Diplomats who have kids with special needs say Pompeo is ignoring their pleas: report

A group representing nearly 1,400 families of State Department diplomats is reportedly urging Secretary Mike Pompeo to stop the cuts to their disability and health benefits.

The Foreign Service Families With Disabilities Alliance warned Pompeo in a May letter that the department’s Bureau of Medical Services was taking “deleterious actions” to cut funding required under disability law, Foreign Policy reported Tuesday.

{mosads}“Increasingly, Foreign Service employees are choosing to conceal issues related to their children’s educational and health needs rather than suffer career and family repercussions,” the letter reads, according to FP.

The cuts are having a negative effect on business at the State Department, according to the group, which argues that diplomats are hesitant to take up important posts for fear of having the quality of their children’s care further eroded.

One incident reported to FP by two State Department officials involved an employee who was asked to repay approximately $40,000 after being informed that tens of thousands of dollars in medical care approved for a child with special needs was a “mistake.”

“They’re saying, ‘Oh, we’re sorry we gave you that money we shouldn’t have given you years ago. You owe us $40,000,’ ” said an unidentified department employee.

The letter comes following a 2015 FP investigation that found that the department had arbitrarily cut funding for children with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while also revoking medical clearances for some families required for foreign State Department postings.

A State Department spokeswoman responded to the group’s letter in a statement to FP, saying that leadership “continues to work toward a solution” to the disability benefit funding issue.

“Our diplomats would not be able to perform their jobs without the support of their families, which is why it is important that we address their needs,” the spokeswoman said, according to FP.

Tags Children with special needs Disabilities Healthcare Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo State Department

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