Petition to Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, Mick Mulvaney, Carolyn W. Colvin, Dr. Beverly A. H. Buscemi
Help Paralyzed Woman Receive All Benefits to Keep Independence
I was 7 years old when I was paralyzed in a car accident. Through recovery and rehab, I fought and continue to fight to lead a normal, independent life, pursuing the same life goals any young woman wants; graduate, go to college, find love, marry, buy a home, have a family and have a career. Nine years ago I had no option but to undergo several risky operations that failed, which left me in a much worse situation. I deal daily with chronic pain, a surgical opening, and surgical hardware exposed. I am in a painful and risky situation that makes it difficult to have any kind of quality life and prevents me from working like I did before the surgeries. However, through it all, I persist to not lose hope or my independence, continuing to live on my own and fight to be the productive member of society I strive to be. I graduated with great grades, worked, paid my own way through college, but my savings quickly diminished, making me unable to complete my degree and SSI not enough to pay the bills. I still only have SSI as an income and it's not enough, I take out of my savings every month to pay living expenses. I soon won't have savings to keep renting or to buy a home; the hope I had for my savings to go towards. And until my doctors can form the best surgical plan, my only option to work would be from home. With this limitation, it's hard to find a trustworthy and well paying job. SSI also retracts from my already unsubstantial check when I make a certain amount of money working. I'm asking for your signature to plea with my government officials to help inform me of all programs and benefits I qualify for that would help me financially, and help me to enroll for such benefits. This will get me to a place in my life where I can provide for myself, be able to afford my home, car and education. I don't want to just collect a check, live off of Social Security. I'm not asking for handouts, just help from every avenue I qualify for that get me on the best path to a better income to and the life I've fought for. I need benefits to help pay for my care as well; I don't want to end up in a care facility, my health worsen, or give up on my dreams after all my hard work. Please help me have a voice to those who can make a difference, who can direct me to assistance, programs and fiannces, providing me enough of an income to live independently with my disability and it's restrictions. Everyone deserves independence. Please help me get the income that saves me mine. Thank you.
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, Texas State House, Texas State Senate, Elizabeth Warren, Charles Schumer, Paul Ryan, President of the United States, Barack Obama
Give All Disabled Children Medicaid
ALL DISABLED CHILDREN NEED MEDICAID At 4 months old, my daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy consisting of Spastic Quadraplegia with Dystonia. Now, age 6, my daughter needs Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech Therapy. She is responding very well to therapy. Like many families that support disabled children, finances are always a struggle. No matter how hard you work, it's never enough to cover as much therapy as you want to give your child. These therapies are the only way our child will be able to be a fully functioning member of society in the future. The Problem: Medicaid takes the family's income into account when determining eligibility. For those who are neither poor, nor rich, every dollar goes to paying for therapy and equipment. It is a huge, constant struggle on the family and there is NEVER enough money. Every dollar goes to another therapy appt or piece of necessary equipment. The Resolution: For those in the middle, we do not ask for Disability payments, nor SSI payments. We simply need Medicaid to offset what insurance companies won't pay for — the therapy needed beyond the limits of private insurance, the equipment that insurance companies refuse to cover that is necessary for our children. We beg you to join us in fighting for these minimal benefits for our children to give them a fighting chance, and so they don't have to be on Federal Disability and SSI assistance when they turn 18. Help our disabled children become independent. We ask for ALL disabled children, regardless of family income to be eligible for Medicaid at no cost.
Petition to Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Mr. Narendra Modi, Maneka Gandhi, Suresh Prabhu
Implement disabled friendly measures in Indian railways
I've been groped and manhandled three separate times by porters. They were helping me board the train because Indian trains are not wheelchair accessible. I am a disabled woman living in Mumbai who loves to travel. I have had to wear a diaper because I couldn’t use the train bathroom. And when I needed to change that diaper, I had no privacy and had to wait for hours for the lights to go off at night The railways treat the disabled as a piece of luggage. This needs to stop! Sign my petition and join me in asking the railway minister and the Prime Minister to implement disabled friendly measures in Indian railways. According to The Disability Rights bill, there need to be facilities available for those with disabilities. The Railway Ministry has been talking of making trains disabled friendly but in reality, we are still humiliated every single time because of poor implementation. My fight is to ensure human dignity for the disabled. I am asking the authorities for some basic things everyone takes for granted- Accessible bathrooms with proper space inside the bathroom, clean and higher toilets, low sinks so we can easily wash our hands. Accessible coaches for the disabled in all trains, ideally one for each class. Enough space between berths so it is easy to fit a standard size wheelchair between the berths and we can shift onto our seats when needed. Curtains around the berths for when we need to change. Often, I've needed to change my clothes and the berths are too small for me to role around to change my clothes, as well as have no privacy. Proper infrastructure to cross railroads if needed to change platforms. Beside these infrastructure related demands, I also want an attitudinal shift in the way the disabled are treated: Sensitise people to let those with disabilities board first as the general public normally does not care about our well being. Everyone is in a rush to get to their seats. Sensitise abled-bodied persons to not board the handicapped compartment, especially in local trains. We often see that in the local train, those who are not disabled will climb in. That isn't fair. Train the drivers and TCs to halt the train till a handicapped passenger has finished boarding, especially for local trains. The local train only stops for two minutes and with all the crowd, it is very difficult to board. I want to sit down with PM Narendra Modi or the Railway Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu and talk to them about the difficulties faced by those whom are disabled. Sign my petition and ask PM Modi and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to implement measures to make the Indian railways disabled friendly.
Petition to LTG Kenneth R. Dahl, Commanding General, IMCOM, Thom Tillis
Don't take respite care away for military families with special needs children
The U.S. armed forces have an amazing program called the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). The EMFP helps families with special needs children gain access to respite care professionals. The program has helped alleviate some of the stress and strain for parenting a special needs child by allowing parents to take time to clear their minds, recharge, and be the best parents they can be for their child. But this program is now under budgetary threat. Losing access to this program would force families into the financially difficult position of relying on civilian programs and providers. But the unique circumstances of military families make relying on civilian programs and support providers that much more precarious. Sometimes, military families are living on bases in rural areas where it is difficult to find service providers for our special needs children. Additionally, military families often rotate from base to base every 3 to 5 years -- forcing a family to essentially “start-over” with each new assignment. I don’t say this to complain. This is what we sign up for and we are proud to serve our country. But our families need the support this military program provides. Budget cuts have slowly eroded the program’s availability across the armed forces for all but the most severely disabled children. And now these budget cuts are due to hit Army families in June 2017 -- despite that fact the the Army has the largest number of families with children on the autism spectrum. We are begging Congress to please not balance the budget on the backs of the families who need this respite care program the most. Please sign and share this petition. It’s important to let Congress know that military families need all the support they can get -- and military families with special needs children require this support so much more!
Petition to President of the United States, Congress, Social Security Administration
Social Security Disability Reform Petition - Please Reform The Social Security Disability Insurance Program
Money is taken out of American’s pay checks every week for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) through FICA and SECA deductions. Millions of Americans become disabled unexpectedly and end up having to file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - the most mismanaged and underfunded program in the country. Anyone, at any time, could suddenly find themselves in a situation where they need to access these insurance benefits – such as an accident, work related injury, catastrophic illness, a victim of a crime, military personnel, veterans, natural disasters, and now we have the threat of terrorist attacks which are unfortunate realities of life. Disease and tragedy does not discriminate based upon age, race, sex or any other factor. What they will find is that the current SSDI program can end up killing you instead of helping you, and then the SSA doesn’t have to pay you. SSDI claims applicants can face homelessness, bankruptcy and even death trying to get their hard earned benefits when they need them most. We are concerned about what transpires from the first point of contact with the SSA, the initial filing for SSDI benefits, claim processing procedures, accuracy, efficiency, and the final decision/outcome of each SSDI claim. Billions of dollars are being spent in foreign lands and on pork barrel programs, and we want the government to focus on and fix this growing problem now instead! Here are just a few of the major issues we would like to see addressed: Removal of the current five month waiting period for initial payment of SSDI benefits, from disability date of eligibility. The withholding of five months of benefits greatly adds to the financial burden of a claimant, and compromises their financial status to a point, that most can never recover from due to their inability to work. Immediate eligibility for Medicare upon disability approval with NO waiting period instead of the current 2 years. The current two year waiting period causes even further harm to an applicant’s already compromised health and even greater financial burden on a population who can least afford it, since they cannot work. This also forces many to have to file for Medicaid/Social Service programs who otherwise may not have needed these services if Medicare was provided immediately upon approval of disability benefits. Immediate removal of Medicare Part D coverage gap “doughnut hole” for all SSDI Medicare recipients. Strict enforcement of, and fines need to be instituted for, violations of Federal Regulation CFR20 404.1642 Processing Time Standards. Strict monitoring and enforcement of Federal Regulation CFR20 404.1643 Performance Accuracy Standard by the (GAO) Government Accounting Office, and not the SSA, to achieve a minimum 99% accuracy rate for ALL SSDI cases at ALL times. All phases of disability claims processing should be moved to and handled out of the Social Security individual field offices, including the DDS phase which is the medical determination phase currently handled by the states, and all hearing phases of the disability process. All people who process Social Security disability claims should be employees of the Federal Government to ensure accuracy and uniform processing of disability claims under Federal regulations and Social Security policies which is currently not the case. All licensed physicians should be required to be trained in the regulations and requirements needed to declare their patients to be eligible for SSDI benefits, and be required to fill out Social Security Disability forms for their patients to validate their disability claims with the SSA or face fines, or loss of their license to practice medicine for refusal to do so. Creation of an Interim (Transitional) SSDI disability program for those who are chronically ill, but still may be able to work a few hours a week/month. (Example - Say a claimant would be eligible for $1000 disability benefit if approved for full SSDI benefits. They would apply for interim disability to start and for every month they could not work they would get a full check. For those months that they could work they would be paid the difference or nothing based on the percentage of the $1000 benefit they would earn by working that month.) They would also be eligible for full Medicare benefits from the onset. When their illnesses progressed to a point that working is no longer an option, full SSDI benefits would automatically begin. Congress needs to immediately set up a task force made up of claimants who have actually gone through the SSDI system, that has major input and influence on the decision making process before any final decisions/changes/laws are instituted by the SSA Commissioner or members of Congress. This is absolutely necessary, since nobody knows better about the flaws in the system and possible solutions to those problems, then those who are forced to go through it and deal with the consequences when it does not function properly. More Federal funding is necessary to create a universal network between Social Security, and all outlets that handle SSD/SSI cases so that claimant’s info is easily available to caseworkers handling claims no matter what level/stage they are at in thesystem. All money that is taken out of American’s paychecks for Social Security should not be allowed to be used for anything else other than to administer the program and pay out benefits to the American people. SSA must not have to be forced to beg for funding and compete each year with more high profile/popular programs for its survival, when they can use trust funds that should be easily available to them to accomplish their tasks. The current process has severely crippled the effectiveness of this vital program and it needs to be changed immediately. We ask that you please introduce, legislate, pass and sign into law the Fullerton-Edwards Social Security Disability Reform Act which can be found in its entirety at: Fullerton-Edwards Social Security Disability Reform Acthttps://sites.google.com/site/ssdcoalition/fullerton-edwards-social-security-disability-reform-act Because of years of neglect for the disabled and elderly, many are now are forced to live in poverty, and the government should be ashamed of themselves. We have contributed our hard earned money to this system, so where is the money going that has been taken from our paychecks every week? Why should we have to become homeless, bankrupt, starve, lose our healthcare coverage, suffer untold stress on top of our illnesses, and even die trying to get our benefits? We, the undersigned, say to all members of the US Government: For every one of us that starves, has their utilities shut off, becomes homeless or loses their healthcare coverage because of your failure to act – we hold you responsible! For every one of us who ends up living in poverty or files for bankruptcy because of your failure to act – we hold you responsible! For the unfathomable stress and suffering we have inflicted upon us because of your failure to act – we hold you responsible! For every one of us who becomes even more sick, or worse yet dies because of your failure to act – we hold you responsible! We want to know why our elected officials seem to be ignoring this crisis and doing nothing to correct the many problems with this vital program that affects millions of sick and dying Americans. For decades the disabled citizens of this nation have been forced to tackle a very daunting system, so we challenge you to do the same. Use the power you have been given to finally resolve this serious situation once and for all. Please start taking care of the US citizens living in this country whom elected you into office. It is your duty as elected officials to serve all Americans - those that voted you into that office, and even those of us who didn't. When the next election comes around we will not forget those who have forgotten us. The government may be trying to neglect us, but remember we citizens still have, and will use our right to vote. It is also very important to remember that a country is only as strong as the neediest citizens who live in it, and a nation can be truly judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. We, the undersigned, disabled and healthy Americans alike, ask that you please do something to fix the Social Security Disability Insurance program now!
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
Reform Social Security Disability in America
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 is reluctant to add staff because they project this shortfall 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 issue 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.
Petition to Steven A. Kandarian, MetLife
Retrieve Owed Money From MetLife
Suffering from a mental health issue is likely to happen during ones life. I personally had a quarter life crisis and had to undergo psychiatric care. During this time period, I had to take time off work. MetLife approved my FMLA but denied my Short Term Disablity until further “investigation.” At the time, I was seeing three different doctors who all submitted evidence of a mental health disorder. MetLife stated they had their own private physician review my medical records, doctors notes, and even went as far as to request and review my actual sessions notes with my therapist. After months of doctors visits and paperwork, MetLife came to the conclusion that I was not sick, not sick enough to retrieve my disability benefits. At this time, MetLife is making me go through a second appeals process to obtain what is rightfully mine as I pay them to cover me if I were to fall ill. The amount owed to me is greater than $10,000.00. I was almost released from employment because they were not willing to own up to the fact that MENTAL ILLNESS IS AN ILLNESS! Please sign this petition to show insurance companies that mental illness needs to be treated as any other illness and to right a wrong by making them pay what they owe!
Petition to Shawn Connolly, Montclair State University, Montclair State, Montclair State University "University Facilities", Margaree Coleman-Carter
Lowering Soap Dispensers in Montclair State University Bathrooms
Anybody living with a disability can attest that going to the bathroom can be a struggle with limited accessible stalls, tight hard to maneuver hallways, out of use accessible stalls, etc. Think about a typical bathroom; there typically is about a 1:7 ratio of accessible bathrooms for people with disabilities to stalls that are designed for non-disabled peers. Lack of access doesn't just stop with specific bathroom stalls being used or out of use. Montclair State University bathroom soap dispensers are an inch too high against the mirror causing it to be inaccessible for some disabled individuals. By lowering soap dispensers one inch, bathroom soap dispensers will become accessible, making bathrooms at MSU more accessible. By signing this petition you fight for equal access for disabled and non disabled students attending Montclair State University.