House Of Representatives Passes Build Back Better Act, Contact Your Senators Today

On the morning of Friday, November 19, the Build Back Better Act passed the House, including the $150 billion investment in home and community-based services for people with disabilities. Thank you to Nicole Jorwic and others at The Arc; Nicole has worked endlessly on this and The Arc will keep up the drum beat and get this through the Senate as fast as we possibly can. Keep your eye out for our renewed action alert with a focus on the Senate!

And thank you all for the advocacy you have done on this! We’re not done yet, but you and every single advocate who has reached out to Congress are a huge part of why we have gotten this far and why we will get this over the finish line!

Summary of Disability Policy Provisions in Build Back Better as passed by the House, November 19, 2021:

Home and Community-Based Services

  • $150 billion over 10 years for home and community-based services (HCBS) to eliminate waiting lists for services and bolster pay for direct care workers
  • Making the Money Follows the Person program permanent to help people with disabilities who want to leave congregate care and transition to live in their own home and community with supportive services

Education and Child Care

  • $390 billion investment in universal pre-school for all 3- and 4-year-olds
  • $160 million investment in IDEA Part D (legislation that ensures students with disabilities are provided with free, appropriate, tailored education) to help develop personnel working with students with disabilities
  • $25 million investment for behavioral health needs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Families earning up to 250% of the state median income will not have to pay more than 7% of their income on childcare
  • States will need to create plans that prioritize increasing access to inclusive childcare and pre-school programs for children with disabilities

Housing

  • $150 billion investment in affordable housing supports, including funding for vouchers, rental assistance, and other public housing improvements
    • The proposed funding for new vouchers is estimated to help 138,000 people with disabilities receive affordable, accessible housing
  • The proposal also includes a $100 million investment in the Section 811 and 202 programs for people with disabilities and seniors to provide rental assistance to create more supportive housing

Paid Leave

  • 4 weeks of guaranteed paid and medical leave for all workers, which will help people with disabilities take time off for medical reasons and will help family members to provide care for a loved one without risk of losing their job

Child Tax Credit

  • Extending the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which provides more than 35 million households up to $3,600 per year in tax cuts per child; the proposed legislation will extend this program for the year of 2022, providing payments to nearly 90% of American children
    • The legislation includes permanent refundability for the CTC, meaning that the neediest families will continue to receive the full CTC over the long run

Earned Income Tax Credit

  • Extending the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for around 17 million low-wage workers, which will help low-wage childless workers, many with disabilities, who have previously been taxed into deeper poverty

SSI Reforms

  • Extend SSI to residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, which would finally eliminate a critical gap in SSI coverage and provide access to SSI for hundreds of thousands of US citizens with disabilities who live in U.S. territories

Health Care

  • Permanently expanding Medicaid eligibility to millions of Americans who previously fell within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage gap; closing this coverage gap will allow up to 4 million uninsured Americans to gain access to coverage
  • Expanding hearing benefits to the traditional Medicaid program

Other Disability Policy Proposals

  • Disability employment supports, including funding for pre-apprenticeship programs and funding to businesses and organizations that are working to phase out programs that pay people with disabilities sub-minimum wage
  • Administration for Community Living grants to help expand community mental and behavioral health programs
  • Funding for projects to upgrade the accessibility of public transportation services

Contact your Senator! Let’s get Build Back Better passed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *