Action Alert: COVID-19

March 26, 2020

Congress and the administration are responding to the COVID-19 crisis in a variety of ways. It is important in the fast-moving decision process that the various relief and safety efforts meet the needs of people with disabilities. The latest congressional COVID-19 response addressed many of those needs, but more work is needed! Staff need to continue to hear from YOU! Members of Congress - EVERYONE in the House and Senate - need to hear from you immediately. This important step shows your voice matters! .

Congressional efforts:

 Bill

 Status

What is means for People with Disabilities

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020

Became Law on
March 6, 2020

The bill requires that agencies "pay back" money that was moved from programs like NIDILRR and emergency heat funding when the crisis began. 

Families First Coronavirus
Response Act

Became law on March 19, 2020

Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. Increased paid leave. Enhanced Unemployment Insurance to people unable to work. Increased funding for food security programs.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act)

 

 

Passed Senate March 25, 2020

Vote planned in House on March 27, 2020

  • Allows state Medicaid programs to pay for direct support professionals to assist disabled individuals in the hospital
  • $13.5 billion available for formula grants to States, which will then distribute 90 percent of funds to local educational agencies to meet needs of all students, including students with disabilities
  • $85 million for Centers for Independent Living
  • $50,000,000 for Aging and Disability Resource Centers
  • Extension of Money Follows the Person and Spousal Impoverishment through November 30, 2020
  • Waives nutrition requirements for Older Americans Act (OAA) meal programs during the public health emergency related to COVID-19 to ensure seniors can get meals in case certain food options are not available

 

Package 4 and beyond

Almost certainly needed

Your voices are needed to make sure the needs of people with disabilities are addressed!

Take Action Today! Bullhorn Icon

Contact your Congressional Delegation:

  1. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091 (tty) and ask to be connected to your member.
  2. You can use this easy tool to find your members of Congress.
  3. Tip: Most Hill offices now have some or all of their staff working from home. If you can email the staff member that handles disability or health policy directly you can have the greatest impact. If you need assistance finding that email, please send a request for help to [email protected]

Questions IconThank members for the work to date and the ways people with disabilities were impacted by the first three relief packages. Share your experience about what is still needed. Use the following in your calls or emails:

Hello, this is [Name]. I'm a resident of [Town, State].
I am [calling/writing] [Senator's or Representative's Name] to thank you for addressing some of the needs of people with disabilities in the third coronavirus legislative package. The next COVID-19 response package needs to address the growing needs of people with disabilities, who are especially impacted by this crisis. Future legislation must:

  • Build on the investments made to support systems for older Americans. We must fund the systems that support people with disabilities, including UCEDDS and LENDS. Disabled Americans is considered at risk and our existing systems have shifted to meet new and growing needs and must be supported in this effort.
  • Protect the rights of the disabled in the face of rationing of care
  • Increase funding for CDC State and Disability Health Programs
  • Provide an additional $20 billion Home and Community Based Services to meet the emergency need
  • Increase SNAP and Meals on Wheels funding and expand eligibility to include people with disabilities

Social Media Social Media Icon

Thank you [@Senator] for including the needs of #PWD in your negotiations. #WhatWeNeed continues! Please #ListenToUs as the #disabled are impacted by #Coronavirus.

[@MemberofCongress] we need you! Include the needs of #PWD in the next #COVID-19 legislation. #WhatWeNeed Please #ListenToUs as the #disabled are impacted by #Coronavirus.