Newsday's Guest Essays: Walter W. Stockon

NY's disability support workers need a raise in the state budget

By Walter Stockton

Guest essay

March 20, 2024 4:00 pm


More than 130,000 New Yorkers are living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and 85% of them are served by nonprofit providers. Over the last decade, the nonprofit I?DD community has experienced a dramatic shortfall in staffing, high turnover rates, and using cots of operations that are no longer met by Medicaid funding. This gap is growing larger and makes it difficult to meet the essential needs of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

State legislators negotiating the 2024-25 state budget can address this funding gap by committing the necessary resources to ensure that vital care can be provided for people living with I/DD by investing in the agencies and professionals who serve this population.

The Invest in Me campaign is supported by nonprofit provider associations across the state. This campaign is seeking legislative support for a 3.2% cost-of-living adjustment in the Medicaid reimbursement rate along with a $4,000 base salary increase for direct support professionals, the workers who support people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in this year's budget.

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