Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hundreds Protest Against Governor’s Spending Cuts to Disabled

Imagine living hand to mouth already, barely squeaking by. Come Feb 1 the State has warned you may not see another check for months. No Rent money, no money for food for 
medicine and even worse for some of the disabled, your Caregiver that comes by daily to feed, clean, shop, and generally make sure you are cared for, isn't coming anymore.

California's fiscal future lurched yet another step toward oblivion on Friday as state Controller John Chiang announced he could no longer make payments for services to disabled and blind people who need the money to pay for rent and food.

Chiang said payments would most likely have to be stopped by Feb. 1.

"Delaying these payments will hurt real families," Chiang said.

About one million people would be affected by the non-payments, Chiang said.

Disabled, Blind People to Lose Disability Payments

I am disabled but my check comes from Social Security, but my Significant Other, who is also disabled, gets her check from the State. It's not that much but helps with the bills like the cost of the electricity to run her oxygen machine that runs 24/7. She also has a daytime Caregiver paid for by the State because I cannot care for her like I used to. Her caregiver also rents a room from us which helps with the rent, but since he is going to be laid-off we are really going to be screwed.

I don't want to get too much into our personal business but to show just how damaging this will be just to my family alone I will have to use a few more details. I'm a chronic pain sufferer. I have what are known as Cluster Migraines which are just like your everyday migraine except they never go away. They don't have a clue what causes them but we do know that stress makes them much worse. I also have a extremely bad back and neck, emphysema, and a few other problems. 

My SO has Diabetes, COPD, CHF, emphysema, Fibromyalgia, and is considered Terminal. She is bedridden most the time and uses a electric wheelchair when she can. She can neither cook, or bath herself any longer, and can barely dress herself most the time. 

You can see why her Caregiver is so important to us. He does the shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry as well as taking her to the Doctor at least once every two weeks. He does much more but that should give you a sense of what my life will look like after Feb.1 and I'm not alone.

Even if State Controller John Chiang finds a way to make these payments Arnold is trying to make major cuts on the backs of the Disabled and Poor. Arnold is good republican after all.

The Governor’s proposed cuts – including those proposed by the Governor and enacted by the Legislature in previous budget years, include major cuts to:

  • Medi-Cal

  • Regional centers

  • Mental health services

  • CalWORKS (State’s "welfare to work" program that includes thousands of parents and children with special needs)

  • In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

  • SSI/SSP (Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment) Grants to the lowest income persons with disabilities, the blind and seniors

  • The Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) that provides small state funded grants for legal immigrants with disabilities

  • The blind and low income seniors who do not qualify for SSI

  • Cuts that impact public and accessible transportation and housing and cuts to public education that impact special education for over 650,000 children with special needs.

It's my hope that someone on the Obama Team will read this and see that the States like California aren't let out of the coming Stimulus Money because it doesn't seem that the Republicans (are) in any hurry to fix this coming disaster. I now know how those in New Orleans felt as they watched Katrina come and go and no one there to help. 

This will be a State of Emergency in my home and millions like mine. Somehow I don't think FEMA or the Red Cross will be handing out food and water anytime soon. 

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