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Half-million low-income elderly affected by sweeping cuts to state safety net
Date:10/1/2009

little in the way of additional family support."

Among the programs particularly affected by the cuts:

  • Alzheimer's day care resource centers to lose all state funding
    Centers that provide day care for more than 3,200 mostly low-income or socially isolated seniors with Alzheimer's disease will have to curtail hours of service or shut down altogether in response to budget cuts that go into effect Oct. 1.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI/SSP) cut 8 to 10 percent
    SSI is a cash assistance program for more than 500,000 very low-income people who are elderly, blind or permanently disabled. California has always supplemented the federally funded benefit using state funds (SSP). Cuts in the state portion will bring total cuts this year of the combined benefit to 8 percent for individuals (from $907 to $830 maximum benefit) and nearly 11 percent for couples (from $1,579 to $1,407).

  • In-Home Supportive Services Program (IHSS) cut 30 percent
    This program aids seniors with incomes above what is needed to qualify for SSI but still not high enough to afford in-home supportive services. IHSS provides a subsidy to help defray the costs of in-home personal care and essential household services that seniors are unable to perform without monitoring or assistance. As of Nov. 1, 30 percent of the 445,584 individuals of all ages enrolled in this program will lose some or all of their benefits; about 60 percent are elderly.

"We need lawmakers to rethink these punishing cuts," said Bruce Chernof, president of the SCAN Foundation, which funded the research. "With a rapidly growing older population, we need to make our publicly funded long-term care system more efficient and effective, and this report shows that the cuts do neither."

The state's adult day health care centers, which serve more than 37,000 seniors, were also scheduled for Oct. 1 cuts until a federal judge issued an
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Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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