NASET News Alert

State Sued Over Cuts To The Care Of Children With Disabilities

June 30, 2009

Lawyers for three children with Down syndrome have sued in federal court to stop the state from cutting the hours of in-home care they receive. The reduction in care is slated to begin Wednesday as part of sweeping budget cuts throughout the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). The plaintiffs maintain budget problems cannot legally be used as justification for cutting back the hours of care the children receive. Caretakers for the young people - who range in age from 14 to 20 and receive Medicaid benefits - were notified last week that the state was cutting the number of hours they would be able to give their clients each month, the lawsuit says. The caretakers are paid with federal Medicaid funds that are administered by the state. Down syndrome is a genetic chromosomal disorder that results in an array of symptoms including mental impairment. According to DSHS, the cuts would affect approximately 3,100 children with disabilities and save the state about $3 million over two years.

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