ACLU of Indiana sues state over disability allowances

Affiliate: ACLU of Indiana
July 12, 2010 12:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Indiana
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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Claiming a violation of federal Food Stamp law and Indiana administrative law, the ACLU of Indiana has filed a new lawsuit in Indianapolis challenging the manner in which grocery allowances are computed for individuals enrolled in Indiana’s Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Program.

In the current program, enrolled seriously disabled persons are permitted only a small grocery allowance each month. However, the amount of the allowance has not been adjusted or administratively reviewed in at least six years. For those waiver enrollees who are also enrolled in the Food Stamp program, however, the amount of the grocery allowance is reduced dollar-for-dollar by the amount of any food stamp allotments. The result of this is that while food stamp payments are adjusted regularly to account for increases in the cost-of-living, waiver enrollees do not see any alteration in their benefits because their grocery allowances are reduced by the exact same amount.

Steven Dick, Michael’s guardian and legal counsel, said, “This litigation commenced administratively a year ago after the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities adamantly refused to allow Michael to retain and benefit from a modest $1.25 per day cost-of-living increase in his Food Stamp benefits. It is real difficult to provide groceries for a young man on only $6.57 per day.”

The case, which is captioned Michael Dick v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, et al., has been filed in Marion County Superior Court. It is co-counseled with Steven K. Dick of Tucker Hester, LLC. We have asked that the case be certified as a class action, and that motion is presently pending before the Court.

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