Judge halts cuts to California in-home care services

OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge has put at least a temporary halt to a plan by California officials to reduce spending for a state program that helps with meal preparation, shopping and other services for disabled or elderly people.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken on Monday issued a preliminary injunction, saying the notices the state wanted to send to recipients were complicated and gave too little time for appeals.

Wilken’s decision came after disabled and elderly rights advocates sued over the cuts — approved by the governor and Legislature — arguing that 130,000 people would see their services reduced.

The In-Home Supportive Services program pays workers, often a relative, to cook, clean and bathe 440,000 elderly and disabled people so they can continue living at home.

The state attorney general’s office plans to appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com