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6/20/2023 State budget includes Fellela proposal for family to be paid for services to developmentally disabled adults
STATE HOUSE — A proposal by Rep. Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston) to extend a pandemic-era policy to allow relatives to be paid for services to individuals with developmental disabilities has been included in the state budget.

Representative Fellela first made the proposal in legislation (2023-H 5238) she introduced earlier this year.

“The opportunity for family caregivers to be reimbursed for services was first allowed during the pandemic,” said Representative Fellela. “This inclusion in the budget will make that opportunity permanent. Caregivers face tremendous challenges in balancing their time, finances, and resources as they deal with economic hardships while helping their loved ones with personal care, overseeing health care routines and serving as a health advocate.”

To help Medicaid enrollees get the long-term services and supports they needed during the COVID-19 crisis, Rhode Island and other states used waivers and amendments to incorporate more flexibility into their programs. Rhode Island used these tools to modify home- and community-based services for older adults and their family caregivers during the crisis.

The budget (2023-H 5200Aaa) includes language to seek federal approval to allow parents and other relatives to be paid to provide services for individuals with developmental disabilities receiving services through the community-based system. The Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals is required to report the number of participants and expenses in its monthly caseload report.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903