Bill Allows Parents To be Special Needs Caregivers

ALBANY -

The Senate and Assembly voted on Thursday to allow parents to serve as the principle caregivers for their special-needs adult children, entitling them to state compensation and removing the worry of having to support a family while they care for a chronically ill or disabled adult child.

The bill, according to its Senate sponsor, state Sen. Simcha Felder, would expand current language to include parents among those who qualify to provide personal care services.

Felder said that most parents are better caregivers for their adult children than home aides, but are currently barred from getting paid through the state’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program.

“There are many special–needs children who live with their parents after reaching adulthood,” Felder said. “Often, in order to help with household expenses, a parent must work outside the home, while a personal assistant cares for their adult child’s needs. These personal assistants often don’t provide the same level of nurturing care that a parent can give their child.”

The sponsor in the Assembly was Majority Leader Joe Morelle. If signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the law would take effect on April 1, 2016.

Under current rules, a spouse or parent is excluded from the CDPAP program.