Legal aid preserves crucial in-home care for disabled veteran and his wife

Veteran CT* served proudly in the U.S. Army when he was 28 years old. Now in his 70s and disabled, he was determined to care for Allie Mae, his wife of 36 years who had developed severe memory problems and a terminal illness. In order to remain together in their Redding, California home, they depended on daily assistance from an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) worker. In late 2011, however, the State announced that it planned to cut IHSS hours by 20 percent for more than 320,000 recipients, including CT and his wife. The reduced hours threatened to leave them without the help they needed to dress, bathe, or even put on shoes, let alone prepare meals, clean, or travel to medical appointments.

Within weeks, a team of lawyers from Disability Rights Legal Center, National Health Law Program, National Senior Citizens Law Center, and the Law Office of Charles Wolfinger, led by Disability Rights California attorney Melinda Bird, filed a class action lawsuit, with CT and five other IHSS recipients as class representatives. A federal district court issued an injunction stopping the 20 percent cuts in IHSS hours pending appeal. Oral arguments on the appeal are not set to begin until March 2013 so IHSS services have continued without interruption for CT and the many people like him thanks to the timely intervention of these legal aid advocates. CT remained in his home with Allie Mae until her death in June 2012 and he continues to live there today with the supportive services he needs to care for himself and avoid costly institutionalization. Donate now to help people like CT obtain critical legal aid.

The Campaign for Justice. Choose Justice. Increasing Access for Those Without.
Disability Rights California, Disability Rights Legal Center, National Health Law Program, National Senior Citizens Law Center, and the Law Office of Charles Wolfinger

*Name changed to protect client confidentiality.
**Photo taken by Stephanie Diani

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