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Advocacy Spotlight

DRP Successfully Advocates for People Who Become Disabled While Receiving Childcare Subsidies

DRP contacted the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (“OCDEL”) on behalf of Pennsylvanians who become disabled while receiving the PA Childcare Works childcare subsidy and were having their benefits terminated earlier than the regulations allow.  The current regulations allow a recipient of the subsidy who becomes disabled to continue in the program for 183 days.  OCDEL administers the Childcare Works program though Early Learning Centers that were applying proposed revisions that only continue the subsidy until the recipient’s next redetermination for eligibility.  In some cases that redetermination could be less than 183 days from the date of disability.  DRP advised OCDEL that recipients who become disabled cannot have their subsidy terminated earlier than the current regulations allow and encouraged OCDEL to apply either the current regulations, or the proposed regulatory changes, whichever would be most beneficial to recipients with disabilities.   OCDEL agreed to this change in policy and to require the Early Learning Centers to allow recipients who become disabled while receiving the subsidy to continue in the program for either 183 days, or until their next redetermination, whichever period is longer.