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Back Local News DPHSS programs will not take in new clients

DPHSS programs will not take in new clients

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LAPSED funds for existing programs should be enough to maintain minimal services at the Department of Public Health and Social Services, but the agency will not be able to accommodate new clients, according to DPHSS Director James Gillan.

Gillan said despite threats of sequestration, there would be no cutbacks or drop in services for the rest of the fiscal year.

However, no programs will be extended and no new clients will be accepted under some programs, unless they are filling slots with existing allotments.

For example, if a child ages out of the Women Infant and Children program, no new clients may be brought in to fill the slots.

Sequestration, which came into effect on March 1, cuts $85 billion from federal spending for the remainder of the federal fiscal year. Half of the total will come from a 5 percent across-the-board cut in discretionary domestic spending and the other half will come from an 8 percent cut in defense spending.

According to national media, sequestration will not impact Medicaid and most of Medicare, but there will be cuts to other healthcare programs such as those supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

The cuts will go into effect over the next six months and DPHSS has prepared a barebones budget for fiscal year 2014, which will be $2 million less than the 2013 budget.

As a result, DPHSS may have to rely on nonprofit organizations and soliciting contributions for assistance.

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