The State of Georgia has been looking at new rates for agencies who care for the developmentally disabled (like United Cerebral Palsy of Georgia-UCP) for quite some time-years in fact. The State is finally taking up the issue again and these agencies need help in getting the much needed additional funding.
A rate increase means that these agencies can afford to pay a decent wage to the caregivers and provide enough caregivers in their programs to allow our consumers to live a decent life.
Below are a few points which explain how rates to support those with disabilities have evolved over time and clearly demonstrate the need for an increase.
Why agencies like UCP need additional funding:
DBHDD / DCH FACTS: There has NEVER been a state funded investment in individuals with DD and their community based services since the inception of the Medicaid Waivers to support community based services.
- 1988 – 89 Waivers began (MRWP)
- 1997-CHSS Waiver added to support closure of Brookrun
- 2003-FIRST waiver increase (both MRWP and CHSS) – match derived by eliminating $400 GIA Room and Board supplement. Increase was 3.4% – NO STATE MONEY WAS INVESTED IN INDIVIDUALS WITH DD.
- 2007-Legislatively approved 3% rate increase- not implemented in 2008 due to economy shift
- FY 2014 GIA Contracts $32m unmatched State dollars for Waiver type services (CLS, SE , CRA &CAG/Prevoc)
- Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen 88.3% since 1989
- Cost of Employee Benefits has risen 146% since 1989
- Minimum Wage has risen 116.42% in past 20 years ($3.35 1983 to $7.25 2013)
Contact your legislators and tell them that you care about people with disabilities in Georgia. Attached are sample letters you can use to do that. This link takes you to a page where you can click use a map to click on your home area/city and it will then tell you who your local legislators are: http://openstates.org/ga/ (use the plus sign on the map and your mouse to navigate around the state to find your home area/city.)
- – - – - -
Sample Email to Legislator
Dear Representative John Doe (Dear Senator) :
I want to bring to your attention an issue that is very important to me and I am looking for your support when the Legislative Session begins in January.
I am aware of the work of NAME OF AGENCY in supporting those in my community who have Developmental Disabilities. These citizens of our community need the very best care and support we can provide them. NAME OF AGENCY provides supports and services which are so critical to the well being, health and safety of these individuals, some of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens.
The individuals relay on a stable and consistent workforce to assure their progress and well being. They relay on the stability of community organizations such as NAME OF AGENCY to assure support and care is consistently available.
The funding for the vital services we provide has not changed in over a decade and this one change is the only adjustment since 1989! I urge you to support a rate adjustment for services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. The individuals are relaying on you and so am I, to assure some of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens have the same quality of life as you, I and other Georgians without disabilities. Please invest in those with Developmental Disabilities.
Name, Address, Phone#, email