The Oklahoma Department of Human Services won’t go through with a plan to eliminate or reduce programs on Dec. 1 and Jan. 1 for seniors and people with disabilities, the agency announced Tuesday.

DHS planned to end programs in December and January that provide services and in-home care for more than 20,000 seniors and people with disabilities because of budget cuts.

Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a revised budget bill on Friday, but kept parts of the bill that would appropriate funds to DHS, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Fallin approved $26.9 million in short-term funding to DHS, which lost $69 million of its state funding for fiscal year 2018.

“This funding allows us to stop these devastating cuts and continue providing critical services beyond December 1; however, we are still $42 million short of a balanced budget,” said DHS Director Ed Lake, in a prepared statement.

“We will be working closely with the administration and legislative leaders in the upcoming weeks as they work to develop funding solutions for these services.”

On Oct. 31, the agency sent letters notifying program participants and providers that waiver programs would end Nov. 30.

DHS will begin sending notices this week to program recipients and providers that services will continue past Dec. 1, said DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell.

Those services are the ADvantage Waiver program, Adult Day Services, Developmental Disabilities Services Adult In-Home Support Waiver, and Developmental Disabilities Services Sheltered Workshop and Community Integrated Employment programs.

The ADvantage Waiver program serves more than 21,000 seniors and adults with disabilities.

The Adult In-Home Support Waiver serves more than 1,400 adults with disabilities.

The Sheltered Workshop and Community Integrated Employment program serves about 1,200 adults.

The use of state funds for the agency’s senior nutrition program was also set to be cut Dec. 1, but the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust voted last week to appropriate $1.81 million to the service, Powell said.

Lawmakers ended an eight-week special session on Friday after sending the governor a revised budget bill that included cuts to more than four dozen agencies and the use of agency revolving funds.

Late Friday evening, Fallin vetoed most of the bill and called for lawmakers to return to the Capitol for a second special session.

Agency leaders are working to determine exactly how long the agency can sustain these programs with the current funding and plan to release more details in the upcoming weeks,” a DHS release stated. 

DHS sends letters to seniors, disabled adults announcing end of program