Older adults and people with disabilities who are enrolled in a New Hampshire Medicaid waiver program are suing the state, alleging that officials failed to properly administer the waiver, placing them at risk of unnecessary institutionalization in nursing facilities.

New Hampshire’s Choices for Independence waiver is designed to help qualified people remain in their homes and to avoid costly and restrictive nursing facility placements if they wish.

“Some of our most vulnerable citizens are one crisis away from unnecessary institutionalization because they are not getting essential CFI services. Without these services, they linger for hours or days alone in bed or confined in their own homes, unable to attend to basic personal needs” said Pamela Phelan, litigation director at the New Hampshire Legal Assistance Disability Rights Center. “The state has long been aware of these problems, and we cannot wait any longer for a solution.”

The suit names the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services and its commissioner, Lori Shibinette, as defendants and seeks to compel them to operate New Hampshire’s CFI waiver program in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Medicaid Act and due process provisions of the U.S. constitution.

In addition to the New Hampshire Legal Assistance Disability Rights Center, the plaintiffs are represented by the AARP Foundation and the Manchester, NH, office of law firm Nixon Peabody.