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Thursday, June 19, 2003

SF's "Care Not Cash" Will Not Affect the Wheel-Chair Bound

This is off my usual topics and very insider San Francisco, but I had to post.
Listening to public radio this morning, they were covering a protest against SF's "Care Not Cash" initiative, which was overturned by the Superior Court but is being appealed. They talked to a man in a wheelchair who was afraid of being kicked out of the homeless shelters if "Care Not Cash" goes into effect. I am writing to say that such fears are unwarranted (at present).
"Care Not Cash" would reduce cash grants to General Assistance recipients in exchange for providing them with services. Critics say that the city is unable to provide the services to make up for the reduction in cash.
I am an SSI attorney. I can not think of an instance in which a person who medically needs to use a wheelchair for at least 12 months would not be disabled under SSI rules. I just spoke with the main attorney in the case against Prop N ("Care Not Cash"), and he agreed with me that anyone affected by Prop N would meet the financial requirements for SSI. Thus the gentleman in the wheelchair should be on SSI, not GA, and should not be affected by Prop N. If anyone reading this knows someone in both poverty and a wheelchair who is not on SSI, please have them contact their nearest legal aid office.
The attorney I spoke to did mention that there has been "talk" about charging SSI recipients rent for shelter space, but that is not the current policy, nor has such a policy been proposed in any official way.
I am blogging semi-anonymously, and I do not wish to name or quote the attorney I spoke with. Thus, this post should be considered opinion regarding SF ordinances and SSI laws, not news. If anyone has differing opinions, please email me.

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