OMH Releases Details re Implementation of Workforce COLA

NYAPRS Note: The NYS Office of Mental Health has released guidance and corresponding attestation forms to community providers about the implementation of the cost of living adjustment that was a part of last year’s budget agreement, comprising a total of 6.5% direct care and direct support staff and 3.5% for clinical staff. This was one of NYAPRS’ top advocacy priorities last year and we worked in coalition with a broad array of colleague groups to get this approved.

Implementation of the Funding Increase for Minimum Wage and Workforce COLA for Certain Staff at Not-For-Profit Providers
Dear Provider:
The 2017-18 Enacted Budget included funding for salary and salary-related fringe benefit increases related to changes in the State-mandated minimum wage and workforce COLAs for direct care, direct support and clinical titles.

The New York State minimum wage will increase on December 31 , 2017 per the following schedule:

o NYC- Large Employers (11 or more) - $13.00
o NYC- Small Employers (10 or fewer) - $12 .00
o Long Island or Westchester- $11.00
o Remainder of New York State - $10.40

Effective January 1, 2018, the Budget included a direct care COLA increase of 3.25% for staff in CFR titles series 100 (Direct Care) and 200 (Direct Support). Effective April 1, 2018, an additional 3.25% will be added to CFR titles series 100 (Direct Care) and 200 (Direct Support), and a new increase of 3.25% t title series 300 (Clinical). Increases were calculated using CFR data and an average salary-related fringe benefit rate of 15.5%. Increases were applied based on programmatic and regional funding methodologies.

A requirement of the statute is that each provider must submit an attestation confirming that the increase will be used solely to support salary and salary related fringe benefit increases. OMH has developed and attached two attestations (one related to minimum wage and one for workforce COLA) to be completed and returned to OMH within 120 days of the receipt of this letter.

Failure to submit this form will result in the recovery of increases already paid, and withhold of future payment of such funds. Note that a provider may receive funding increases through multiple sources (via county contract, through state aid letter or a direct contract with OMH as well as through Medicaid revenue) depending upon each provider's array of OMH programs. Each provider will be required to submit both attestations.

Please contact your local field office if you have any questions regarding these increases.