Two Important Covid-19 Directives Issued by Department of Developmental Services Impacting Early Start and Non-Residential Services

Looking Forward with the Developmental Services Task Force

Last week the Department of Developmental Services issued two important guidances impacting the intellectual and developmental disability community.

The first, published June 15, allows Early Start services to continue past the age of three.  The directive states, “The Department recognizes the transition to special education services for children at age three may be delayed as local schools face challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic”, therefore “this waiver is necessary to ensure continuity in the delivery of services for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.”  The full text of the directive can be found here.

The second, published June 18, extends the State Of Emergency funding for non-residential services another 30 days, through July 31, 2020.  The funding, which was originally enacted on March 17, ensures sufficient funding to service providers who are unable to provide usual services as a result of Covid-19 and the state of emergency declared by the Governor.  The funding has been critically important to sustaining a safety-net through the pandemic so that there are access to services and supports when individuals begin to return.  The directive also attempts to clarify a previously published directive that required service providers, who received federal relief funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), to offset their state of emergency billing by the amount of PPP funds the provider received.  The Arc of California continues to strongly advocate against this directive and considers the attempt of the department to collect these PPP loans as not only illegal but also a violation of intent of Congress in enacting the PPP law.  The full text of the directive can be found here.

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