January 14, 2021
WASHINGTON—The National Council on Disability (NCD) has advised the incoming president and vice president, and current congressional leaders on needed COVID-19 relief legislation.
In a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden; Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, NCD Chairman Neil Romano urged provisions and funding in Congress’s next COVID–19 legislative package to support and save the lives of people with disabilities, and those who support them.
“Tens of thousands of lives of people with disabilities are at risk because their needs have not been addressed in any of the COVID–19 relief legislation to date,” wrote Chairman Neil Romano.
The provisions called for include: dedicating Medicaid funds for home-and community-based services (HCBS); and providing long-term funding and reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person program beyond the recent three-year reauthorization and funding in the Consolidated Appropriations Act on Dec. 28, 2020. NCD also advises assisting families who must stay home from work to provide care for adult children with disabilities with paid sick and family leave; and providing personal protective equipment for family and professional caregivers of people with disabilities.
“The pandemic has had a devastating toll on persons with disabilities,” wrote the Chairman. “People with disabilities and older adults are more likely to have underlying diseases and conditions that may make them vulnerable to severe infection and death from COVID-19, and in some instances, they may also be at higher risk of infection because of the necessity of daily close contact with service providers.”
NCD is an independent, nonpartisan federal agency with authority to advise the President, U.S. Congress, and federal agencies on matters affecting the lives of individuals with disabilities.
Read the letter at NCD.gov.