As the state continues to respond to the unfolding coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS) will provide MDRS relevant updates, resources, and links at this location.
• Watch the video from MDRS Executive Director Chris Howard
• Messages to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
• Message to PCAs
We have received calls from PCA’s across the state asking whether or not they should continue to report to work. Please know that anyone working with our office as a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) is still responsible for providing services to the participant, as determined by their plan of services and supports. Please be assured that all PCAs will continue to be paid (on the 15th and the last day of each month) for the hours worked/services provided.
We at MDRS provide services to Mississippians with the most significant disabilities. We are committed to ensuring that every participant on our waivers receives the services and supports they need to remain as independent as possible in their home and community. Our case managers are currently contacting each participant and each PCA on their caseload to ensure that individual participant services continue throughout this difficult time.
Please contact your case manager if you have any questions about reporting to work, or if you have concerns about reporting to work. In the event that you cannot contact your case manager, the accompanying MDRS statewide map lists the location and contact information for each MDRS OSDP (Office of Special Disability Programs) office. If for any reason you are unable to contact a local MDRS representative, feel free to contact the state office at 1-800-443-1000.
Most importantly, thank you for the valuable work you are doing each and every day and, especially, during this challenging time.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
In response to the Governor’s Executive Order #1465 regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 in Lauderdale County, our Meridian office is still providing services but with more restrictions. Individuals who are currently being served through our Meridian office can continue to reach out to their counselor or case manager by phone or email, as usual. If you are in that area and newly seeking our services, please give us a call at 1-800-443-1000. Our team remains ready, willing and able to continue our mission and our service to Mississippians with disabilities.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020A Message from MDRS Executive Director Chris Howard
As a result of the numerous confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus in Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS) has made the decision to restrict public access to all MDRS offices across the state. At this time, this does not mean MDRS is closed for business. It does mean we will continue to provide the same individualized, caring services we always have; just in a different way. Additionally, per an Executive Order, MDRS has made determinations regarding Essential vs Non-Essential personnel. Following the Order, we have sent non-essential personnel home and are working with essential personnel to provide for telework as well as maintaining small numbers of personnel in our 10 statewide district offices and our State office. Our office locations can be found on our website at www.mdrs.ms.gov
. We will also send out a separate post with that information.
Each year, MDRS serves nearly 100,000 Mississippians with disabilities through one of our four major programs. Many individuals and their families across our great state have relied on these important services being provided by MDRS. However, due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, we will now be performing services through phone calls, emails and letters in order to limit person-to-person contact. Please know our staff is extremely dedicated to providing the same individualized and caring services that we perform every day. In light of current health concerns, we just felt it important to restrict face-to-face contact in order to best protect our employees and those we serve. While many of those we serve are among the most resilient, there are many-such as the homebound and the more severely disabled-who are among our states most vulnerable. Therefore, we consider it of the utmost importance that we do everything possible to ensure their safety.
Regarding services through our two Home and Community Based Waiver (HCBW) programs, our staff is continuing to ensure all clients are being served through these programs. Our staff is ensuring that clients have a personal care attendant in place and that clients are receiving the same quality services that continue to keep families together. It is our goal to keep those we serve in their home and in their community. If you are a personal care attendant, you should still report to the respective client’s home and perform those necessary services to ensure the safety and well-being of our clients. Additionally, payroll for personal care attendants will still be performed in the same manner and payroll will continue to be generated on the original scheduled pay dates.
Finally, our Finance and Human Resources offices will continue to function, which means MDRS employees, personal care attendants, job coaches and vendors will continue to be paid for services performed.
Our country and our state are in uncharted waters right now, but we at the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services are committed to continuing to provide top quality services to every individual with a disability who is eligible for any of our programs.
Individuals can visit our website at mdrs.ms.gov for more information about our agency or to find an office near you. We will also post updates, as needed, regarding our actions concerning the coronavirus. Or you are welcome to call our toll free number at 1-800-443-1000.
Thank you and God bless each one of you,
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Due to concerns surrounding the Covid-19 virus (Coronavirus) , public access to ALL MDRS buildings statewide-including our AbilityWorks facilities- will be restricted, effective immediately and through March 31. MDRS services will still be accessible to the public by phone, mail and/or email. Office locations and contact information can be found at www.mdrs.ms.gov
. Individuals may also call 1-800-443-1000 during regular business hours.
Important Website Links