Facing budget impasse, providers prepare to shutdown services for 26k mentally/physically disabled

CHICAGO — The failure of Illinois state leaders to adopt a new budget has prompted service shutdown planning for nearly 26,000 mentally ill adults and children, according to the Illinois Observer.

Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF) President and CEO Janet Stover told the publication on Tuesday that without a budget or clear direction from state agencies, the consequences will be severe.

Stover says tens of thousands of people will lose service, and thousands more will be sent to the unemployment line as the predominately not-for-profit organizations struggle to stay afloat.

A survey of community service providers by Stover’s trade association estimates that 25,812 individuals with developmental disabilities and/or serious mental illnesses will gradually begin to lose or to experience a reduction in community-based services after July 1 with no fiscal year 2016 state budget in place by June 30.

IARF also estimates employee layoffs will top 5,000.

According to Stover, 43 percent of their ID/DD service provider members and 34 percent of their mental health provider members have projected they will need to terminate services to clients and lay off staff.