Sign SWAN’s Petition Now*

Let Governor Cuomo know that we are frightened that our services are being eroded by the lack of a COLA, unreimbursed Covid related expenses, 20% withholds and now cuts to Residential Services. We must protect our loved ones.

* has a donate button: FYI any donation you make will be going to and not to any advocacy groupK


SWAN – Statewide Advocacy Network



Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities (IDD) in New York State are facing the devastating impact of cuts to the services they depend on. These cuts are on top of 10 years with no cost of living increases for the dedicated workforce, to meet annual increases in operating costs and since the onset of the pandemic, the money that was spent by not-for-profit providers protecting the people they serve.

The current budget crisis has led to a disproportionate share of state money being taken from the not-for-profit agencies that support over 80% of people with IDD.

Not-for-profit agencies were left on their own to find and provide PPE so far without reimbursement.

Not-for-profit agencies had to provide hazard pay for staff who were putting their own lives at risk while caring for residents during the worst of the pandemic.

New York State received over $6B for Covid related expenses none of which went to the not-for-profit agencies that care for people with IDD.

On July 21st the Federal Government stopped “Retainer payments” meant to maintain Provider’s Day Service sites until everyone can safely return. This money paid for the fixed costs that continued; rent, utilities, insurance for example.  Some agencies are finding that they can’t continue to carry these costs and may be forced to close these sites. Program sites need to be there when it is safe to open them for everyone.

Starting on August 17th, the state imposed a 20% withhold on all state paid services going forward. The only two state paid services not currently affected by this are housing subsidies in Self Direction and ISS (Independent Supports and Service), as well as Environmental Modifications (ramps, chair lifts et al.)  This exception applies only until October 1st, when a decision will be made about continuing this exemption.

On Oct.1 additional cuts will start; this time for residential services. These cuts will affect payment for days when people are visiting family, are hospitalized and for beds that are empty due to deaths or moves. OPWDD is not filling these beds in numbers that reflect families’ need for placements. These cuts ignores the fact that there are fixed costs which means that changes in reimbursement hurts agencies’ financial health and ability to stay in business.

People with IDD suffered a disproportionate share of illness and deaths from COVID 19 and now they are being asked to absorb a disproportionate share of budget cuts to deal with the results of this pandemic.  IT IS NOT RIGHT OR EQUITABLE