Disability Program Gives Power to the People
AbstractHe added that among younger disabled consumers, the percentage that reports being dissatisfied with service is cut in half. âThese are big impacts,â Brown said. âIâve been doing evaluations for 25 years, and you donât generally see impacts this large.â Brown is a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research in Princeton, N.J., which evaluates demonstration projects and existing projects in health, education, and welfare. In the evaluation study, Brown and colleagues compared satisfaction and quality of life among disability recipients receiving Cash and Counseling with those receiving traditional agency-directed care. A baseline survey of 2,008 Medicaid beneficiaries was completed in April 2001. Then beneficiaries were randomly assigned to the treatment group (Cash and Counseling) or a control group (traditional agency-directed services). Average allowance for people in the Independent Choices program was $320 a month. Treatment-group members were contacted by an Independent Choices counselor to assist in developing a written plan for spending their allowance. The allowance could be used to hire workers and purchase other services or goods related to their needsâincluding supplies, assistive devices, and home modifications. They were required to keep receipts for all but incidental expenditures, which could not exceed 10 percent of the allowance.