New Stimulus Package Fails to Provide Proper Assistance for the Disability Community

Congress Ignores Requests for Extra Funding to Keep Individuals with Disabilities Safer During COVID 

The new $900 Billion stimulus relief package signed into law at the end of December has once again failed to provide appropriate support for many Americans with disabilities. Similar to last March’s $2 Trillion CARES Act, adults with disabilities who are claimed as dependents for tax purposes are ineligible for the $600 stimulus relief checks this relief package provides. However, individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income and not claimed as dependents are eligible to receive a stimulus relief check. Additionally, this new legislation delivers no dedicated funding for home- and community-based services for people with disabilities who are or trying to transition out of congregate care settings where transmission of the coronavirus has had a massive impact. A provision in the earlier CARES Act, expanded paid leave from work for parents needing to care for their children with developmental disabilities during the pandemic. This new relief package let that provision expire at the end of 2020. Advocates and supporters of the disability community made nearly 150,000 calls and emails to their congressional representatives in recent months requesting more support for those with disabilities. Unfortunately, those requests went unheard. 

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