American Story and the Strengthen Social Security Coalition Asking
Individuals to Submit Stories About What SSDI Means to Them
to providing the foundation for a secure retirement, Social Security
protects nearly all American workers and their families in the event
that they experience a life-changing disability or illness before
retirement. More than 160 Americans are protected by Social Security
Disability Insurance and about 8.9 million disabled workers receive
benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance is coverage workers
earn—only those with the most serious disabilities and illnesses
meet the strict criteria to qualify for benefits. While benefits
are modest—averaging just $1,140 per month—for millions of Americans,
Social Security Disability Insurance is nothing short of a lifeline.
As important as Social
Security Disability Insurance is to American workers and their families,
the program has come under attack in both Congress and in the media,
and is at risk of cuts. That’s why we’re partnering with the Strengthen
Social Security Coalition in asking you to share your story about
why Social Security Disability Insurance is vital to you and your
family. We want to highlight as many stories as we can for policymakers
and the media in order to illustrate why Social Security Disability
Insurance should be strengthened, not cut. Here is how you can share
your story and take action:
Submit your story about
what Social Security Disability Insurance means to you and your
family by answering questions such as the following:
• What is your disability, and how did it change your life? What
kind of work did you do before turning to Social Security Disability
• How long have you been receiving benefits? How much do you get
in benefits, and what do you spend your benefits on?
• Do you struggle to make ends meet? What would happen if your benefits
were cut? What would you do without Social Security Disability Insurance?
• Do you live with family? How does Social Security Disability Insurance
help you support your family or household?
Advocates and service providers—we’d love to hear from you, too!
Submit a story about someone you know for whom Social Security Disability
Insurance is a lifeline.
here to submit your story.
DRNJ and other agencies are receiving reports that a scam is occurring
regarding the Section 8 waiting list in New Jersey. Individuals
and families are being directed to a website (http://section8programs.com/newjersey)
which is being falsely identified as a State of NJ website.
This is not a State of
NJ website. It requests credit card information, and is clearly
a fraudulent site. This is a concern for everyone who may be inquiring
about Section 8 housing and does not pertain to any particular disability
Please share this scam
alert as widely as possible with individuals, families and provider
staff, and reiterate that there should never be money paid to be
put on a Section 8 housing wait list or any Public Housing wait
list. (Developers may require an application fee for apartments
- to cover background checks).
of Wisconsin - Madison Research Study
To participate in this
study, please use the following link: https://uwmadison.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9mBLjVV14yPtgKV
County Opens Section 8 Waiting List
Warren County Housing Authority has opened its waiting list for
Federal Section 8 Housing Vouchers. We are not sure how many remain
open at this time. They are taking up to 500 names with priority
for Warrant County residents but are also accepting applications
from out of county. The Phillipsburg Public Housing Authority also
has subsidized units available. For more information, contact: Warren
County Housing Office Belvidere, NJ 908-475-3989 or Phillipsburg
Housing Authority Pburg, NJ 908-859-0122 http://www.phillipsburghousingauthority.com/
Publishes New EPSDT Benefits Guide for Children and Youth
for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just published a
go-to resource for anyone interested in improving child health:
EPSDT - A Guide for State Coverage in the Medicaid Benefit for Children
and Adolescents. The Guide was produced by CMS in collaboration
with the National Health Law Program, under subcontract to the NORC
at the University of Chicago.
The Guide is intended to help states, health care providers and
others to understand the scope of services that are covered under
EPSDT so that they may realize EPSDT's goals and provide the best
possible child and adolescent health benefit through their Medicaid
here to download a copy of the guide.
Settlement Aims at Ending Exploitation of Disabled Workers
Justice Department has entered into the nation’s first statewide
settlement agreement vindicating the civil rights of individuals
with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered
workshops and facility-based day programs. The agreement with the
State of Rhode Island will resolve violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) for approximately 3,250 Rhode Islanders with
intellectual and developmental disabilities. This first-of-its-kind
statewide agreement addresses the rights of people with disabilities
to receive state-funded employment and daytime services in integrated
settings, such as supported employment and integrated day services,
rather than in segregated sheltered workshops and facility-based
day programs with only other people with disabilities. The agreement
also provides relief to transition-age youth at risk of segregation
in facility-based programs. Under the agreement, transition-age
youth will have access to a wide array of transition, vocational
rehabilitation, and supported employment services intended to lead
to integrated employment outcomes after they leave secondary school.
The parties have jointly filed the settlement in federal district
court and have requested that it be entered as a court-enforceable
more general information about the Justice Department’s ADA Olmstead
enforcement efforts, visit the Civil Rights Division’s Olmstead:
Community Integration for Everyone website. To find out
more about the ADA, visit Division’s ADA.gov website.
and Veterans Community Resources Directory
the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched
a new database to help contractors find qualified workers with disabilities
and veterans, and to assist contractors with establishing relationships
with national organizations and local community groups that have
access to these workers.
as well as others, can visit OFCCP’s Disability and Veterans Community
Resources Directory on the OFCCP Web site at
For more information and resources, visit http://www.AskEARN.org.
Least Restrictive Environment Cases Settles
years of litigation, the case of Disability Rights New Jersey v.
New Jersey Department of Education, which seeks to ensure that students
with disabilities in New Jersey are educated in the "least
restrictive environment." has been settled.
For a copy of the the press release click
here. For a copy of the settlement agreement click
I Eligible for Medicaid or The Children's Health Insurance Program?
and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health
coverage to nearly 60 million Americans, including children, pregnant
women, parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities. Under
the health care law, Medicaid eligibility is expanding in many states,
and more people than ever will qualify for Medicaid starting in
2014. Find out if you may be eligible for Medicaid by clicking on
the link https://www.healthcare.gov/do-i-qualify-for-medicaid/
Attorney and NY Law School Professor Publish Article
staff attorney, Alison Lynch, and NY Law School professor, Michael
Perlin, recently published "Toiling in the Danger and in the
Morals of Despair: Risk, Security, Danger, the Constitution, and
the Clinician's Dilemma". This article examines the intricacies
of risk assessment and dangerousness prediction in the forensic
mentally ill population by comparing national and international
legal standards. It also discusses the ambiguities in the law that
leave clinicians with difficult decisions to make when evaluating
the publication, go to http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2363494
DRNJ was acknowledged by the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis
LLP at their eighth annual pro bono awards reception. DRNJ was recognized
with two separate awards for work providing free legal services
to individuals with limited resources.
On April 29, DRNJ was
selected by the National Disability Rights Network to be a Parent
Center Protection and Advocacy Agency. Only three P & A agencies
throughout the United States were accorded this honor. DRNJ will
be providing technical assistance to develop educational resources
for NDRN’s Parent Center Network.
On May 3, the League
of Women Voters of New Jersey honored Mary Ciccone, Managing Attorney
for Disability Rights New Jersey, at their Hurricane Heroes Cocktail
Reception & Awards Ceremony. Mary, along with other individuals
and organizations, worked tirelessly to ensure that New Jersey voters
could participate in the 2012 General Election in the aftermath
of Hurricane Sandy.
On May 11, Advancing
Opportunities honored DRNJ at their Spring Gala. DRNJ was honored
for its outstanding work advancing the independence of children
and adults with all types of disabilities.
Christie Announces Settlement of Olmstead Litigation During Budget
Governor Christie used
the occasion of his budget address to announce a settlement in litigation
brought by Disability Rights New Jersey involving moving individuals
who no longer want to live in the state’s developmental centers
and providing services to individuals in the community on the Division
of Developmental Disabilities’ waiting list.
To read the announcement,
To read the settlement