FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2009 Contact: Aurelio Rojas 213-280-6579
James Bolden 213-200-5314
SUPERVISOR RIDLEY-THOMAS DIRECTS COUNTY OFFICIALS TO DEVELOP PLAN TO MOVE MORE GENERAL RELIEF RECIPIENTS TO SSI PROGRAM
LOS ANGELES – In an effort to improve service delivery to people with physical or mental disabilities, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas today directed County officials to develop a plan to move more General Relief (GR) recipients to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas noted other counties have much higher GR-to-SSI transition rates. San Francisco, for example, has a 90 percent success rate while the rate in Los Angeles County is about 50 percent.
“This certainly has implications for reform for the purpose of accountability,” he said. “Establishing benchmarks are fundamentally important.”
The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) operates the SSI and Medical Advocacy Program (SSIMAP), providing advocacy services to help General Relief recipients with physical or mental disabilities obtain SSI.
The current GR SSIMAP caseload is approximately 10,000. In 2008-09, approximately 5,500 GR participants transitioned to SSI, a success rate of about 50 percent.
In his motion, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas directed the County’s Chief Executive officer to work with DPSS, in consultation with the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Health Services, to develop a plan to increase the County transition rate.
He asked for a report back to the Board in two weeks with proposed GR-to-SSI enrollment targets; a plan to evaluate and report quarterly on the progress in meeting those targets and other reforms; and options for a new name to replace “General Relief.”
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