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Update on In Home Support Services

STATE CAPITOL UPDATE from Marty Omoto at CDCAN

LEGISLATIVE ANALYST OFFICE RELEASES BUDGET UPDATE ON IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

Recommends That Legislature Consider Other Alternatives to Governor’s Reduction Proposals – Proposes Extension of 3.6% Cut In Service Hours Scheduled to Expire June 30, 2012 and Reduction In State Participation in IHSS Worker Wages After A Study Determines Impact of IHSS Recipient Access

SACRAMENTO, CA (CDCAN)  [Last updated 03/19/2012 10:30 AM]  – The Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) released this morning a brief 12 page update on the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program that finds that the Governor’s proposed reductions “…presents significant legal and implementation challenges” and instead recommends that the Legislature consider two other ways alternatives to save State general funding, including extension of the existing 3.6%  across-the-board reduction in service hours that is set to expire at the end of the current year, and consider re-enacting a reduction in state participation in IHSS provider wages to a level, determined by a study, that does not impact recipient access to services.

The 12 page report, saved as a document pdf file, is attached to this CDCAN Report titled “20120319 – Legislative Analyst Office 9LAO) IHSS Budget Update (12 Pages).pdf”.  It can also be viewed or downloaded from the LAO website at:  http://lao.ca.gov/analysis/2012/ss/supportive-services-031912.pdf   HTML version can be viewed or downloaded at:  http://lao.ca.gov/analysis/2012/ss/supportive-services-031912.aspx

The Legislative Analyst Office is a non-partisan office of the Legislature that reviews and analyzes budget issues for the Legislature.

The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program—administered at the state level by the Department of Social Services (DSS)—provides in-home care for over 460,000 persons who cannot safely remain in their own homes without such assistance.

As part of the 2012-2013 budget, the Governor proposes significant changes to the IHSS program, including a proposal to transition IHSS from a Medi-Cal fee-for-service benefit to a Medi-Cal care benefit. In addition, the Governor proposes to eliminate domestic and related care services for most IHSS recipients who live with another person to resulting in a reduction of  $164 million in State general fund spending (that number has been estimated at over $200 million by legislative budget committee analysis).

A 20% across-the-board reduction in hours for many IHSS recipients that was implemented as part of the 2011-2012 State Budget “trigger cuts” pulled in December, was supposed to go into effect January 1, 2012 but has since been blocked by a federal district court order.  That order is being appealed by the State to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Governor’s proposed budget assumes that the State will prevail in the court case – and that the 20% reduction will continue into the 2012-2013 State Budget year.