Parents of Children With Developmental Disabilities Fight Against Waiver

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 Parents and caregivers from across West Virginia are concerned about possible changes being made to the Developmental Disabilities Waiver, and they have been spending the past month to have their voices heard.

In the state, parents with children with disabilities can apply for a waiver, which allows their children to receive special care from a respite worker, who teaches them communication and other valuable life lessons.

There are currently 4,500 individuals in West Virginia with intellectual and developmental disabilities using the waivers that cover the respite care and other services.

Last month, proposed cuts to services provided through the waiver were released, which would cut back on the hours families could use the help from a worker from 144 each moth to 61.

It has some parents fearing for the future. “One of my biggest fears is losing my job of course, losing my insurance, having to live on government assistance. I have worked since I was 16 years old. I’ve paid into taxes. I don’t want to lose everything and have to live off of the system,” Pat Elliott, a mother of a son who requires 24 hour care said.

Pat and many others have went to local lawmakers for help, as well as to a rally in Charleston. However, time is running out to have their voices heard, and the parents are asking for help. 

To leave a comment before Friday at 5 p.m., go to dhhr.wv.gov and submit public comment.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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