IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES (IHSS) SUIT SETTLED

NOTICE REGARDING IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES (IHSS)

In 2009, the State of California tried to cut IHSS domestic and related hours and to cut funds for IHSS workers who make more than $9.50 an hour. In 2011, the State tried to cut IHSS hours by 20%.

Consumer feeding

In response, IHSS recipients and labor unions filed lawsuits. They won temporary orders stopping the cuts. The State appealed the lawsuits. No one knows if the courts would allow the cuts or not. Now there is a settlement. If the court approves the settlement:

• There will be no 20% cut in IHSS hours. There will be a one-year cut of 8% starting around July 1, 2013. This is 4.4% below current hours because there is already a cut of 3.6% that is not part of these lawsuits. (3.6% + 4.4% = 8%).

wheelchair-dog
• Around July 2014, the cut in IHSS hours will go down to 7%. (3.4% on top of the 3.6% current cut).

• There will be no cuts in State funding for IHSS wages.

• You CAN ask the county for extra hours if your circumstances change.

 

TO GET MORE DETAILS OR FILE AN OBJECTION WITH THE COURT:

You can get a copy of the class notice and the settlement agreement from your county welfare office, public authority or online at: DOWNLOAD IHSS SETTLEMENT CLASS NOTICE

Also, you can get details at these websites: www.disabilityrightsca.org, www.altshulerberzon.com, www.dss.cahwnet.gov, and www.dhcs.ca.gov.
banner-ihssYou can also leave a message for the lawyers representing IHSS recipients at 1-866-752-6679.

THE DEADLINE TO OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT IS MAY 3, 2013.

You don’t have to do anything if you do not object to the settlement.

STUDY: REPUBLICAN PLAN WOULD CHOP MEDICAID BY $1.7 TRILLION

By PHIL GALEWITZ, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
October 25, 2012

The House Republican plan to repeal President Barack Obama’s health law and turn Medicaid into a block grant program would save the federal government $1.7 trillion from 2013 to 2022, a 38-percent spending reduction,according to a report this week by the Urban Institute for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 

It would also result in 31 million to 38 million fewer people getting  Medicaid coverage in 2022, according to the report. The entitlement program, which is jointly financed by the state and federal governments, now provides health coverage to about 62 million poor people, about half of whom are children.

THIS MIGHT HURT A LITTLE BIT

The block grant idea — paying a fixed sum to states — was formulated by Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate and chair of the House Budget committee, and passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in 2011 and 2012. The strategy is part of the GOP plan to cut the nation’s $1 trillion federal deficit.

 

Romney backs a similar Medicaid block grant strategy that would cut $100 billion a year from Medicaid starting in 2013. Under Romney’s plan, federal payments to the states for Medicaid would grow at 1 percentage point a year above the Consumer Price Index. That would slow funding increases, but give states greater freedom in how they use the money, including the ability to cut eligibility or benefits to meet their budget needs. Today, the federal government sets minimum rules and guidelines and must approve any major changes to the program.

 

The Urban Institute analysis, which updates an analysis originally done in May 2011, said the House block grant plan would cut funding to hospitals by as much as $363.8 billion, and payments to nursing homes by $22.2 billion.

DISABLED FOLKS ARE LIABLE TO BE HURT THE MOST

Of the $1.7 trillion cut to Medicaid spending, $932 billion of the reductions come from repealing the Medicaid expansion in Obama’s health law and $810 billion is a result of spending cuts that are part of the block grant.

 

Under the health law, Medicaid would expand to cover as many as 17 million more people starting in 2014. States have the option to decide whether to expand eligibility, and several Republican-led states including Florida and Texas say they can’t afford the expansion.

 

This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

 

To read the article source, click here:
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/10/25/study-republican-chop-medicaid/16733/

Another source of information:  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/is-medicaid-doomed-how-ryans-plan-would-affect-americas-very-poorest/261070

Judge Extends Block to IHSS Cuts

As reported in the Sacramento Bee, a federal judge on Thursday (1/19/12) continued to block the state from reducing in-home care to low-income disabled and elderly residents, a budget cut pursued last year by Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers.

The reduction would have slashed one-fifth of service hours for In-Home Supportive Services recipients to save the state $100 million over the next six months.

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken converted her temporary December order blocking the state into a preliminary injunction.

Last month, Wilken said the IHSS cut “raises serious questions” about whether the state had violated several federal laws, including those protecting people with disabilities.

The full story can be read at:

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/20/4201434/federal-judge-blocks-budget-cuts.html

Additional details are available in a press release from Disability Rights California

Rally Against More Cuts

Services for disadvantaged citizens have already been cut to the bone.  Join us to protect vital services.  Your well-being depends on it.  Federal magistrate Wilkens has prevented a 20% cut in IHSS because that would force people from their homes into nursing homes.  Governor Brown wants to cut more next year.   Child care support for people looking to get off welfare is threatened.  Senior nutrition support is threatened. Join us.  We need you & you need us to protect your services.

Wednesday January 18, Noon on the South steps of the Capitol.  Transportation will be provided by ILSNC, 1161 East Ave.  Leave Chico at 9:30 sharp.

Click on this link to view the flyer.

01 18 12 Sac State of the 99% Flyer 1

IHSS CUTS POSTPONED

Judge grants reprieve to 372,000 on cuts to in-home care

A federal judge has apparently granted at least a temporary reprieve to 372,000 elderly and disabled Californians who faced a 20 percent cut in their in-home care on Jan. 1.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland issued a temporary restraining order Thursday that prohibits the state from taking any immediate steps to carry out the reductions — in particular, from mailing out notices to all recipients, starting next week.  Wilken said a lawsuit by disability-rights groups and other advocates raised “serious questions” about whether the cuts would violate federal health and disability laws by forcing recipients into nursing homes.

That means it’s highly unlikely the reductions can take effect Jan. 1, said Stacey Leyton, one of the lawyers who filed the suit. She said the state’s attorneys had told Wilken they needed to send out the notices next week to start the clock running for cutbacks on New Year’s Day.

The judge has tentatively scheduled a hearing Dec. 15 on a request for a preliminary injunction that would block the cuts indefinitely. Even if she decides the state acted legally and denies the injunction, Leyton and other advocates said the cutbacks probably would be delayed by at least a few weeks. And Wilken’s ruling Thursday contained some strong language suggesting that she might well issue an injunction: She said the proposed reductions would put recipients “at imminent and serious risk of harm to their health and safety” and also risk “unnecessary and unwanted out-of-home placement, including institutionalization.” The state’s only concern is saving money, she said, while in-home care patients face “life-or-death consequences.”

The program, called In-Home Supportive Services, provides care to about 440,000 low-income Californians, including the blind and disabled and those over 65 who need help with daily tasks to live at home. The federal government pays about 60 percent of the cost.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in June that required the 20 percent cutback in services to 372,000 recipients in January if the state’s revenues fell short of projections, which they did. The law allows recipients to apply for an exemption if they can show they would be at serious risk of being forced into an institution. But lawyers for the recipients say the exemption uses the same flawed standards that Wilken rejected in 2009 when she blocked the state from eliminating in-home care to 36,000 people and cutting it back for another 97,000.  ….

Source:  San Francisco Chronicle Politics blog, December 1 2011

For detailed and up-to-date information on In-Home Supportive Services, please visit http://www.ihsscoalition.org

ON THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT

 Independent Living Services of Northern California 

ILSNC’s STATEMENT ON THE “OCCUPY MOVEMENT”

November 8, 2011

ILSNC sends a message of support to peaceful protesters in Oakland, all other American cities and around the world.  We call upon all protesters to remain steadfast in their commitment to non-violence.  We condemn not only the violence and excessive force recently deployed by the Oakland Police, but also the vandalism perpetrated by misguided individuals who reject the values of the Occupy Movement.

ILSNC believes that public protest and non-violent civil disobedience is often necessary to correct injustice.  It’s a core American tradition going back to the founding of our democracy.  From the Boston Tea Party to the women’s suffragette and labor movements; from the civil rights sit-ins to the Section 504 and ADA occupations by disability rights pioneers, our cherished victories required direct action.

Since long before the economic crash of 2008, people with disabilities have been fighting relentless cuts to our support programs and services. In California, we’re facing even more cuts, including a massive “trigger cut” to In-Home Supportive Services on December 15th.  This planned 20% reduction hangs like an axe over the head of thousands of low-income people with disabilities.  Having been pushed to the limits of human endurance, we clearly identify with the pain and frustration expressed by the new “Occupy” movement.  Many of us feel like the general population has finally caught up with what we’ve been experiencing for a very long time.

Throughout this economic crisis we have asked for nothing more than shared sacrifice. We assert that catastrophic program cuts can be prevented by employing fair, common sense tax reforms to produce desperately-needed revenue.  Tragically, as public treasuries continue to drain, our elected leaders act like obedient servants to the tax-cutting demands of their powerful campaign donors.  The full weight of “deficit reduction” is therefore borne by those already struggling in poverty.

While we live in fear of the next cut, enormous tax breaks are given to corporations who promise to “create jobs” that never materialize. Bankers whose blatant criminality destroyed millions of American jobs luxuriate in billion-dollar bailouts while unemployed protesters are arrested for “camping.” As vital disability programs and services are gutted, we learn that 2/3 of U.S. corporations – particularly the largest and most profitable – pay zero annual income taxes. Fear-mongering politicians bloviate about the federal deficit while pouring trillions of dollars of new debt – not to mention thousands of young American lives – into the bottomless pit of so-called “national defense.”

In today’s “pay to play” political environment, now intensified by the U.S. Supreme Court’s disgraceful “Citizens United” decision, we find ourselves either patronized or completely ignored.  Now is the time for everyday Americans to unite and organize a bold resistance to the onslaught.  We believe that the peaceful protests taking place in over a thousand U.S. cities demonstrate the beginning of a new awakening.

For these reasons ILSNC urges members and allies of the disability community to take action now.  Make a personal commitment to contribute and to persevere for as long as it takes.  Get involved with disability advocates in your community.  Visit and support your local Occupy encampment. While you’re there, educate on disability issues and advocate for inclusion. Help build diverse alliances and think beyond immediate self-interests. Do whatever you can – start today!

Despite enormously powerful forces that stand against us, indifferent to the suffering of millions, we are confident in the power of our unity. Each of us has the ability to make a personal choice to work together for the common good. We will succeed if we can overcome our own apathy, disunity and defeatism.

We are the inheritors of a world made possible by the activists who came before us.  Let’s honor their legacy, change our lives and save our children’s future by seizing this moment to do something great.  Occupy Wall Street can become our best chance to restore fairness and opportunity before it’s too late. There has never been a better time to build the powerful kind of coalition we’ve dreamed about. And we’ll only have ourselves to blame if it turns out otherwise.

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.”

– Frederick Douglass

Ongoing Occupation Needs You!

This Saturday, October 15, the next large rally is planned in support of OccupyChico. So far, the disability community has been largely absent from the rallies and ongoing occupation. This is the issue of our time. We absolutely need to be part of the effort.

Occupy Chico gets vocal at 2nd & Broadway 10-5-11

ILSNC director, Evan LeVang, sees hope in the Occupy Movement for re-activating the long-dormant disability community.  “Over the past few years it has become clear that – despite our best efforts at community organizing – too many members of the disability community simply don’t participate in the effort to save disability programs from budget-cutting state legislators.  Sadly, as threatened and actual program cuts have become more severe over the past few years, our local disability community has  actually become less active and less visable.  People tell me that they feel exhausted, beaten-down and powerless in the face of unrelenting cuts made by legislators unwilling to consider alternatives to gutting social programs in order to balance the state budget.  But people need to understand that it’s going to get much worse – and happen very soon – if we don’t start taking action and getting involved.  In the current state budget agreement there are “trigger cuts” to programs like In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) set to take place in December if certain tax revenue levels are not met.  We could be looking at a  20% cut in IHSS services if we simply sit back and hope for the best.  This would be a catastrophic disruption in people’s lives,” says LeVang.

He continues, “IHSS is just one of several programs that people with disabilities depend on that are facing deep cuts.  But rather than becoming despondent about our prospects for the future, we now have a reason for hope – an incredible opportunity to re-engage and push back – through the emerging “Occupy” movement.   I’m calling upon people with disabilities, our families, friends and allies to show up to lend your presence and your support to the Occupy Chico, Occupy Redding or Occupy wherever this Saturday, October 15.”

We must all get out front and center to ensure our visibility. If we fail to show up, we risk being forgotten in all the commotion. Only by showing up frequently and verbalizing our issues will we have the chance to be part of the change we need. This is far more effective than begging legislators for mercy. See you at the  Occupation!

For more information, visit OccupyChico on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/occupychico/