For the first time in decades, a new report finds that total government spending on individuals with developmental disabilities has declined.
When adjusted for inflation, government funding fell 0.2 percent in 2011 as compared to the year prior, according to findings in the 2013 State of the States in Developmental Disabilities, a report produced by the University of Colorado.
That’s the slowest growth rate documented in at least 35 years, researchers said.
Overall government spending on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 2011 — the most recent year for which data is available — was $56.65 billion, the report found.
Of the funding distributed nationwide that year, about 20 percent went toward programs providing family supports, employment services, personal assistance and similar aid.
Almost 60 percent went toward residential settings for six or fewer people while 5 percent funded living environments with seven to 15 residents. State-run institutions with 16 or more residents received 11.5 percent of total spending and 3 percent went to institutions that were privately run.
Nearly 80 percent of government spending on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities was funneled through the Medicaid program in 2011, the report found. Other funding came from the states and federal programs like Social Security.