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Indiana agency sued over cuts to program for disabled

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, June 17, 2013 - 12:45 pm

INDIANAPOLIS — A lawsuit filed against Indiana's social services agency claims it wrongly barred a developmentally disabled woman from Medicaid waiver programs and left her without enough income to survive.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit on behalf of 27-year-old Karla Steimel in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

The ACLU says Steimel has cerebral palsy and other medical needs. The lawsuit says changes in programs run by the Family and Social Services Administration that help disabled people live independently have significantly reduced her benefits and forced her to be institutionalized.

One program now requires clients to need skilled nursing care. The ACLU says Steimel doesn't meet those criteria, but needs daily assistance with functions like eating and bathing.

An FSSA spokeswoman says the agency has no comment.