The Arizona Daily Star and ProPublica want to hear about your experiences with intellectual and developmental disabilities services. Join storytelling coaches, journalists and the Detour Company Theatre on July 8 to get involved.
One in four Americans is disabled, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey released Thursday “At some point in their lives, most people will either have a disability or know someone who has a one,” Coleen Boyle, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said in a written statement. Read Binghui Huang’s story here.
Former U.S. Treasury economist Ernie Tedeschi wrote a guest column for the New York Times analyzing recent labor force employment data. Tedeschi sourced his information from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and discovered promising signs that people with disabilities are returning to the labor force. Check out Tedeschi’s full report in NYT and readers’ comments about why the trend is occurring.
Yesterday The Washington Post debuted a five-part series about federal disability benefits their growth in rural communities. The story summary explains “Between 1996 and 2015, the number of working-age adults receiving federal disability payments increased significantly across the country, but nowhere more so than in rural America. In this series, The Washington Post explores how disability is shaping the culture, economy and politics of these small communities.”
The Social Security Administration faces a growing backlog of applications for disability benefits. Budget cuts have left the agency understaffed and slow to hold hearings with administrative judges responsible for reviewing cases.
“The average wait for a hearing is 602 days. Five years ago, it was less than a year,” writes reporter Stephen Ohlemacher for the Associated Press/Denver Post. Click here to read his full article.
The House has passed legislation to create tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities. Passed by a vote of 404-17, the bill known as the ABLE Act is intended to help Americans with disabilities pay for the associated expenses, including medical costs and finding employment. Read more
A former New York City police officer pleaded guilty to charges of defrauding the Social Security Administration on Wednesday. Prosecutors said Joseph Esposito helped police officers, firefighters and other city workers obtain disability benefits by faking mental illnesses. Read more.
Medicaid-financed services are essential in helping millions of people living with disabilities quite literally survive. However, there is a major flaw in the oft-debated Medicaid system that is starting to be addressed by members of both parties in Congress– namely, that people with disabilities have to live, “officially at least, as a pauper.” In order to receive life-long care, Medicare recipients cannot have money saved away (as in a college fund for children) and must continue working to receive continued funding.
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013 would allow people with disabilities to establish savings accounts to be used for a variety of purposes, including education, housing, assistive technology and other basic needs. ABLE, sponsored by more than 400 members of Congress, is on the legislative agenda again this year and is expected to be voted on in the coming weeks. Read more.