Lawsuit Aims to Prevent Looming Cuts for In-Home Disability Care
December 1, 2011
Disability and senior citizen advocacy groups today were granted a temporary restraining order to stop the state from implementing an anticipated 20-percent reduction in hours for in-home supportive services slated to take effect Jan. 1. These cuts come on top of a 3.6-percent cut earlier this year.
This is just one of many "trigger cuts" likely to take effect as part of the Legislature's budget agreement that set revenue goals for mid-December.
Advocacy groups estimate 372,000 elderly and disabled IHSS recipients will receive reduction notices under the plan. Most recipients do not require full time care, and on average receive three hours of assistance a day, relying on services that range from running errands and house cleaning to bowel care and bathing.
Locally, IHSS receives 18 percent of its funding from Monterey County, which supports some 4,000 caregivers.
In a complaint filed today, Disability Rights California and other groups including unions that represent caregivers, are asking for recipients under 21 to be exempt from the cutbacks, and a restructuring of cutbacks that will take into account individual needs. The restraining order, ordered today by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken, prevents the state from sending notices of service cuts before the case goes to court.
"The decision to make indiscriminate, major cuts in IHSS services will endanger recipients by withdrawing many hours of the very help that county social workers decided were necessary to keep them safely in their homes and to avoid more expensive institutional care," said Melinda Bird of Disability Rights California in a statement.