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Judge Backs State Disability Agency In Funding, Policy Fight


The Agency For Persons With Disabilities has won a challenge to its way of funding services for disabled Floridians.

The challenge to the program questioned the accuracy of the algorithm used to determine how much money each person gets.  For Lou Ogburn and her 48-year-old developmentally disabled daughter, the Agency For Persons With Disabilities’ iBudget program worked well. Her daughter has been employed with Walmart for 20 years, but she’s about to lose her mentor. Ogburn says the family plans to find a temporary job coach:

“I can do that with the iBudget, I couldn’t do that before. Because everything had to be preapproved so far in advance, and this has just come up. It needs to be done now. And I can make that decision now so we can start looking at putting this in place temporarily."

Supporters of the iBudget, like Ogburn, who also heads the North Florida Family Care Council, have touted the program’s flexibility, but opponents questioned funding cuts to individuals in the system. But an administrative law judge found the APD’s rules governing iBudget were, "reasonable".

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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