What is the purpose of the Information and Referral Tool?
The purpose of the Information and Referral Tool is to provide guidance to individuals about supports and services that may benefit them, a family member or friend. The tool is structured in a way that provides suggestions on local and state programs that the person may wish to apply for. The tool is not intended to determine actual eligibility for a program or to specifically identify a person’s needs or diagnosis.
What are Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS)?
Long term Services and supports are defined as services and supports provided to individuals of all ages who have some functional limitations or chronic illness. Some examples of supports and services that may be offered include: supporting the individual with activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, getting in and out of bed, taking medication and being involved in community activities, including work. The primary goal of these services is to help the individual to remain in their homes and communities and to promote their physical and mental well-being.
What populations and programs does the Information and Referral Tool cover?
The tool covers individuals of all ages who may have a physical, mental or developmental disability, or need supports because of aging. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals with mental illness, physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism, acquired brain injury, substance use disorder, and chronic health conditions.
Do I have to answer all the questions on the Information and Referral Tool?
No, you may skip any question. We encourage you to complete all the questions you can, as that will improve the quality of information you receive at the end of the survey.
In the survey questions, I do not see a specific medical condition or diagnosis listed – does that mean the tool will not be able to assist me?
No. While the tool is meant to be comprehensive, it is impossible to list all health conditions or diagnoses. As such, we encourage you to complete the Information and Referral Tool even if you do not see your specific diagnosis. If the need you are seeking to address is only for a diagnosis not listed, we encourage you to indicate that you do not know your diagnosis and answer all the questions listed. Finally, if you still do not feel that the results are addressing the specific diagnosis or condition you are seeking support for, we encourage you to call the Pennsylvania LINK call center at 1-800-753-8827.
When I have completed answering all the questions, the results page provides two boxes of information. What is the difference between the two boxes of information?
The first box contains specific contact information for programs that may be able to provide support and services based upon your identified needs. Depending on the program, you may be able to complete a form in order for someone to contact you about enrollment. In other cases, there is either a phone number or website where you can access contact information in order to begin the referral process for an eligibility process determination.
The second box contains information on specific resources that will allow you to do more research, or learn more about the programs that may be of assistance to you.
In the first box on the results page, there are several suggestions of organizations that I can contact. How do I determine which I should contact? Can I contact more than one?
Some individuals will receive more than one entity that can provide assistance to them based upon the needs identified. The results page provides a description of each entity that could potentially assist you in determining which services would be most beneficial for you, which may be a good place to start. You can also contact the PA LINK call center at 1-800-753-8827 for an explanation of the various programs/services listed, and they may be able to assist with which program may be the most appropriate one to start with.
I see a reference for COMPASS and that I can apply for services through this website – what types of services does COMPASS support?
COMPASS is Pennsylvania’s online application system for health and human services. Using COMPASS will allow you to apply for physical health and behavioral health coverage (including Medicaid), SNAP (food stamps), energy assistance, child care and other human service programs. COMPASS also allows you to apply for some long term services and supports, or be referred to an entity that can assist you with the application for long term services and supports. The COMPASS website contains more information about how to apply and the services you may apply for.
Is there a way I can store or keep the results of the tool?
Yes, you have several options. At the bottom of the results page, you will see three options available that will allow you the opportunity to keep these results for your records. First, you may print out the information. Second, you can have this information stored as a file on your computer. Finally, you can have the results emailed to your personal email account. Please note, the Information and Referral Tool does not store this information, and once you leave the results webpage, you will not be able to get back to the information unless you complete the tool again.