Families of the intellectually and developmentally disabled were stunned along with residential care agencies, staff and pharmacies at New York’s FY24 Budget for COLA and Direct Support Wage Enhancement.
The final Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase was set at 4%. Prices in the New York City area increased 6.0% between January 2022 and January 2023, on par with the national Consumer Price Index of 6.4% over the same period. Paired with the reality of inflation the intellectually and developmentally disabled community is left in a deficit and at a loss.
The Direct Support Wage Enhancement line item is a provision for employees that provide direct care support or any other form of treatment, to individuals with developmental disabilities and whose income is less than $125,000. This provision was denied in the NYFY24 Budget.
The state of New York has set the bar for this upcoming year and we need to be aware of what we can do as philanthropists, employers, staff, and human beings to manage the ongoing funding and staffing crisis in the disability community.
Thank you to the all the advocates and supporters who raise their voices on behalf of the disability community. Your voice will be much needed in the upcoming months to navigate through these times.