Tag Archives: OklahomaDisability

New Budget Passed, But Will Oklahomans with Disabilities See Benefits?

For almost a decade, Oklahoma has endured several budget cuts. Very recently, state budgets were met with failure, as budget deficits of up to $2 billion or more appeared toward the end of last fiscal year and the year before. These budget crises have affected many state programs. However, programs for Oklahomans with disabilities have had a particularly rough time. Now the state legislature had delivered a record-setting state budget. How far will this new budget go to fix the deficits of the past? Will the New Budget Benefit Oklahomans with Disabilities? Though many people are happy to see Oklahoma pass the largest state budget in Oklahoma history, many believe it is still not enough. Decades of budget cuts, tax cuts and increasing demand for state services has left quite the hole in state finances. This can particularly be felt in the Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Health…
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Why Is the Disability Services Backlog Increasing?

Have you heard of the teachers marching on Oklahoma City? These educators are protesting the horrible wages they are paid because they have had enough. They have organized a strike that lasted 9-days before law makers finally met their demands. A 5 percent pay raise is now on the books for these teachers; however, the people waiting on the disability services backlog may not be so lucky. Could the same fighting spirit help those who are waiting on the decade long waiting list? The Disability Services Backlog Is Increasing, Here’s Why… In Tulsa County, there are 1,379 people waiting for disability benefits from the Department of Human Services. Some 325 of those people have been waiting for 10 years or more for those benefits. As it is right now, the only way off the waitlist is for someone receiving state disability benefits to die. The programs in question are Medicaid…
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Why Did the ACLU Continue Its Disability Lawsuit Against Oklahoma?

Last November, the recipients of Oklahoma’s Medicaid Advantage Waiver and Medicaid In-Home Supports Waiver received a letter from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). In that letter, DHS notified recipients that their services would end at the end of December due to budget issues. This sent many people into a panic, and soon the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) got involved. It filed a disability lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma, but the budget crisis was addressed before services were cut. Despite this, the ACLU has continued the lawsuit. Why Continue the Disability Lawsuit Against Oklahoma Lawmakers? When in-home services and Medicaid waivers were on the chopping block last year, the more than 20,000 participants in the program had no alternatives to fall back on. That meant that many of them would have to give up living independently and move into nursing facilities. This problem was only compounded by…
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How Did You “Go All In” This Disabilities Awareness Day?

Where were you on March 13th? If you are a supporter of people with disabilities, you were probably at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. It was there that Oklahomans with disabilities and disability advocates gathered to let their voices be heard on this 24th People with Disabilities Awareness Day. Here’s what happened at this year’s event. People with Disabilities Awareness Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol For the second year, Oklahoma People First teamed up with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services to help promote this year’s event. This year’s theme was “Go All In”, which called for everyone to work together to remove barriers for people with disabilities who live in Oklahoma. And lawmakers made themselves available to do just that. Advocates and Oklahomans had an opportunity to communicate with state legislators to talk about disability and solutions that could help Oklahomans with disabilities live independent lives. Visits…
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Could a Government Shutdown Affect My Disability Benefits?

On January 20th, the federal government of the United States shut down. Members of Congress were unwilling to strike a deal on many key issues, which forced a shutdown. Many of you may have been worried that your Social Security disability benefits may have been jeopardized by the government shutdown, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) had a plan in place. How Does a Government Shutdown Affect Your Social Security Disability Benefits? When the government shuts down, there is a wide range of effects on Americans. A large number of federal employees are placed on furlough—meaning they cannot work or be paid. This forces many federal services and offices to shutdown while members of Congress try to come to an agreement to fund the country. And though national parks, memorials, and some government offices shutdown, core benefits and services are maintained to prevent Americans in need from suffering undue distress….
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