Help the profoundly intellectually disabled and advocate for their rights!

Help the profoundly intellectually disabled and advocate for their rights!

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Deni Kidd started this petition to All people who know and

There is an extreme concern in our community about the proposed Ten Year Changes to the Medicaid Block Grant, which are scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2021.

Under these proposed changes, “TNCare and DIDD are expecting that employment will be considered for all intellectually disabled persons from age 16 to 62.1 ” (emphasis added). Under the guise of promoting integration and independence, forcing the disabled population to work, or even to, “explore employment opportunities,” will actually result in less integration and independence. It is mind-boggling that no one seems to recognize (or care) that this new direction will result in removing the last bit of a safety net our society has for the most vulnerable in our communities. It does not appear that the Block Grant or DIDD has any recognition that there is a sizable segment of the Intellectually Disabled population that simply cannot work.

Most ID individuals receive SSI. Getting approved for SSI is a long arduous process which can take up to three full years from start to finish. For the vast majority of SSI recipients, it usually takes a decision by an Administrative Law Judge to be approved. The whole point of the process is to determine that the person cannot work at any job. It is an Orwellian irony that we have one governmental agency that says a person cannot work but another agency that says everyone is expected to work.

When someone on SSI goes to work, they lose their monthly benefit – dollar-for-dollar for every dollar they earn. If they continue to work for more than a few months, they can lose their benefits (including housing assistance and medical coverage) entirely. The new Block Grant program and DIDD policy is designed to promote employment with individual supports for the employee and employer alike – for a limited time. What happens when those supports are no longer in place? We will end up with a huge population of disabled persons who will have been disqualified from SSI and who will become quickly unemployed, uninsured and no doubt, homeless. The changes that are being proposed will NOT promote integration or independence, but just the opposite.

If DIDD truly wants to advocate for the Intellectually Disabled, they need to demand that certain criteria be established to protect the most disabled and most vulnerable. There must be a baseline population that everyone must agree cannot work and to require DIDD to “find them a job,” is counter to everything that DIDD should stand for.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!