For Immediate Release: March 12, 2021
Contact: Rachita Singh, email@example.com
Washington, D.C. – One year after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Congress has passed and the President has signed into law a critical pandemic relief package with funding that will specifically benefit people with disabilities and help our communities survive.
The American Rescue Plan includes nearly $13 billion in funding for home and community based services (HCBS), as well as other critical funding and provisions that our communities have desperately needed. This funding will make it possible for more people with disabilities to live independently in their homes and receive needed support in community, rather than institutions that have become even more deadly during the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan also importantly includes adult dependents in COVID relief stimulus payments, which will ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from this critical financial relief. Additionally, this COVID-19 relief bill includes many other provisions that will support all Americans, including people with disabilities, surviving the rest of the pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan includes extensions of tax credits and public assistance increases that are critical to enable Americans to weather this economic and health crisis, and so much more. At a time when access to affordable healthcare could not be more important, the new law also bolsters the Affordable Care Act and improves affordability of the healthcare marketplace through expanding and extending available subsidies. The American Rescue Plan also includes $4 billion in funding for programs that provide mental health services and supports, including greater support for mobile crisis units and for children’s mental health programs. Importantly, the plan provides $3 billion for programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
These victories for the disability community in the American Rescue Plan have been hard won through the tireless advocacy of people with disabilities, disability organizations, and our allies in the broader civil rights community and in Congress itself. We join in this moment of celebration, and we are ready for the advocacy ahead of us to maintain and extend this necessary increase in funding for HCBS beyond this one year of increased funding, end the institutional bias, end subminimum wage, and ensure that people with disabilities are included and prioritized in our country’s recovery from this pandemic.
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The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 56 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com.