Congress must account for the needs of people with disabilities, their 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!
People with disabilities are particularly at risk for the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 that are currently facing the entire country. Because people with disabilities are more likely to have underlying health conditions and live in poverty, they will be disproportionately impacted and need ongoing support to maintain a safe, healthy lifestyle.
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 (which will minimize the risk of people with disabilities being forced into institutions) and to support the DSP workforce.
- Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the health and safety of direct support professionals. DSPs must be designated as an essential workforce so that they have access to the PPE and medical supplies they need.
- Paid leave for caregivers. As more people with disabilities face gaps in 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.