Office for People With Developmental Disabilities – Cost-of-Living Adjustment


The enacted 2023/2024 New York State Budget contained a provision for the establishment of a four percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to be effective April 1, 2023. The Budget further identified that the COLA was targeted for the effects of inflation upon rates of payments, contracts, or any other forms of reimbursement for designated programs including those designated programs under the jurisdiction of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Additionally, the Budget identified that “each local government unit or direct contract provider receiving funding for the cost-of-living adjustment established herein shall submit a written certification, in such form and at such time as each commissioner shall prescribe, attesting how such funding will be or was used to first promote the recruitment and retention of non-executive direct care staff, non-executive direct support professionals, non-executive clinical staff, or to respond to other critical non-personal service costs prior to supporting any salary increases or other compensation for executive level job titles.”  Furthermore, it is the expectation of OPWDD that providers communicate to employees and stakeholders how the COLA will be expended in their organizations.  Within ARISE, the COLA was expended to promote the recruitment and retention of non-executive direct care staff by increasing the wages of Direct Support Professionals working in the Respite programs and Job Coaches working in the Employment program as well as certain OPWDD coordinator positions.   These decisions were based on considerations of internal equity among all OPWDD-funded positions.