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Budget Cuts Could Hurt Ohioans With Disabilities, Advocates Say

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U.S. House Oversight And Government Reform Committee/Flickr
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Lisa Hamler-Fugitt testifies before a House subcommittee in June 2011.

There were a lot of cuts in this new state budget, largely because tax revenues were off nearly $850 million dollars for the last fiscal year. There’s one budget cut that’s small, but some worry it could have a huge impact on people who really need that money.

For 25 years, the state has offered temporary cash assistance to Ohioans with disabilities who are transitioning to federal Social Security disability. Those payments will be eliminated in the second year of this new budget.  

The Kasich administration says the state has accelerated the determination process, and there are county programs available to help those determined not eligible.

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of Advocates for Ohio’s Future, a coalition of safety net organizations, says these recipients are the poorest of the poor, often with terminal diseases and limited work experience.

“This is a little over a hundred dollars a month,” Hamler-Fugitt says. “This is not a lot of money and it’s the only thing that they have.”

About 6,200 Ohioans with disabilities received $9.6 million in cash assistance from the state last year.