) the document directs Heartland to the appropriate person for specific issues, such as paying bills or changing doctors.
There are many legal requirements for guardians, including filing reports, accounting for money spent, and in some cases even providing financially for an individual. For this reason, guardianship should not be entered into without giving the matter serious thought and speaking to professionals, such as an accountant or an attorney.