CCD Response to the President's FY2015 Budget Request

March 5, 2014

Contact: Katy Beh Neas, CCD Board Chair; 202-347-3066

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) today released the following statement following the release of the President FY 2015 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.

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is encouraged that the Administration's Budget for FY 2015 maintains investments in many important programs that support the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities, restores some of the devastating sequestration cuts, 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, veterans services and health care.

There are many exciting proposals in the budget that will result in greater independence for people with disabilities. The budget proposes increasing funding for the vocational rehabilitation program that helps jobseekers with disabilities find jobs and by proposing new funds for the Workforce Investment Act Incentive Grants to serve individuals with disabilities, veterans and other populations with significant barriers to employment. In addition, there are also proposed increases in funding for the Section 811 program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development which will increase housing options for people with disabilities. Finally, the budget leaves the safety net for people with disabilities provided by Medicaid intact and does not include a change to the "chained CPI" which would significantly reduce Social Security and other benefits over time.

However, CCD is concerned that several cuts and structural changes are proposed to programs that support our most vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities. We are disappointed that the budget calls for reducing Social Security benefits for workers who concurrently receive Unemployment Insurance (UI). This reduction in benefits could single out workers with disabilities who receive Social Security for differential treatment under the UI program, create disincentives for work, and harm the economic security of Social Security disability beneficiaries and their families. In addition, some of the cost-sharing and other proposals to Medicare could result in an increased burden for beneficiaries with disabilities and decreased utilization of necessary services.

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.