Judge halts home care cuts.
Oakland, October 19, 2009 — U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken ruled today that the state cannot go forward on November 1 with its planned cuts to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) to an estimated 130,000 Californians because of the substantial harm, damage, and injury which would result. The Judge said that the state’s Functional Index rankings were clearly not based on need, that essential services could be withdrawn arbitrarily, and “people could lose something irreplaceable – the ability to remain safely in their homes.”
Therefore, she enjoined all IHSS cuts as requested
The judge ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to show at trial that the cuts to services, enacted in the recent state budget, violate federal law. Approximately 40,000 low-income seniors and people with disabilities would have lost all their IHSS services, including personal care; another 90,000 would have lost such services as meal preparation, food shopping and help with laundry and housecleaning.
“We are convinced a humanitarian disaster would have resulted from the precipitous and arbitrary withdrawal of essential services approved by the legislature and the administration in the budget, and are delighted that the Court agreed with us,” stated lead counsel Melinda Bird of Disability Rights California.
“This is a big day for people with disabilities, their families and seniors throughout the state – their right to stay safely in their homes – and not be forced into nursing homes or other institutions – has been reaffirmed by the Court,” said Paula Pearlman of the Disability Rights Legal Center.
Top ten disability stories of 2008
Looking back over U.S. mainstream media coverage of disability-related stories over the last year, the following 10 stories earned substantial national coverage and often prompted extensive letters to the editor and online commentary. If we missed a big story, let us know about it and why you think it contributed to the national dialogue about disability issues