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Budget cuts to NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities set to take effect soon

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(WBNG) -- Budget cuts are on the way for New York State's Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Some of the most significant cuts take effect Oct. 1.

For care providers, these budget cuts are going to have a drastic effects on finances. Starting in October, whenever a resident has to leave a facility, whether it's for a hospitalization or simply to visit family, providers cannot bill 100 percent of care hours while the resident is gone.

"We have an individual that goes to the hopsital, they're not being left there, they're going to have a staff member with them the whole time," said ACHIEVE Vice President of Development and Donor Relations Preston Evans. "Just because their bed is empty for whatever time period that might be, the bed isn't actually empty. There are still costs and services associated with maintaining the bed."

ACHIEVE says they will see hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue lost, which could lead to anything from program cuts to even staff layoffs.

"If you have to cut staff, you have relationships that are going to be severed there. You have to move staff around to fill holes within your organization," said Evans.

Before the Oct.1 cut off, care providers like ACHIEVE are actively working with local legislators in an attempt to see the cuts rescinded.

"We offer these services to this population and it's just a fight year, after year, after year to get the recognition and funding that is needed," said Evans. "[We want] to make sure they are getting the best quality of services and the best quality of life."

The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, the parent company to ACHIEVE, has started a petition calling on New York State legislators for those cuts to be stopped. You can sign it here.

Katie Jones

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