Topic

disability

35 petitions

Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Department of Veteran Affairs, US Congress, US Senate

Expand comprehensive caregiver benefits to severely disabled veterans of all generations

DAV (Disabled American Veterans), The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) together are calling on Congress to expand the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) comprehensive caregiver assistance benefits to disabled veterans of all eras.Veterans like myself. Like many husbands, each day begins and ends with my wife, Yvonne. As a former Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer and quadruple amputee, I am able to get out of bed every morning and rest comfortably at night because of her. Yvonne is my caregiver—one of America’s unsung heroes who takes care of the millions of disabled veterans living in America. She is why I am urging Congress to extend the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) comprehensive caregiver assistance benefits to all disabled veterans of all eras. Under the current VA program, some family caregivers for injured veterans are already recognized and supported for their work. But not Yvonne, or thousands of others like her. Today, only caregivers of veterans who were injured on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible - leaving tens of thousands of families caring for veterans without sufficient support or resources. Yvonne—like so many other loving caregivers—made a lifetime of personal sacrifices to help manage my care yet she’s not eligible for all of these benefits. It is virtually impossible for me to take Yvonne for granted, but I feel like the system does. She has been, for all intents and purposes, my most important prosthetic. Her steadfast and tireless support has given me the independence I’ve needed to thrive in life. My family is one of the many veteran families left out because of an arbitrary date in the law. In 1997, I contracted an infection that stopped the blood flow inside my body and put me in a coma for a month.  That left it to Yvonne to make the difficult decision to let doctors amputate all four of my limbs and remove several internal organs in order to give me a chance at survival. But over the last two decades, with Yvonne’s love and support, we have been able to build a meaningful life together. I was able to learn and succeed in a new career in the IT sector. I even learned to ski and golf, competed in cycling races and rose through the ranks to become the National Commander of the 1.3 million member Disabled American Veterans. The things Yvonne does for me—helping me dress, bathe, eat, get out of bed and put on my prosthetics—are all made easier by the fact that she is right there by my side when I wake up in the morning. When a caregiver is able to stay home and provide that kind of round-the-clock care, it helps create a better quality of life and better health outcomes for disabled veterans. It’s also been shown that supporting family caregivers is less costly to the federal government than treating veterans through institution-based options. For example, I am eligible for nursing home care which could cost nearly $400,000 per year, whereas average cost per veteran through VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers is under $40,000 annually. In addition to preventing unwanted and more costly nursing home admissions, caregivers reduce overall health care costs by minimizing medical complications and lowering the number of hospital admissions for veteran patients. And perhaps most importantly, it allows so many injured and ill veterans remain in their homes with family. Caregivers truly are America’s Unsung Heroes. Please encourage your Member of Congress to honor and support these unsung heroes by extending ALL comprehensive caregiver benefits to ALL severely disabled veterans, not just those injured after 9/11.

Commander Dave Riley and PL+US
191,147 supporters
Started 4 weeks ago

Petition to Universal Studios, Peter Jackson

Universal Studios: remember Hester Shaw's disfigurement (Mortal Engines)

The first teaser trailer for 'Mortal Engines', produced by Peter Jackson, was recently released. While fans and newcomers alike are excited, one detail stands out: Hester Shaw, the redhead seen in the trailer, has two eyes. In the book, she only has one. While the lower half of her face is hidden– implying her scar is still there, and her two-eye-status is so this scar can be dramatically revealed– the change is enough to elicit worry. We don't know– maybe it'll all be fine!– but I don't want to risk it. Hester Shaw is ugly. She is disfigured, with facial paralysis resulting in a 'permanent sneer, and only a snub of a nose'. Some changes are fine. I can live with her having two eyes for dramatic effect. What worries me is erasing her scar, and with it, her disability. Hester's character begins with her being brutally disfigured in an attack, and with it, she loses all hope she can ever be loved or viewed as anything other than a monster. She's brutal and aggressive, but this helps hide the shy, young woman she is inside– more specifically, the shy, human woman society has forced her to hide. Disfigured characters are rare in Hollywood. Disfigured female characters are rarer. And in both cases, they are almost always villains. Hester Shaw is important representation for people with scars and disfigurements, and her journey is important to them. Universal, please remember: Hester Shaw's scar is not a papercut. It impacts her life every day, it is part of her, part of what makes her an iconic, awesome character.  

Anna Blaushild
132 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Sherrod Brown, Robert Casey, Bill Cassidy, Mike Crapo, Pat Toomey, Rob Portman, DIane Feinstein, Sam Johnson, Tom Rice, David Schweikert, Vern Buchanan, Mike Kelly, Jim Renacci, Jason Smith, John Larson, Bill Pascrell, Joseph Crowley, Linda Sanchez, Anna Eshoo

End Social Security's Disability Nightmare

Social Security’s disability determination program's been broken for decades. Everyone knows somebody who’s endured this tragedy. I wrote a bipartisan bill to fix the problem called the Eastman Disability Reform Act—the most substantial disability reform in the history of Social Security. This Act restores the public's trust in the agency and Congress, while this petition is asking the 16 members of both the Social Security subcommittees in the House and Senate to take action. Between 800,000 and 1.2 million people file disability appeals yearly—over half of them later win, taking up to 3 years. During this time, many of these honest Americans declare bankruptcy and become homeless. Tragically, 1 in 6 men (and 1 in 7 women) die within 5 years of receiving disability benefits.  The rejection of all disability claims is mandated by the agency at a level of 85% (or more) of all applications. This objective's cryptically disguised as the National Agree Rate. The agency has been operating without accountability or impunity for two decades, while 10,000 died awaiting benefits this year! The SSD trust fund will be exhausted in 2023, according to a 2017 Congressional Budget Office report. "Baby Boomers" born between 1946 and 1964 have been postponing retirement, with many becoming disabled; causing extra strain to the SSD determination process. The agency won't add staff because they project the backlog ending in 2025...two years after the disability trust fund's exhausted!  A former college roommate (who was born legally blind) was denied in 1994 when he applied at 18. He had to appeal and has the same "horror story" echoed by so many today. I have 8 qualifying conditions and am currently in my second year of appeal. This has occurred with the agencies knowledge for two decades, and, without congressional intervention. We must improve the access and availability of medical records used for determinations by ensuring they're in a usable file format all applicants can securely access. Sending .TIFF picture format files to applicants with encryption software which must be installed on a Windows computer with an optical drive makes it impossible for many to see the records in their agency file.  Agency contracted physicians examining claimants will finally see relief from extreme patient caseloads. This will allow for vastly better patient evaluations and less unecessary appeals. Please help a million honest people each year who cannot work and have paid into disability their entire career. We must end the "disability impossibility" so future generations don't assume it's an acceptable part of being disabled in America. Click here to download a summary and full text of the bill. Click here to ask your Senator to support this bill. Click here to ask your House member to support this bill.

Darren Eastman
1,435 supporters