If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact 911.
CCDC is an advocacy organization. We do not handle emergencies. We also do not provide direct services, direct care, or case management of any kind for people with disabilities.
Our approach is unique because we are peer-run by members of Colorado’s disability community.
Each year, CCDC provides information and assistance to hundreds of individuals with disabilities, as well as their allies, so they can access resources that improve their everyday lives.
Our Information and Individual Advocacy Team is made up of people who have disabilities, and we know firsthand the frustrations people experience when navigating complex systems like Medicaid. Our lived experience drives us to assist others as best we possibly can in our specific areas of expertise. If we connect with people who need assistance in an area that we don’t specialize in, we work hard to direct them to resources outside of CCDC.
When working with individuals, CCDC’s primary area of focus is Colorado Medicaid, also called Health First Colorado. We can also provide help in very specific aspects of housing. We may be able to advise you on other specific issues; keep exploring this page for more information!
CCDC may be able to help with the following MEDICAID issues:
- Applying for the Medicaid Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities
- Medicaid application challenges including actions you can take if your application is not been acted upon promptly
- Understanding and using Medicaid’s additional benefits, known as waivers, for people with disabilities who may need assistance while performing everyday activities, and the processes involved to qualify for these waivers
- Benefits eligibility including refusals from Medicaid to cover and/or pay for various services
- Navigating appeals processes if ALL of the following criteria apply to you:
- You are an adult who has a disability; AND,
- You need to receive or you already receive Medicaid’s Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS); AND,
- You received a notice that:
- Your benefits have been denied, terminated, reduced, and/or suspended; OR,
- You have been denied durable medical equipment; OR,
- You have been denied transportation services from Medicaid
CCDC may be able to help with the following HOUSING issues:
- Reasonable accommodation requests related to housing
- Rule violations within the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8)
- Connecting you with lists of providers for Housing Choice Vouchers
- Problems with the habitability of your housing
- Housing code violations when disability is a factor
CCDC may also be able to help with the following assorted issues:
- Getting reasonable accommodations at work by offering you basic information and peer support
- Discussing employment options if you are on Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and want to work but are concerned about losing your benefits
- Filing a complaint on your behalf if you have experienced disability discrimination when using a transport service
- Assisting you with the process of obtaining court-related accommodations including a sign language interpreter, a quiet room to wait for your court appearance, or the option to call into a court appearance if your disability makes an in-person appearance impossible
If you’re looking for assistance with any of the areas we’ve listed here, it’s time to connect with us! If you would like help with a Medicaid appeal process, please visit this link to fill out our contact form BEFORE you connect with us – following these instructions is essential for us to be able to assist you effectively.
Please complete this form, and a member of our Information and Individual Advocacy team will contact you within three business days. You may also call us at 303-839-1775 and follow the prompts to leave a voice message.
Please note that we cannot guarantee whether we will be able to offer you assistance until we have received specific information from you regarding your circumstances. In addition, we are trained in advocacy and assistance, but we are not attorneys; we are here to help in specific areas where attorneys are not necessary.
Instructions for people who need assistance with Medicaid appeals processes
Are you looking for assistance and/or resources with disability-related areas not mentioned here?
Here are some key resources that may help you:
- For help finding housing, if you are facing potential eviction, experiencing potential discrimination, or for other housing needs, find and contact your local Independent Living Center here
- For potential housing discrimination due to a disability, contact the Denver Metro Fair Housing Center if you live in Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, or Jefferson county
- If you are facing eviction, contact your local office within Colorado Legal Services immediately
Social security administration resources
- For assistance with applying for SSI or SSDI, please contact the Colorado Easter Seals here
- Some Independent Living Centers also provide assistance with SSI or SSDI application processes; you can find an Independent Living Center near you by clicking here
For adult education and/or higher education:
For children’s/minor’s education:
- For information about your child’s rights regarding education, we recommend you start by visiting the PEAK Parent Center website or calling them at 719-531-9400
- If your child has an intellectual/developmental disability and is having difficulty accessing education, you can find and contact your local Arc Chapter for assistance here
More resources to explore
CCDC is fortunate to be one of many phenomenal Colorado organizations that supports people with disabilities and their allies. We encourage you to look into the following organizations to discover more valuable services and resources.
Disability Law Colorado protects and promotes the rights of people with disabilities and older people in Colorado through direct legal representation, advocacy, education and legislative analysis.
Mental Health Colorado advocates for every Coloradan who experiences a mental health or substance use condition each year. They engage policymakers, providers, the public, and the press to promote mental well-being, ensure equitable access to mental health and substance use care, and end discrimination. Their efforts range from the Capitol to the classroom.
The Arc of Colorado and local chapters: There are 15 chapters of The Arc in Colorado including the state chapter and 14 local chapters serving designated geographic areas. Local chapters provide individual advocacy services for children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities who live in their service areas. They also provide information and referral services, public policy support, community education and more.
El Grupo Vida is a network of Hispanic/Latino parents that provides mutual support for people with disabilities or special needs, their parents, family, and guardians. El Grupo Vida’s mission is to empower immigrants with disabilities and their families with information, training, and direct advocacy.
Family Voices Colorado is the Family-to-Family Health Information Center for the state of Colorado. They are a grassroots organization run by parents of children with special healthcare needs. They give parents information and knowledge to navigate complex health care systems in order to get things like wheelchairs, oxygen, or a surgery for their children.
Parent to Parent of Colorado (P2P-CO) connects families with children who have disabilities across Colorado to each other and to the resources they need. They offer encouragement to each other on the journey of parenting by providing emotional and informational support.
Parents of Adults with Disabilities of Colorado, or PAD-CO, is a virtual support and advocacy group for parents and guardians of adults who have disabilities. PAD-CO provides space to discuss the unique problems and concerns, as well as the joys and successes, that parents experience. They also provide avenues for parents to encourage others to support the progress of adult children with disabilities.
Frequently asked questions and corresponding answers
What happens when I ask for assistance from CCDC?
A member of our team will assess the information you’ve provided and determine if we can help or will need to refer you to another agency. We may need to gather more information before we can determine if we’re able to assist you or not. If your case requires us to request documentation on your behalf, we will ask you to sign a release before we can help. If we determine we can assist you, we will work with you to develop a goal for our advocacy and a plan of action which includes you.
Possible actions may include:
- Filing an appeal (for denial, termination, reduction or suspension of benefits)
- Filing a grievance (for rude treatment by staff)
- Filing a formal complaint with a regulator (when you have a problem with professional, such as a doctor or nurse or a facility, such as a hospital or nursing home)
- Asking for a meeting with whoever is causing you problems and attending that meeting with you
- Attending a staffing, case conference or evaluation meeting with a case manager
- Assisting you with formally requesting reasonable modifications of policy or reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act
- Preventing and addressing retaliation and fear of reprisals
- Negotiating with a provider or other professional on your behalf
If CCDC is able to assist me, how long will the process take?
We have some matters which we resolve on the same day and other cases which have lasted more than a year. We cannot guarantee how long your individual case or issue will take to resolve.
What if I have multiple concerns or problems I need assistance with?
If you have multiple concerns, we will ask to hear what they are during the information gathering process. For matters outside our field, we will refer you to agencies which are better equipped to assist you. Together, we will then prioritize the remaining problems we intend to help you address. We typically work on one issue at a time.
What if I do not like the advocate you assign to me?
We understand that sometimes two people do not click! We also know we are not perfect. We are an organization which embraces a culture of learning. If the advocacy relationship is not working, we want to hear about it. We see this as a way for our advocates to continue their drive for improvement. If we do not know what is wrong, we cannot resolve the problem. If you are uncomfortable with an advocate, we can usually find a new advocate for you. The first step is to contact the Director of Individual Advocacy Donna Sablan at email@example.com and let her know your concerns about your advocate.
What does it cost if CCDC is able to assist me?
Our advocacy services are free to our members, therefore we ask for you to become a member of CCDC by going here. On rare occasions, we might ask clients with the means to help with costs associated with advocacy. For example, if you want us to help you get a lot of records and this is not essential for the case at hand, we may ask you to assist with the associated fees. Our program relies on contributions, so we gratefully accept donations.
What should I expect from my CCDC advocate?
As much as we try, we cannot promise to fix your issues—but the following are things we can guarantee:
- We will treat you with honesty and respect.
- We will do our best to explain what the rules and laws are that affect your case and provide those explanations in writing, upon your request.
- We will tell you what we believe will happen when we file a complaint or appeal and before going to a hearing or meeting.
- If choices exist about how to approach a situation, we will explain those choices. We will have an honest discussion about the pros and cons of a planned approach.
- We give you our advice as professionally trained advocates but respect your decision on how to proceed.
- We abide by the principles, values, and ethics of CCDC. If we cannot ethically do as you ask, we let someone else represent you.
- We attempt to return calls and emails promptly (usually within two to three business days) or tell you when we will not be able to respond swiftly.
- We have no conflicts of interest. We are not a provider and do not receive government grants. We do engage in contract work and can provide you details.
- We will gladly share with you our credentials, and we are not defensive if you question us, or want to speak to our supervisor about something. We are eager to hear directly from you if you have any concerns or think we can do things better.
Will my information be kept confidential?
No. We are doing this work to make changes; therefore if we advocate for you, we will want to share your story when in policy meetings, with legislators, etc. We share necessary information, not personal details. For example, we may say we assisted someone with getting a new wheelchair and here is how the state tried to deny the chair. We would not say we helped Susan Jones who is a C-6 quadriplegic who lives at a specific address… Also, because of federal privacy laws, we will ask anyone we help to sign a release of information allowing us to speak to the state or provider to help resolve the problem. If you become or are a client of our legal program, anything between you and a CCDC attorney will remain confidential according to professional legal ethics.
If CCDC is able to assist me, what are my obligations?
First, you need to become a CCDC member by clicking here. Second, clients must follow through with suggestions given, or requests made (such as getting information, returning release forms, etc.). If clients are not able to do so, we expect them to tell us directly. Third, we need clients to be open and honest with us so there are no surprises from the opposition. Lastly, we need clients to ask questions. Knowledge ensures the planned outcome is the desired one. We also understand at times you may change your mind about the direction of your case. It is ok to change your mind, but not in the middle of a hearing.
Can I get a reference from a former CCDC client?
Yes! Please just call and ask! Leave us a voice message at 303-839-1775 and provide us with your contact information, and we will have an appropriate former client contact you directly.
What are the qualifications of my advocate?
We are not a clinical service or a service provider, and we are not attorneys. Advocates need to know how to work within Colorado’s systems using a variety of techniques. CCDC trains all advocates and provides supervision by the Executive Director or a staff member directly designated by the Executive Director. Advocates go through intensive instruction and an internship before being certified. Most of our advocates are unpaid volunteers. Potential advocates must demonstrate skill mastery before engaging in unsupervised advocacy.
How can I verify that the person I speak with is an approved advocate, or that they are formally affiliated with your organization?
If you are concerned someone is not an advocate or is not affiliated with Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), call to verify with CCDC directly. You may do so by calling 303-839-1775.