New Jersey Fund Home Services for People with Developmental Disabilities
Four months after lawmakers passed a state budget providing no additional money to care for developmentally disabled people at home, state officials yesterday announced a $12.5 million fund to assist up to 2,000 people who live with their families.
Funded with $8.9 million from state coffers and $3.57 million in federal Medicaid reimbursements, the money will pay for respite workers giving 1,500 families a break from daily care, and educational and vocational programs for 200 young adults who have finished school but need daytime supervision.
Also, 300 families will be admitted into the state's "real life choices" program that gives each disabled person up to $63,000 to make home renovations, arrange transportation and hire aides to make home care easier. This would double the families to 600 who participate in the program, Department of Human Services spokesman Gary Brown said.
Human Services Commissioner James Davy and Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Louis Greenwald (D-Camden) said the state found the money after 6,000 people with disabilities, their families and advocates signed a petition seeking money to support home care. They submitted the petition after staging a Statehouse rally during the annual budget hearings in June. Lawmakers passed a budget that provided no new money for the Division of Developmental Disabilities, leaving it at $1 billion.