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Judge Halts IHSS Home Care Cuts; Says They Likely Violate Federal Law

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Federal judge has stopped the state from making deep cuts in the In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) homecare program that would have affected some 130,000 low income elderly, blind and disabled Californians.

In her ruling today, U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken declared that the state cannot go forward on November 1 with its planned cuts because they would result in substantial harm, damage and injury and likely 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.

The Judge said that the state's Functional Index rankings -- which it would use to determine who to cut from the program -- were clearly not based on need, that essential services could be withdrawn arbitrarily, and "people could lose something irreplaceable -- the ability to remain safely in their homes."

The lawsuit -- V.L. v. Wagner -- was brought by four public interest law firms: Disability Rights California, Disability Rights Legal Center, National Health Law Program and National Senior Citizens Law Center, UDW Homecare Providers Union (AFSCME) and three Service Employees International Union (SEIU) locals.

"The war to prevent these outrageous cuts has just begun," said UDW Homecare Providers Union Executive Director Doug Moore. "The governor and his enablers in the State Legislature will continue to throw the state's most vulnerable citizens under the bus unless and until the people of California...through the courts and at the ballot box...say 'Enough.' Judge Wilken's ruling today is an important first step in that direction."

Homecare providers and their clients from across the state rallied at the Federal Courthouse in Oakland prior to the hearing.

SOURCE UDW Homecare Providers Union

SOURCE UDW Homecare Providers Union
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