More Floridians with Disabilities Could Get Services This Year

Feb 14, 2014

For the second year in a row, Governor Rick Scott is recommending money to cut the waiting list for services at the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

If the Legislature agrees, $20 million would go to provide home and community-based services under a Medicaid waiver for people with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy or Down syndrome.

APD Director Barbara Palmer says last year the agency identified about three thousand Floridians who needed to come off the list as fast as possible because they had critical needs. Last year Scott recommended $36 million for that, and the Legislature agreed.

"And so we were able to take about 1,600 people off. So this year he asked what it would take to get the rest of them off that are in the critical-need category. So he is recommending $20 million."

If lawmakers approve this year's request, another 1,400 people with developmental disabilities would get home and community-based services. Scott is also recommending one million dollars to help people on the wait list find jobs, especially those transitioning from school.