June 9, 2020
Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. United States Senate 393 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
Re: Assisting Individuals with Disabilities During the Pandemic
Dear Senator Casey:
Thank you for your letter of June 2 detailing all of the initiatives you have and are supporting to assist individuals with disabilities, especially during this crisis. Together for Choice is extremely appreciative of all of your efforts on behalf of our community. We especially appreciate your strong statement that Congress should do everything it can to keep individuals with disabilities safe from the virus regardless of where they have chosen to live, work or receive care. We share your goal that “[a]ll people with disabilities and their families, as well as the individuals who help support those in need, . . . have access to the resources necessary to stay safe and healthy from COVID-19.”
We have one significant concern about your pending legislative proposals to help individuals with disabilities living in residential settings during this pandemic: the proposals provide varying levels of support for individuals with developmental disabilities based solely on the residential setting chosen by the individual. S. 3544 proposes to provide assistance to men and women living in home and community-based settings (“HCBS”). S. 3768 proposes to assist those living in intermediate care facilities (“ICFs”). While both settings serve the very same segments of the disabilities community -- individuals with developmental disabilities -- the help these two proposals would provide is very unequal. This disparate treatment is based solely on the residential setting chosen by the individual. Together for Choice represents individuals with disabilities who live in both types of settings, HCBS and ICFs. We strongly believe that the type, amount, and duration of help an individual receives to stay safe from the virus should not depend on where they have chosen to live.
To read the entire letter, please download the PDF file below.