A local disabled woman is upset and feels discriminated against

Courtney Smith faces drastic cuts to her assisted care hours.

Courtney Smith has been in a wheelchair her entire life. A birth defect left her disabled and unable to perform daily tasks on her own.

She currently receives 70 hours of assisted care a week under pediatric care of Texas Medicaid.

In less than two months, the hours of assisted care she receives could drop to just 43, when she transitions into adult care.

"That's making it where I'm not able to survive in the community," Smith said. She said the options of an adult daycare or a nursing home won't allow her to be a part of the community and do the things she wants to.

"My goal is to go to college, and to get a job' because I have the cognitive ability to do that," Smith said.

Smith moved back to Amarillo from San Antonio with the hopes of attending West Texas A&M University.

She said she feels upset and discriminated against because of the restrictions on the amount of assisted care she can.

"Just because we're disabled doesn't mean we can't live freely like a normal person would."

Doctor Rolf Habersang said situations like this aren't uncommon.

"Finances are a major problem," he said. "Many of the Medicaid services are going up to age 21 and after that there is nothing."

He said if an individual has a qualified disease, then they are able to receive Medicare and other services.

Unfortunately for Smith, her assessment indicated she did not qualify for the maximum of 56 hours of assisted care.

"It's a question of priorities," Habersang said. "The priorities obviously need to be different when you look at her specific situation."