COVID-19: Contact Your Legislators To Ensure Federal Legislation That Supports People With Disabilities And Their Families Across The Country

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are facing threats to their health and wellbeing due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Congress has recently passed two important Coronavirus packages, which have been signed by President Trump, but this is just a start in addressing this crisis. More action must be taken to support people with disabilities and their families!

The recent legislation enacted includes the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes:

  • Agencies are required to “pay back” money that was moved from programs like National Institute on Disability Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and emergency heat funding when the crisis began
  • A 6.2% increase in federal reimbursement for state Medicaid programs (FMAP), which will help state governments in their efforts to combat the pandemic
  • Emergency requirements for all health insurers to cover COVID-19 testing
  • Expanded nutrition assistance and crucial waivers for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and school meals
  • Expanded unemployment insurance
  • Limited paid sick day and paid leave provisions that do not explicitly include caregivers for people with disabilities.

Unfortunately, these bills did not include caretaking for adults with disabilities or seniors whose programs have closed or whose workers are sick, which we hope will get addressed in the next package.

The Arc needs your help to reach out to legislators to ensure that the next package more directly covers the unique needs of people with disabilities, their families and the direct support workforce.

The Senate now takes the lead on drafting this new package, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that Senate will stay in session until it passes, so now is the time to reach out to your Senators AND Representatives.

TAKE ACTION NOW

You can also call or email your Members of Congress directly in their offices. Here is a list of phone numbers and staff emails for MA House and Senate offices. Please note to share with the office’s Health Legislative Assistant (LA).

Senator Edward Markey
202-224-2742 sarah_butler@markey.senate.gov

Senator Elizabeth Warren
202-224-4543 scheduling@warren.senate.gov

Representative Ayanna Pressley
202-225-5111 pressley.schedule@mail.house.gov

Representative William Keating
202-225-3111 david.oleksak@mail.house.gov

Representative Joseph Kennedy III
202-225-5931 nate.matteson@mail.house.gov

Representative Stephen Lynch
202-225-8273 megan.hollingshead@mail.house.gov

Representative James McGovern
202-225-6101 daniel.holt@mail.house.gov

Representative Katherine Clark
202-225-2836 judah.piepho@mail.house.gov

Representative Lori Trahan
202-225-3411 lisa.degou@mail.house.gov

Representative Richard Neal
202-225-5601 tim.ranstrom@mail.house.gov

Representative Seth Moulton
202-225-8020 asher.macdonald@mail.house.gov

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