OKDHS to serve individuals on waiting list

Wednesday, 02 September 2020 18:31

OKDHS to serve individuals on waiting list Featured

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Press Release 

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 2, 2020) – Thanks to the continued commitment of the Oklahoma Legislature in directing an additional $1.9M to be invested in the Developmental Disabilities waiting list through SB 1932, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) is excited to announce services to 270 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) currently on the waiting list.

“We are grateful to Governor Stitt and the legislature for this commitment to meet the needs of those we serve within our Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS),” said OKDHS Director and Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Initiatives Justin Brown. “Moving our customers from the waiting list to community-based services that are tailored to each individual’s needs are critical to their well-being and independence, and provides hope to their families. OKDHS will continue to advocate for the elimination of the waiting list so that all individuals can receive the services they need within their own communities.”

With this funding, OKDHS will begin working with families who have been waiting for services since June 2007.

“This funding will maintain the momentum we have gained in addressing the waiting list over the last several years.” said Senator Paul Rosino. “The commitment made in SB 1932 for a third-party assessment of everyone waiting is how we will gain long-needed and real understanding that will produce a strategy to eliminate the waiting list for Oklahomans with developmental disabilities and their families.” 

At the end of state fiscal year 2019, nearly 7,800 individuals were served by one or more DDS programs and nearly 5,300 individuals received Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) through a waiver program. Not only are these individuals served within their own homes, but the average individual cost of serving an adult through HCBS ranges from 26 to 32 percent of the annual cost of private Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID).

In SFY 2019, more than 5,500 persons remained on the waiting list for HCBS Services, with that list growing by 30-50 people each month. However, individuals on the waiting list are eligible for and often receive services from other programs while they are waiting. 

"We are part of a continuum of services and resources to the families who need us and are so excited to move these 250 individuals from waiting for services to actually receiving them," said Beth Scrutchins, Director of DDS. "This commitment will improve the quality of life for these Oklahomans and their families." 

To apply for services through DDS, please visit http://www.okdhs.org/services/dd/pages/areacontactinfo.aspx.

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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