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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Cuts to Part C Funds – Contact House and Senate Appropriators!

Yesterday we received an explanation from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) for the Part C funding cuts some CILs have experienced. You can read the full message below, but the basic explanation is as follows. When the IL program transferred from RSA to ACL, there were unused ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) funds. Some CILs had been told that funds would be available for 90 days after the expiration date (September 30, 2015), which was incorrect; therefore, those CILs were not reimbursed for money they had already spent. ACL decided to use 2016 funds to reimburse the 2015 expenses that were not reimbursed. They told us that they meant to inform states of this decision at the time it was made, but they did not do so.

What this means is that RSA made a mistake by telling CILs they could be reimbursed after the expiration date. ACL then made a decision to use Independent Living funds to fix the mistake, and they forget to inform us of this decision. We still don’t know how they decided which CILs would receive cuts or how much the cuts would amount to. We do know that this mistake will very likely result in lost jobs and a decreased ability to serve consumers. This is completely unacceptable.

NCIL has been gathering information from CILs, having ongoing discussions with ACL, and advocating to appropriators for their help to fix these cuts. We are currently working with staff from both the House and Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (L-HHS-Ed) Subcommittees, and we need your help! We need NCIL members from across the country to contact both members of the House L-HHS-Ed Subcommittee and members of the Senate L-HHS-Ed Subcommittee to ask them to appropriate additional funds to make up for these cuts. The Independent Living Program cannot meet the increasing needs of our consumers around the country with our current budget, and it will be absolutely impossible with even less money. We also need to continue our fight for increased IL funds, so please also use NCIL’s talking points to tell them how important the IL program is to their constituents with disabilities across the country! 

Letter from the Administration for Community Living

Dear colleagues,

As you know, funding allotments to the states are determined by multiple criteria as established in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. These include: (1) the congressional appropriation amount (2) state population as determined by census data, and (3) set-asides that include those required by statute as well as those that cover costs related to the administration of the programs.

In FY16, we faced an administrative cost that is not typical, and that cost caused state funding levels to be slightly lower than they otherwise would have been. That one-time cost was the result of issues with access to 2015 Part C funding for a number of CILs.

Specifically, when the IL program transferred from the Department of Education to the Administration for Community Living, it had unused ARRA Part C funds. Those funds expired on September 30, 2015.

Some grantees had been given guidance that the funds would be available for 90 days after the expiration date to reimburse obligations made before that date.

Unfortunately, that guidance was not accurate. When the funds expire, they are no longer available to grantees or to ACL. CILs that attempted to draw funds after September 30 to reimburse 2015 expenses were unable to do so, which created significant problems for some.

To offset these problems, ACL used a small portion of 2016 funds to reimburse the 2015 expenses that had been incurred in compliance with the incorrect guidance. We had planned to inform states of this decision at the time it was made but we have only recently realized that this message was never sent. We sincerely apologize for the oversight.

Again, this reduction in funding was a one-time cost due to an unusual circumstance. We know it is not ideal, but we believe it was the best solution available to a difficult problem. We are happy to discuss any additional questions and concerns. Veronica Hogan is our point of contact, and she can be reached at or 202-795-7365.


Bob Williams
Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities
Director, Independent Living Administration
300 C Street, SW
Room 1128
Washington DC 20201

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