Act Now for Student Loan Protection

Did you know that you can receive relief on student loans if you have a disability?
Have you had an issue with your school loans? We want to hear from you!
We wrote a memo in support of the New York Student Loan Protection bill.
For people with disabilities, education is a way out of higher rates of poverty and higher rates of unemployment compared to people without disabilities.
When some people acquire an illness or disability or stop their studies due to their disability, they can receive relief on their student loans through Temporary or Permanent Disability Discharge.
However, many lenders or servicers don’t explain this option, even when they are aware of the reasons for stopping payment.
Article VII Budget Legislation, TED Part W, Subpart A would create a student loan ombudsman and require licensing of student loan servicing companies. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Washington, and Washington DC have already passed similar bills.
Please call your State Senator and urge them to support the provisions, as part of the budget agreement.

Tell Lawmakers to Invest in Access to Home

Our Homes, Not Nursing Homes

Free Our People!

Inaccessible housing is one of the biggest barriers for people who want to live in the community.

Unfortunately, the home modification program, Access To Home, is severely underfunded at only $1 million. This has left many parts of the state unserved, and has resulted in years long waiting lists. The Senate and Assembly need to hear from the disability community that they must address the need for home modifications!

As the State invests in programs such as Open Doors and the Olmstead Housing subsidy, which help people leave institutions or prevent unwanted and unnecessary institutionalization, it needs to provide funding for home modifications.

CIDNY is urging the legislature to include $10 million in funding for Access To Home. It helps homeowners and renters get the home modifications they need to live in the community. The Senate and Assembly are finalizing their one house budget responses, which are due out next week. We need everyone to make 4 calls today to help ensure we get this necessary funding included!

ACTION: Make the following 4 phone calls today to help ensure we have funding for Access To Home!

  • Call Senate Housing Chair, Senator Betty Little at 518-455-2811
  • Call Senate Majority Leader, Senator John J. Flanagan at 518-455-2071
  • Call Assembly Housing Chair, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz at 518-455-5214
  • Call Assembly Speaker, Assemblyman Carl Heastie at 518-455-3791

Say: “I am disabled / a family member of someone with a disability and I need help making my home more accessible. There is no available funding to get this help, and without it, I can’t leave my house/leave a nursing facility. Please help me stay in my home by including $10 million for Access To Home in your one house budget response so it is available in my area and to people across New York State.”

H/T New York Association on Independent Living

Trump Budget Proposal Cuts Funding to Independent Living and Other Vital Programs

Last week, the President released his budget proposal for FY 2019 (PDF). Unsurprisingly, the budget proposes steep cuts to the programs people with disabilities rely on, including the Independent Living Program! While it’s only a proposal, it does show us the areas we’ll have to continue fighting for. We need to make sure our voices are heard NOW before Congress begins the FY 2019 appropriations process!

First, the budget proposes cutting the Independent Living line item by $5 million.

CIDNY and other independent living centers have been asking for more funding because the program has been underfunded for years!

Also, despite promising not to cut Social Security, the proposed budget would cut $83 billion over 10 years.

The President’s budget proposal would also reduce spending on many other programs people with disabilities rely on. The HHS budget would be slashed by 21%. The Department of Education budget would be cut by 10.5%. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) would be cut by nearly 30% and restructured. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) would be defunded. Section 8 vouchers would be cut by nearly $1 billion; and more major funding cuts and changes to housing, education, and other important programs are proposed.

While this budget is terrible, Congress will likely not include many of these proposals in their appropriations bills. That said, it is still important that our members of Congress hear from us! We need to fight against any cuts that will negatively impact the Independent Living Program and people with disabilities.

Talk with your Senators and Representative and urge them not to accept Trump’s cuts to Independent Living. Talk to them about the value of Independent Living. Have them visit us! And make sure they know how important the programs we rely on are to their disabled constituents because more changes are on the way.

We need to reach Meeks, Meng, Velasquez, Jeffries, Clarke, Nadler, Donovan, Maloney, Espillat, Crowley, Serrano, and Engels. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) to be connected. Direct office contact information can be found at Contacting Congress. Can’t call? You can also text RESIST to 50409 or contact elected officials online. Take action today!

We Must Continue the Fight to Protect Medicaid

The House and Senate Republicans and Democrats are meeting at the end of the month to decide on their respective caucus’ legislative priorities for 2018. Key House and Senate leaders indicated that they would like to cut spending on federal programs such as Medicaid in response to the 1.5 trillion dollar loss of revenue due to the tax cuts.   

This is a continuation of the fight in 2017 except they are using different messaging.  

Medicaid is at risk whether they are calling it “welfare reform” or “opportunities” or “jobs for people,” the end result is reducing enrollment in Medicaid and spending less on the program. Tell Congress they should seek bipartisan efforts to strengthen Medicaid and other social programs that people with disabilities rely on.      

Take Action!  

Call your Representative and Senators today at 202/224-3121. EVERY call matters. If we can prevent Congress from passing a budget, then Congress will not be able to cut or cap Medicaid. Act now as Congress will be deciding what direction to take at the end of the month.

What to Say:

  • I am your constituent.
  • I am a person with a disability (or a family member or professional in the field).
  • Medicaid provides critical services to people with disabilities.
  • Protect Medicaid from cuts and caps.
  • Do not pass a budget that allows Medicaid cuts.  

Can’t call? You can also text RESIST to 50409 or contact elected officials online.