Congress must include the needs of people with disabilities, family caregivers, and the direct support professional (DSP) workforce in the next coronavirus relief legislation – there is so much at stake. Contact your Members of Congress now!
The entire country is facing the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, but people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable. People with disabilities are more likely to have underlying health conditions and live in poverty – this means that they will be disproportionately impacted and need ongoing support.
Ask your Member of Congress to pass a bill that addresses the specific and critical needs of people with disabilities during this pandemic, including:
- Funding for a Medicaid grant program to support access to home and community-based services (to minimize the risk of people with disabilities being forced into institutions) and to support the DSP workforce.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the health and safety of direct support professionals. DSPs must be designated as essential workforce so that they have access to the PPE and medical supplies they need.
- Paid leave for caregivers. As more people with disabilities lose their usual sources of care, family caregivers are scrambling and need access to paid leave and sick days to help their loved ones.
- Help for people on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to access Recovery Rebates. People with disabilities on SSI are being asked to file needless paperwork in order to access economic stimulus payments. Congress should tell federal agencies to use their existing authority to share data and file for people on SSI.