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Disability Services Face Budget Cuts

The effects of budget cuts passed by lawmakers in May are now being felt across the state. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) has been instructed to find $31 million in savings by cutting back services, with a deadline of Dec. 1, 2011. Services provided through programs such as Community Based Alternatives (CBA) and Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP) will see budget constraints based on client activity. The Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) program, which offers specialized therapies such as aquatic, music and horseback riding, could see the biggest cuts. Allison Lowery, spokeswoman for the department, says by law service limits cannot affect an individual’s health or welfare. She adds that clients who will be impacted by the cuts will be contacted directly by their DADS case manager and can seek an appeal with that manager. Clients meeting program criteria will be approved for extended service, and those who are not granted continuing service will receive a notice on how the individual can submit a request for a fair hearing to appeal the decision.