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Why are clients that gain a disabling condition after enrollment showing as an error count?
Question 3 of the HUD Data Quality Report and question 6B of the APR refers to an error count for several fields, including Disabling Condition.
The HMIS Reporting Glossary specifies that error counts include both missing data elements and those with a “don’t know” or “refused” response. Disabling Condition also contains conditional logic so there will also be an error if the data indicates that there is no disabling condition (value =0) but that there is a response in at least one special need where “substantially impairs ability to live independently” is indicated.
The DQ report is flagging clients who gain a disability during the course of their enrollment but have “no” for disabling condition, which is only collected at entry (or “project start” in the 2017 specs).
Disability is an element that is only captured at project entry / enrollment. Per the 2016 Data Manual, “For residential homeless assistance programs, client intake as part of the program admission process must be separated from the collection of disability information in order to comply with Fair Housing laws and practices, unless this information is required to determine program eligibility or is needed to determine whether applicants need units with special features or if they have special needs related to communication.”
The response from HUD on what to do if a client becomes disabled during the program states that: ” Disabling Condition may be collected at a point later than program entry, but must be stored in HMIS on the program entry record. Therefore, if you need to modify the disability status based on new information from the client by modifying the enrollment. This element is not captured at any other data collection stage.