Growing Number of Families Denied FSCD and PDD Funding
A Most Urgent Matter – Growing Number of Families Denied FSCD and PDD Funding
We are hearing from more families every day that they are being denied funding from the Alberta government programs of Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) and Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD). The numbers are growing across the province. These are primarily families seeking funding for the first time, seeking funding for a new service or support, or seeking funding to expand existing supports. This includes families who may have been supported by a service provider but upon the provider terminating service, are now finding themselves without support.
The denials take the form of simply saying no without any reason, telling families they are not going to be approved for support from a service provider as their funding is frozen, advising families they cannot have Family Managed Supports (FMS) and that they need to try a service provider first, telling families that their request is “on hold”, simply ignoring families, offering to meet repeatedly with no resolution or telling families they do not meet “emergency criteria”. An individual or family that has requested funding is entitled to a timely response from PDD and FSCD and the failure to provide a decision is in and of itself a denial that can be appealed. To date, PDD and FSCD have refused to provide timelines for a response to requests for supports.
Not a single one of these responses is very likely a legitimate reason to deny a family or individual supports, particularly under existing legislation. Families, for example, are not required to accept a service they do not want or think is of little value for their family member in order to be eligible for FSCD or PDD funding. Community and Social Services (CSS), the Alberta government department responsible for FSCD, has not made any public announcements to the effect that FSCD and PDD are “frozen” nor has the legislation or its regulations been changed so as to establish new eligibility criteria for funding, such as, ”emergency criteria”. The only way we have learned that there is an apparent freeze is by the number of families and organizations that have contacted us.
As this is happening to families without government being transparent and open, in effect without any information whatsoever, we are asking any and every family who is denied, either directly or indirectly, to contact us so we can track the impact upon their lives and those of their children. We would like to know when and what funding supports were requested, the reasons for the denial or delay and the implications for the child or adult with developmental disabilities and their family. Please share this information with Inclusion Alberta by emailing us at email@example.com.
We will, with other allies, be taking all and any needed action once we have gathered enough information to understand the extent of this “denial by indefinite delay”. In the interim, we suggest each and every family unfairly denied supports contact their MLA and let them know the harm being created by the government’s actions and to ask them why children and adults with developmental disabilities have become the first Albertans to be targeted not with fiscal restraint but outright denial of needed funding. You might ask your MLA if the government’s plan to solve Alberta’s fiscal challenges is to be carried out by denying children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families needed supports and funding. You can also, go online to the government’s Cut Red Tape feedback form.
We are not hearing much yet about cuts to existing funding and services but if this is your experience, we’d appreciate knowing this as well. For example, with respect to families renewing existing FSCD or PDD contracts.
Please send your family’s information by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.