Monday, April 4, 2016

Definitions – Supported Decision-Making Agreement Act

Originally published by Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D..

Who is an adult with a disability? Under this law, an adult with a disability is: • an individual 18 years old or older, or an individual under 18 years old who the law considers to be an adult; and • who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.


Who is a supporter? A supporter is a person who has made a “supported decision-making agreement” with an adult with a disability to help the adult gather information and communicate their life decisions. A person cannot be a supporter if the State of Texas decides the person has abused, neglected or exploited the adult. A supporter can decide to stop being a supporter at any time. The adult can choose a different supporter at any time. What is a supported decision-making agreement? The law allows an adult with a disability and a supporter to have a supported decision-making agreement that states how the supporter will help the adult communicate life decisions. Although there is no mandated form, the Act requires the adult and supporter to sign the agreement in the presence of: a) two witnesses who are at least 14 years old and who also sign the agreement; or b) a notary public.


What does a provider need to know if an adult has a supporter? A supporter is different from a legal guardian appointed by a court. A supporter cannot force an adult with a disability to make a decision or make a decision on behalf of an adult with a disability. A supporter can only help an individual gather information, consider options, and communicate the decision. The person with a disability retains the exclusive right to make these decisions. When an individual has chosen a supporter and has a supported decision-making agreement, the individual may give a copy of the agreement to the provider if the individual wants the supporter involved in making decisions related to any services provided by the provider. If a supporter is gathering information for an adult, the supporter must have the adult’s written consent to get the information. For example, a provider may have confidential information about an individual such as medical information, school records, and Medicaid case records. A supporter may have access to this information only with written consent of the individual. In providing a supporter with access to confidential information, a provider should follow its usual practice for releasing an individual’s confidential information to another person


Visit us at Garlo Ward, PC.

The post Definitions – Supported Decision-Making Agreement Act appeared first on Garlo Ward, P.C..

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

from Texas Bar Today
via Abogado Aly Website

No comments:

Post a Comment