§ 7–2131. Definitions.
For the purposes of this chapter, the term:
(1) "Adult" means a person who is at least 18 years of age.
(2) "Adult in need of protective services" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-1901(2).
(3) "Caregiver" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-1901(4).
(4) "Covered education agreement" means a supported decision-making agreement that is entered into for the sole purpose of providing supported decision-making related to the supported person's education and:
(A) The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, approved April 13, 1970 (84 Stat. 175; 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.); or
(B) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, approved September 26, 1973 (87 Stat. 394; 29 U.S.C. § 794).
(5) "Disability" means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of a person.
(6) "Educational records" includes educational records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, approved August 21, 1974 (88 Stat. 571; 20 U.S.C. § 1232g).
(6A) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
(6B) "Electronic presence" means when one or more witnesses are in a different physical location than the signatory but can observe and communicate with the signatory and one another to the same extent as if the witnesses and signatory were physically present with one another.
(7) "Information that is relevant to a life decision" includes medical records, psychological records, financial records, educational records, and treatment records.
(8) "Life decisions" includes decisions related to:
(A) Where and with whom an adult with a disability wants to live;
(B) What services, supports, and medical care the adult with a disability wants to receive; and
(C) Where the adult with a disability wants to work.
(9) "Medical records" includes protected health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, approved August 21, 1996 (Pub. L. No. 104-191; 110 Stat. 1936).
(9A) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
(9B) "Sign" means with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record to:
(A) Execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
(B) Affix to or associate with the record an electronic signature.
(10) "Relative" means a parent, other ancestor, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, or one who has been lawful custodian of an adult with a disability at some prior time.
(11) "Supported decision-making" means a process of supporting and accommodating an adult with a disability in order to:
(A) Assist the adult with a disability in understanding the options, responsibilities, and consequences of life decisions; and
(B) Enable the adult with a disability to make life decisions, without impeding the self-determination of the adult with a disability or making decisions for the adult with a disability.
(12) "Supported decision-making agreement" means an agreement between a supported person and a supporter entered into pursuant to this chapter.
(13) "Supported person" means an adult with a disability who has entered into a supported decision making-agreement with a supporter.
(14) "Supporter" means an adult who has entered into a supported decision-making agreement with a supported person.
§ 7–2132. Executing a supported decision-making agreement.
(a) The following individuals, except if the individual is the supported person's relative, may not be a supporter:
(1) An individual who provides physical, mental, or behavioral healthcare services or disability services to the supported person, or the owner or operator of the entity providing the healthcare services or disability services to the supported person; or
(2) An individual who works for a government agency that is financially responsible for the supported person's care.
(b)(1) An individual shall not be a supporter if:
(A) There is or has been a finding by a government agency that the individual:
(i) Abused, neglected, or exploited the supported person; or
(ii) Inflicted harm upon a child, elderly individual, or person with a disability; or
(B) The individual is or has been convicted of any of the following criminal offenses, or their equivalent in any other state or territory, within 7 years before entering the supported decision-making agreement:
(i) Any sexual offense prohibited in subchapter II of Chapter 30 of Title 22 where the victim was a child, elderly individual, or person with a disability;
(ii) Aggravated assault, as described in § 22-404.01, where the victim was a child, elderly individual, or person with a disability;
(iii) Fraud, as described in § 22-3221;
(iv) Theft in the first degree, as that term is used in § 22-3212(a);
(v) Forgery, as described in § 22-3241; or
(vi) Extortion, as described in § 22-3251.
(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to a covered education agreement.
(c) A supported decision-making agreement must be signed by the adult with a disability and the supporter in the presence of 2 adult witnesses or a notary public.
(c-1) With respect to witnesses referred to in subsection (c) of this section, witnesses must be in the presence or, during a period of time for which the Mayor has declared a public health emergency pursuant to § 7-2304.01, the electronic presence of the signatory.
(d) Except for a covered education agreement, a supported decision-making agreement shall be in substantially the following form:
"SUPPORTED DECISION-MAKING AGREEMENT
"Appointment of Supporter
" I, (name of supported person), make this agreement of my own free will.
" I agree to designate the following person as my supporter:
" Phone Number:
" E-mail Address:
" My supporter may help me with making everyday life decisions relating to the following:
" Y/N applying for and maintaining supports and services including District government assistance
" Y/N obtaining food, clothing, and shelter
" Y/N taking care of my physical health
" Y/N taking care of my mental/behavioral health
" Y/N managing my financial affairs
" Y/N managing real property transactions
" Any other duties as listed below:
" NOTHING IN THIS DOCUMENT GIVES MY SUPPORTER PERMISSION TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR ME.
" Nothing in this document prevents my supporter from also serving as a power of attorney or as a healthcare decision-maker.
" To help me with decisions, my supporter may:
" Y/N Help me obtain information that is relevant to a decision, including medical, psychological, financial, educational, or treatment records;
" Y/N When requested by me, be present to help me make my own decisions;
" Y/N Help me understand my options so that I can make an informed decision; and
" Y/N Help me communicate my decision to appropriate persons.
" Y/N A release allowing my supporter to see and obtain protected health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is attached.
" Y/N release allowing my supporter to see and obtain educational records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is attached.
"Effective Date of Supported Decision-Making Agreement
" This supported decision-making agreement is effective immediately and will continue until (insert date) or until the agreement is terminated by my supporter or me or by operation of law.
" Signed this _______day of _________, 20___
"Consent and Attestation of Supporter
" I, (name of supporter), consent to act as a supporter under this agreement and affirm that:
" 1. I have not been found to have abused, neglected, or exploited (name of supported person) by a government agency;
" 2. I have not been found to have inflicted harm upon a child, elderly individual, or person with a disability by a government agency;
" 3. In the last 7 years, I have not been convicted of any sexual offense where the victim was a child, elderly individual, or person with a disability;
" 4. In the last 7 years, I have not be convicted of aggravated assault where the victim was a child, elderly individual, or person with a disability; and
" 5. In the last 7 years, I have not been convicted of fraud, theft in the first degree, forgery, or extortion.
" Signature of Supporter Printed Name of Supporter
"Signature of Supported Person
" I, (name of supported person), consent to have (name of supporter) act as my supporter under this agreement.
" My signature Printed Name of Supported Person
"Signature of Two Witnesses
" Signature of Witness Printed Name of Witness (1)
" Signature of Witness Printed Name of Witness (2)
" This document was acknowledged before me on this ____ day of (insert month and year) by (name of person supported) and (name of supporter).
" Signature of Notary Public and notary seal, if any.
" Printed Name of Notary Public
" My commission expires:
"WARNING: PROTECTION FOR PERSON SUPPORTED
" IF A PERSON WHO RECIVES [RECEIVES] A COPY OF THIS AGREEMENT OR IS AWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF THIS AGREEMENT HAS CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE ADULT NAMED AS A SUPPORTED PERSON IS BEING ABUSED, NEGLECTED, OR EXPLOITED BY THE SUPPORTER, THE PERSON MAY REPORT THE ALLEGED ABUSE, NEGLECT, OR EXPLOITATION TO THE CITYWIDE CALL CENTER AT 311, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 911, ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES AT (202) 541-3950."
(e) A supported decision-making agreement may be terminated at any time by the supported person or the supporter.
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 810(c) of Coronavirus Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 [Effective August 19, 2020 through October 8, 2020] (D.C. Act 23-405, Aug. 19, 2020, 67 DCR 10235).
§ 7–2133. Supported decision-making agreements.
(a) An adult with a disability may voluntarily enter into one or more supported decision-making agreements under which the adult with a disability may authorize a supporter to do any of the following:
(1) Provide supported decision-making;
(2) Be present during the supported decision-making process, when requested by the supported person; or
(3) In the presence of the supported person, assist the supported person in:
(A) Obtaining information that is relevant to a given life decision from any person; provided, that the supporter shall keep any information obtained under this paragraph confidential; or
(B) Communicating the supported person's decisions to others.
(b) A supporter acting pursuant to a supported decision-making agreement may exercise only the authority expressly granted to the supporter in the supported decision-making agreement.
(c)(1) If a law or regulation requires a person or a District agency to give notice to a supported person, and the person or District agency that is required to give the notice has received a supported decision-making agreement from the supported person, the person or District agency shall also provide the supporter with a copy of the notice required by law or regulation to be given to the supported person, unless the person or District agency has substantial cause to believe that the supported person is an adult in need of protective services.
(2) If a law or regulation requires a person or District agency to give notice to a supported person that contains information protected by federal or District law, such as medical records or educational records, paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply unless the supported decision-making agreement contains a release authorizing the supporter to obtain the protected information.
(d) A person or a District agency who receives a supported decision-making agreement shall rely on the agreement, unless the person or District agency has substantial cause to believe that the supported person is an adult in need of protective services.
(e) Neither a person nor a District agency shall be subject to criminal or civil liability, nor shall a person be considered to have engaged in professional misconduct, for an act or omission done in good faith and in reasonable reliance on a supported decision-making agreement.
(f) If a District employee or a caregiver, who is aware of the existence of a supported decision-making agreement, has a reasonable belief that the supported person is an adult in need of protective services, the District employee or caregiver shall report the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation to the Citywide Call Center at 311, Metropolitan Police Department at 911, Adult Protective Services at (202) 541-3950, or a District agency where the supported person receives services.