Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What The Shutdown Means For Disability Services

As the first U.S. government shutdown in more than 17 years takes hold, some programs benefiting people with disabilities will continue with business as usual while others grind to a halt.
The shutdown, which began Tuesday, comes after Congress failed to reach a deal to fund the federal government for the new fiscal year starting in October. Under a shutdown, some services considered “essential” will continue operating while many other government activities will come to a standstill as 800,000 federal workers are sent home until a new budget takes effect.
Here’s a look at how the shutdown will impact programs that people with developmental disabilities rely on:
SOCIAL SECURITY Benefit payments will continue to be distributed on schedule to individuals receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. Local offices will be open, but only to perform select services.
MEDICAID Services provided by Medicaid will largely proceed as usual since an advance appropriation ensured that states receive funding for the program on Oct. 1. However, disability advocates say they are worried that the shutdown could exacerbate payment delays that providers of long-term services and supports are already facing. “The long delays have put many of our affiliates in almost untenable cash flow positions and further delays may cause some to cease Medicaid services,” said Katy Neas, senior vice president of government relations at Easter Seals.
Read more of Michelle Diament's Disability Scoop article HERE.
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