Local News
3:58 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

ACLU Sues Indiana Over Changes in Disabled Woman's Benefits

A lawsuit filed against Indiana's social services agency claims it wrongly barred a 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.

Steimel has cerebral palsy and other medical needs.

The lawsuit says changes in the criteria for programs run by the Family and Social Services Administration that help disabled people live independently have significantly reduced her benefits.    As a result, Steimel will probably have to move into an institution.

"She’s been told that it’s likely to take effect in the next couple of weeks.   It’s about to force her to come to a point where she has to make a very, very difficult decision," said Gavin Rose, an ACLU staff attorney. 

Rose says the suit seeks a court order to restore Steimel’s original benefits, and that the case be certified as a class action to protect others in a similar situation.

An FSSA spokeswoman says the agency has no comment.