An open letter to the President and U.S. Congress

Congress must include SSI + HCBS in Build Back Better

410 so far! Let’s get to 500 signers!

Disabled Americans have been disproportionately devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 134,000 disabled children, adults, and seniors in "nursing homes" have been killed by COVID-19. And an untold number of disabled Americans who rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) have been unable to navigate the lethal realities of this pandemic while impoverished by SSI program rules. Congress must include both substantial improvements to SSI and full funding for HCBS in the Build Back Better reconciliation package. More than 7 million Americans rely on SSI. SSI's maximum benefit (FBR) is just $794 per month, which is well below the federal poverty level. According to modeling from the Urban Institute, raising FBR to be equal with the federal poverty level would lift 2.8 million Americans out of poverty. And, according to polling from Data For Progress, is supported by 79% of likely voters. Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) are also essential to disabled Americans. HCBS provides an alternative to institutionalization, an alternative that allows families to stay together instead of being ripped apart, an alternative that allows seniors to age in their own homes instead of being warehoused in facilities that have proven, time and time again, to be deathtraps. Congress must fully fund the investment in HCBS that President Biden has called for as part of the Build Back Better agenda.

First sent on September 9 by @mattbc

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