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Many Still Waiting for Disability Services

Gov. Rick Scott announced the state is increasing to 1,600 the number of people with critical needs moving off the waiting list for disability services.

Thursday's announcementis an increase from the 750 people the state said it would help in May. As Health News Floridareported, there were about 22,000 people on the waiting list overall at that time.

Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities said the whole waiting list is still about 22,000 people, because as some people are moved off the list, others are signing up.

"We have a large list, but not everyone on that list has critical needs," said Melanie Etters, the agency's communications director. 

The additional people who will be offered services account for more than half of the individuals with critical needs who are on the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver waiting list, according to a news release from the governor.

Lottie Watts covers health and health policy for Health News Florida, now a part of WUSF Public Media. She also produces Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.