KEY ISSUES/TAKE ACTION
YOUR VOICE MADE A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
Lawmakers passed a $212 billion New York State budget (SFY 2021-22) with crucial disability funding, including:
- $31.6 million for DSP salaries to reach the minimum wage
- $26.9 million for the 1 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA).
- Restoration of $20.8 million for care coordination organization rates.
- Restoration of $10.5 million for the 1 percent Medicaid rate reduction.
- Restoration of $6.98 million for the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) 1 percent across-the-board rate reductions.
- Restoration of $12 million for 5-percent aid to localities funding.
- Protection of 4410 and 853 schools from tuition rate reductions due to enrollment reductions with an adjustment factor as part of the tuition rate reconciliation process.
- Approval of 1% per year reserve fund for 853 and Special Act Schools, not exceeding 4% total.
- $740 million in appropriation authority for grants dedicated to enhancing home and community-based supports aligned with the American Rescue Plan.
- (NEW PART ZZZ S.2509-C) – Restores the human services cost of living adjustment (COLA) and authorize the COLA starting on April 1, 2021 for providers under the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), for State Office for the Aging (SOFA), and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).
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Congress is making strides to support people with disabilities.
- Recently, Congress passed Covid-19 Emergency Relief legislation, which included crucial funding to home and community-based services. Read more.
- The Home and Community-Based Services Access Act (HAA) is a new discussion draft bill, supported by The Arc of the United States. It is currently being considered to expand access to home and community-based supports – with waiting lists and state-oriented linkages a thing of the past. Read more.
- Stay informed and be ready to call out for change! Make a note of your local lawmakers’ contact information from www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative
Beginning May 1, 2021, funding cuts will result in a cap of 96 days that residents of group homes can spend overnight away from their homes; for this time away the state will reimburse providers by half, that includes time spent in a hospital or rehab. After that time, the agency cannot bill for time away which could have the potential to create a grave impact on residential services, particularly on an agency’s ability to ensure sufficient staffing at each location. Due to these billing changes, the agency has asked that overnight stays be limited.
- Call out for change! Contact local lawmakers to bring attention to this important issue. Contact information may be found at www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative