Over the past few years, the residents of Oklahoma have had to endure a series of state budget shortfalls. This year is no different. As the 2017 fiscal year ends and the 2018 budget year starts, Oklahoma faces an $878 million shortfall. How will the Department of Human Services fair in this latest struggle for funding?
$30 Million DHS Cut Could Make Life Harder for People with Disabilities
It seems like DHS will actually fair better this year than it has in others. That’s because DHS will be getting a larger share of the 2018 fiscal budget than it did last year. However, the department still isn’t getting enough money to run its services at the level they were during the 2017 fiscal year. That means $30 million dollars of budget shortfall will be spread throughout the agency as cuts.
- A six-month freeze in child care subsidies is expected in October. Projections say the move will save $4 million, but 1,000 children will be affected.
- The ADvantage Medicaid Waiver Program will see a reduction in provider rates totaling $9.2 million. The seniors who rely on this program for 20 hours a week of personal services will likely lose five hours per week of in home services.
- Medicaid Home and Community Services Waiver will also suffer a $2.9 million cut. This means adults and children with developmental disabilities who live at home, may lose seven hours per week of assistive services.
DHS Director Ed Lake, continues to be optimistic that the department will find ways to fund programs for the neediest in our community. However, some are wondering how many more cuts can the people of our state endure. As your Tulsa disability attorneys, Troutman & Troutman will continue to keep you informed of our state’s growing need to fund disability programs.