Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

How COVID-19 Stimulus Will Impact Folks with Disabilities in Maine, U.S.

Play

Monday, March 30, 2020   

PORTLAND, Maine -- President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion relief package to help most U.S. residents deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. But the bill doesn't detail how it affects people with disabilities who rely on Social Security disability income.

In Maine and elsewhere, this group has among the lowest income levels. Tucker Conley, a self-advocate and former board chair of the nonprofit Speaking Up For Us, said this worries him and others in the disability community.

"I've been kind of stressed out on trying to figure out, like, how this new stimulus package is going to affect me - or if it's not going to affect me at all, since I don't have work right now," Conley said.

Conley is unemployed and relies on Social Security. He didn't file income taxes in 2018 or 2019, and is worried this might prevent him from getting a $1,200 stimulus check.

But according to AARP, anyone receiving Social Security is eligible for the one-time stimulus payment. The Internal Revenue Service gets that information from a person's annual Social Security benefits statement.

Conley said the other big part of the coronavirus pandemic affecting folks with disabilities is dealing with being stuck at home.

"A lot of us are stranded inside and already suffer with self-isolation," he said. "So you can just imagine what a crisis like this would do, as a lot of us are lonely even without the crisis and being locked inside."

He noted that as group homes, day programs and other services are shut down and people are losing work, people with disabilities are at greater risk of a crisis.

Conley said he's lucky that his support staff is still coming to his apartment. Monique Stairs, interim executive director at Speaking Up For Us, said not all programming that serves people with disabilities is on hold.

"Some agencies are still providing a level of home supports, or the portion of their services that they can do as community supports in the home, they're still doing that," Stairs said. "But they've limited how many people the support staff have contact with."

The Office of MaineCare Services has expanded and approved the use of telehealth for all MaineCare providers. And the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is applying for an emergency waiver to keep some services running and stabilize the adult-care workforce with overtime, hazard pay, and childcare.


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021