Rep. Linda Sánchez Urges Gov. Schwarzenegger to Stop Furlough for Employees at State's Disability Services

February 17, 2009
Press Release
Washington, DC - Rep. Linda Sánchez and 22 other members of the California Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urging him to exempt Disability Determination Services (DDS) employees of the California Department of Social Services from the statewide furlough.

While technically employed by the state, the federal government is responsible for 100 percent of DDS salaries and operating costs. As a result, any money saved by forcing these federally funded employees to take two-day furloughs cannot be used to offset the state’s budget deficit.

“Governor Schwarzenegger’s mandatory furlough has cut the income of working families, putting an additional strain on our already weakened economy and affecting employees who aren’t even funded by the state,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez. “Because obligating DDS employees to observe two days of unpaid leave has no State fiscal impact, I strongly urge the Governor to exempt these employees from the furlough.”

The Social Security Administration provides retirement, survivors and disability benefits to a large number of California residents, including $1.1 billion every month in Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits to over 1.3 million disabled California residents. Disability Determination Service employees are responsible for providing service to the disabled population in California.

“Given California’s economic struggles, the Governor’s furlough of DDS employees is especially perplexing because it will only create a delay in case processing time and unnecessarily increase existing claims backlogs without reducing the Governor’s budget deficit,” continued Sánchez. “During these tough economic times, we cannot afford a plan that impedes assistance to the disabled.”