End the wait for Floridians with Developmental Disabilities

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For more information, visit ddwaitlistfl.org. and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DDwaitlistFL/

What is the problem?

There are approximately 21,000 Floridians with developmental disabilities (DD) on a waitlist to receive services from Florida's iBudget DD Medicaid Waiver. The Florida's iBudget provides homes and community-based services that support daily activities of living, personal, medical, and dental care. Many have been waiting in excess of 5 years. Although there has been recent additional funding to address this on-going issue, additional funding is urgently needed to make sustained progress to further reduce the iBudget Waiver waitlist.

Who does this impact?

The vast majority of people with DD live with their family. Without iBudget support, caring for individuals with DD can be very expensive and time consuming. Caregivers may have less time available to be employed with they are providing such assistance, and reducing their ability to save for future financial needs. Studies have found that two-thirds of Florida's caregivers earn less than $15,000 per year (Andresen et al., 2008), yet estimated direct costs for caring for their loved one with DD is $8,000 per year, a figure which rises to over $25,000 when including potential loss from their reduced earnings/labor force participation and reduced future income (Stabile & Allin, 2012).

Under the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals with DD may be entitled to receive home and community-based services in the least restrictive environment and most integrated settings. Keeping these individuals on the waitlist for years may not only violate their right to access these services (Diament, 2016), but also hinder their capacity, growth, and motivation to pursue a fulfilling life.

How does Florida compare to other states?

Of 50 US states and the District of Columbia, Florida ranks 50th in spending for intellectual and developmental disability services. Florida's fiscal effort for DD services has decreased 10% since 2007 (Braddock et al., 2017).

Recommended solution

Increased funding to substantively reduce the iBudget waitlist will result in Floridians with DD and their families having appropriate supports to prosper and fully enjoy inclusive community life. We are petitioning for:

1) A sustained financial commitment to effectively reduce the waitlist by 10% each year and to address this ongoing backlog.

2) Reduce the age requirement for category 4 caregivers from 70 to 65.

 

Sources:

1. Andresen, E., Hall, A., DeFries E., & Ali, A. (2008). Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) waiver program wait list survey. Retrieved from Florida Office on Disability and Health, http://fodh.phhp.ufl.edu/files/2011/05/APD-Final-Report_08.08.08_Revised.pdf
2. Stabile, M., & Allin, S. (2012). The economic costs of childhood disability. The Future of Children, 22, 65-96.
3. Braddock, D., Hemp, R., Rizzolo, M.C., Tanis, E.S., Wu, J., & Haffer, L. (2017). The State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: 2017. Washington, DC: American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
4. Diament, M. (2016, August 30). Waiting list placements may violate ADA. Disability Scoop. Retrieved from https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2016/08/30/waiting-list-may-violate-ada/22685/



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