Call Today For Increased Funding for Independent Living Centers!

Independent Living Centers like CIDNY provide people with disabilities and their families the supports and services that help them live independently and integrated in their communities. ILCs rely on the State for funding to provide these vital services, but New York State has failed to adequately fund centers for well over a decade, leaving us struggling to continue providing services. 

The State Education Department and Board of Regents recommended a $5 million increase for ILCs for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget failed to give centers this additional funding they need to meet the needs of their communities. But it isn’t too late to get an increase in this year’s budget!

The next step is the legislature. The Senate and Assembly will release their one house budget responses in mid-March. There were budget sign-on letters in support of an increase in funding for Independent Living Centers in both houses with strong support.  Now we need to put pressure on the Senate and Assembly’s leadership and Education Committee Chairs to include this $5 million increase for Independent Living Centers!
ACTION: Make the following four phone calls today to help ensure Independent Living Centers receive a vital funding increase in this year’s budget!

  1. Call the Assembly’s Education Chair, Catherine Nolan at 518-455-4851
  2. Call Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie at 518-455-3791
  3. Call the Senate’s Education Chair, Carl L. Marcellino at 518-455-2390
  4. Call Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan at 518-455-2071

Say: Help Independent Living Centers and the people with disabilities they serve by providing ILCs with a crucial funding increase of $5 million in the one house budget.”
Below are some additional talking points. Feel free to customize based on your personal experience.

Talking Points:

  • Independent Living Centers have gone well over a decade with level funding, which is why this modest increase of only $5 million is so crucial.
  • Independent Living Centers save the State money! Every $1 invested in ILCs saves the State $9 thanks to their work helping people leave nursing facilities and other institutions.
  • This additional funding will help centers to cover the increased costs of providing services and prevent them from program cutbacks and staff layoffs.
  • This additional funding will ensure they can meet the needs of their local communities across the State.

Learn more about the federal impact on ILC funding here.

ICAN Helps New Yorkers Who Need Long-Term Care

New York State’s Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN) program helps New Yorkers with disabilities with their health insurance and long-term care problems. Long-term care includes care in a nursing home or in your own home with help from an aide. Personal care aides can help with activities like getting dressed, walking, and going to the bathroom.

The way the long-term care system works can be hard to figure out, which is why ICAN is here to help.

ICAN is a group of advocates and lawyers from different organizations across New York State, including CIDNY. ICAN’s staff at CIDNY are experts in the long-term care system and handle a wide range of cases from all five boroughs of New York City. Our staff provides services ranging from simple advice to representing people at appeals, free of charge.

In 2015, New York State created both the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN) and the new Fully Integrated Dual Advantage (FIDA) insurance plans. FIDA was intended to make it easier for people with both Medicaid and Medicare to get health care. 

When people with Medicaid become eligible for Medicare, they usually have to change their Medicaid plan. Then they have to figure out how to use their separate Medicaid and Medicare insurance on their own to get health care. These “dual-eligibles” generally need more care than most people with only Medicaid. The State hoped that setting them up with a single plan that combines their Medicaid and Medicare would make it easier for them to get services. 

Many people were confused by the changes.

Luckily, ICAN was created to help people navigate the new long-term care system at the same time as the new FIDA program. ICAN helps people who need long term care services with any kind of Medicaid managed care: FIDA, FIDA-IDD, MLTC, MMC, PACE, MAP, and HARP. ICAN’s services include answering people’s questions, giving advice, advocating with plans or agencies, and representing people in formal appeals.

If your managed care plan denies coverage for services you need, ICAN can help you fight to keep your services.

Here are some real examples of how CIDNY’s ICAN advocates have helped consumers:

Fran* fell and hurt herself and had to go to the hospital. After she recovered, her family wanted to bring her home, but her insurance plan refused. They said she needed more help than they were providing, but did not want to pay for more. With ICAN’s help, she was able to get the plan to pay for 24-hour help, which let her live at home.

Carolyn* was stuck on the second floor of her family home and couldn’t get out on her own. The insurance company had promised to send people to carry her wheelchair down the stairs whenever she needed to go out, but they never actually did. ICAN helped her get a stairlift so that she could go out whenever she wanted.

CIDNY’s ICAN staff understand how difficult it can be for New Yorkers with disabilities to get the help they need. If you are confused about the long-term care system or a notice you received, you can call ICAN’s toll-free telephone help line at (844) 614-8800. ICAN’s staff will answer your questions and will try to help you solve your problems. See how ICAN has helped other New Yorkers with disabilities on ICAN’s website.

(*Names changed for confidentiality.)