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  • The Ask

    Use our advocacy tool to tell your members of Congress that direct support professionals need a standard occupational classification!

    The Details

    People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) leverage the services of direct support professionals (DSPs) in order to live and work in their homes and communities. However, low wages due to stagnant reimbursement rates have led to high turnover and vacancy rates in the DSP workforce. The loss of DSPs across the field has left many people without stable access to home- and community-based supports.

    Because we need data to understand the scope of the workforce crisis before we can fully solve the problem, the creation of a standard occupational classification (SOC) for DSPs is essential to ensuring people with I/DD have access to critical supports and services. A unique SOC for DSPs would help states and the federal government collect data on demographics and turnover rates. This, in turn, will help inform policies to address the workforce shortage. A DSP SOC will also help states more accurately set rates, which could positively impact DSP wages.

    Tell your members of Congress today to support the bipartisan “Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act” (H.R. 4779 / S. 1437), which requires the Office of Management and Budget to establish a separate category within the Standard Occupational Classification system for DSPs.

    Click the megaphone below to take action!

    Because we need data to understand the scope of the workforce crisis before we can fully solve the problem, the creation of a standard occupational classification (SOC) for DSPs is essential to ensuring people with I/DD have access to critical supports and services. A unique SOC for DSPs would help states and the federal government collect data on demographics and turnover rates. This, in turn, will help inform policies to address the workforce shortage. A DSP SOC will also help states more accurately set rates, which could positively impact DSP wages.

    Click here to make your VOICE heard!

    What Is the Family Glitch?

    Right now, people who do not have access to affordable health insurance through their jobs can get financial help to buy coverage in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

    But current rules only consider the cost of the insurance for the employee with the job and don’t take into account the cost of insurance for spouses, partners, dependents, or other family members.

    This means that families who need insurance but can’t afford the cost for the whole family on the employee’s plan aren’t guaranteed an affordable option.

    This “glitch” means that 5 million people, including adults and children with disabilities, don’t have access to affordable health coverage.

    The Biden Administration has proposed new rules that would fix the “family glitch,” which left millions of families—including the families of many people with disabilities—ineligible for financial help through the health care marketplace.

    We need your help to turn this proposal into reality so that all people can get affordable access to the health care they need!

    TAKE ACTION!

    The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides critical support for millions of people with disabilities and their families to be able to afford necessities like food and rent. But it has many rules that make it hard for people to save money and get out of poverty. SSI has an asset limit that has not been updated since 1989. Assets include money in bank accounts, property, and savings. Right now, people who get SSI can only have $2,000 in assets. Married couples can only have $3,000.

    These asset limits mean that people cannot save money and force people with disabilities into poverty.

    TAKE ACTION: Urge your U.S Senators to support people with disabilities and their families by cosponsoring the bipartisan SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act (S.4102) which would raise these asset limits.

    TAKE ACTION NOW!

    It’s time for a HISTORIC investment in disability funding, so everyone can get the support they need to live in their community – instead of in institutions.

    People with disabilities rely on home and community-based services (HCBS) for everyday things like employment supports, getting around the community, dressing, bathing, taking medication, and much more.

    But there isn’t enough money in the HCBS program to support everyone. Too many people are stuck on waiting lists and not getting the services they need. Direct care workers are underpaid, which leads to high turnover, critical staffing shortages, and compromised care for many people with disabilities. All too often, this means unpaid family caregivers are filling in the gaps of care.

    The good news is that the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the Build Back Better Act, which included $150 billion is HCBS funding. This critical funding will support millions of people with disabilities access the services needed to live independently. Now it’s time for the Senate to act so this bill can be signed into law!

    Click here to advocate!

    RAISE YOUR VOICE NOW!

    After decades of underfunding, we are SO CLOSE to significant investment in supports and services for New Yorkers with I/DD and the dedicated staff who support them.

    IT’S NOT OVER YET!

    The final budget will be determined in the next few days, and we’re calling on you to take just 30 seconds to send a message to the Governor and your legislators voicing your support for the proposed 11% Cost of Living increase. This investment would finally make meaningful progress toward stabilizing our workforce and sustaining our system of essential supports and services.

    YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

    Tell state leaders it’s time to invest in care, opportunity, and equality for New Yorkers with I/DD NOW!  Click here to take action!

    Yesterday, advocates and members of Congress gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. to show their support for disability rights, including a much-needed investment in Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS), which play a vital role in helping people with disabilities to live independently in the community.

    Now, we need you to help us keep the pressure on!

    Click here to take action or text HCBS to 52886.

    Please tell your Senators we need a recovery bill that includes people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional workforce, because NO ONE should be left behind!

    Under the leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul, the Executive Budget included significant investment in the I/DD service delivery system, which speaks to her desire to solve issues facing New Yorkers head-on.

    Following the release of the one-house budget proposes by both the Senate and Assembly, we believe the State Assembly’s proposed 11% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase is the most straightforward and effective way to allocate the significant investment that Governor Hochul proposed in her Executive Budget.

    Urge your legislators to support this proposal as part of the final budget agreement!

    Click here to Advocate!

    Both houses of the State Legislature released their respective budget measures. The one-house measures outline each Chamber’s priorities. The release of the one-house budget bills is the next step before negotiations between the Assembly, Senate and Governor begin.

    The Executive Budget proposal contained a 5.4% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). The Senate one-house bill accepted the Executive’s COLA proposal. The Assembly one-house measure increased the COLA to 11%.

    With nearly 2 weeks to go before the final State Budget needs to be in place, it’s time to advocate for this important increase to the COLA.

    Please contact your members in the Assembly and Senate tourge support for the 11% COLA.

    You can do this by sending a pre-set message using the One-Click Advocacy Tool found here bit.ly/11percentCOLA . Simply add your first name, last name, email address, street address and zip code to the section ADD YOUR INFO, then hit SEND MESSAGE.

    Once complete, your voice will be heard in Albany.

    NY Alliance and NYDA also seek the inclusion of a PERSONAL INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR DSPS in the final State Budget. The message to legislators includes this budget request and the provisions are outlined in specific bills, S7643-A/A9200-A.

    Investment in New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) has been woefully neglected for more than a decade!

    After many years of disinvestment, this year’s executive budget proposal signals a new day of partnership in rebuilding supports and services for children and adults with I/DD and their families. Last month, Governor Hochul released her executive budget, which included historic investments for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Direct Support Professionals, including a 5.4% cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA), staff bonuses, and an 11% funding increase for special education.

    However, changes must still be made to certain Mental Health and Education provisions to ensure New Yorkers with I/DD are afforded the best opportunities possible.

    Urge your representatives to include these proposed investments in the final budget with these additional proposals! Click here to advocate!

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