ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE CONCERNS ABOUT N.J.’s TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY FUND

(TRENTON) — The Assembly Human Services Committee on Thursday will hear testimony from invited guests on New Jersey’s Traumatic Brain Injury Fund amid impending rules that would limit whom the fund can help and concerns about how money has been spent.

Assembly Human Services Chairwoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) called for Thursday’s hearing after Assembly leaders heard testimony during the Feb. 2 special bipartisan hearing from residents concerned about impending limits that could knock 1,300 people from the fund.

Concerns about the fund were also detailed Sunday by The Star-Ledger. The article can be found here.

“The services and therapies provided by this Fund are often the last chance for many brain injury victims to recover a normal life,” Vainieri Huttle said. “Its intent is to help New Jerseyans suffering from a brain injury to obtain the services and support they need to live in the community, fostering their independence and maximizing quality of life. Any plan to change its intent is of great concern and needs a close look.”

The hearing is slated for 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 in Committee Room 16.

It will be streamed live at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.

Under the proposed change slated for early spring, people who acquire brain injuries from strokes, tumors or other injuries would be barred from the fund. That means 1,300 of the 2,200 people the fund has helped since 2004 would no longer be eligible for state help for treatments that cost up to $15,000 a year, according to The Star-Ledger.

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