CCD Response to the President's FY 2017 Budget Request

February 9, 2016

Contact: Kim Musheno, CCD Board Chair; (301) 588-8252

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)  today released the following statement following the release of the President FY 2017 budget proposal.  CCD is a coalition of over 110 national consumer, provider, and advocacy organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration, and inclusion of the 54 million children and adults with disabilities living in the United States.

(Washington, DC.)  February 9, 2016 -- The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is encouraged that the Administration's Budget for FY 2017 maintains investments in many important programs that support the health and well-being of people with disabilities, preserves the structure of Medicaid, and recognizes the need for a balanced approach to deficit reduction while calling for important investments in early childhood, employment for people with disabilities, caregiver supports, veterans services and health care.  CCD also applauds the Administration for not including a harmful benefit cut that had appeared in several prior budgets-a proposal to cut Social Security Disability Insurance by the amount of any Unemployment Insurance received by a beneficiary who attempted to return to work but lost their job through no fault of their own. CCD has strongly opposed proposals to cut these earned benefits.

There are many exciting proposals in the budget that will result in greater independence for people with disabilities. Significant proposed investments in Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the preschool program under IDEA, Head Start, Early Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant will help make sure more children with disabilities get the best start possible. However, we are disappointed that IDEA Part B and Title I ESSA state grants are flat funded. The budget proposes increasing funding for the vocational rehabilitation program that helps jobseekers with disabilities find jobs. In addition, the Social Security Administration would receive increased funding to operate its programs that provide a financial lifeline for millions of people with disabilities and their families. Finally, increased funding for respite services and the expanded eligibility for unemployment insurance will benefit family caregivers of persons with disabilities who must leave a job due to compelling reasons like family illness, and mandates the provision of at least 26 weeks of benefits.

Unfortunately, the budget fails to provide any funding for new units under the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance (811 PRA) program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Proposed funding is only sufficient to maintain existing units. New 811 PRA units are urgently needed to address the nationwide crisis in integrated, affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities.

CCD will work with Congress to restore cuts to vital services and supports and to build on investments for improving the lives of people with disabilities.