Rally against changes to home care assistance program

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As a result of the state budget New York lawmakers passed this session, changes are on their way for a home care assistance program thousands of people rely on every day.

New Yorkers with disabilities say they’re mourning the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program as they know it.

“Doing this mock funeral today is to represent the thousands of New Yorkers that will be affected by these cuts,” Angela Harmer, CDPAP Consumer, said.

The state is moving from an hourly reimbursement rate for fiscal intermediaries to a per-member, per-month basis instead.

According to the DOH website, FI’s work “like the human resources entity” for the program and provide support including payroll.

Consumers who use the program say FI’s are the middle piece that allow it to function.

“Without that middle piece, you are breaking the program. You are breaking it’s back,” Kelli Viti, a CDPAP Consumer, said.

Those who use the program say the changes could drastically change their way of life.

“I use this program every day for 35 hours a week. And it keeps me independent. It keeps me able to do what I want to do.”

“A lot of us would end up in facilities or nursing homes if these budget cuts go through,” Harmer said.

The DOH website maintains that CDPAP is not going away. And that:

“There will be no change in benefits, hours of service or care plans of consumers. Your level of care will continue as it did before.”

Multiple advocacy groups and the 12 fiscal intermediaries sued the department of health last month over the changes.

Next week the case will be heard in Albany County Supreme Court.

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